Image via Apple
Usually, volume buttons on our devices are standard: the one on top is to increase the volume, and the bottom one is for lowering it.
Interestingly, the new iPad Mini 6 is a tablet designed to be used in any and every orientation. It’s encouraged, even. Its volume buttons seem to signal towards that: placed along the top edge, they now sit next to the sleep/wake button. So how does one tell which is which?
That raises another question: what if you didn’t have to?
As it turns out, the volume buttons aren’t mapped to a specific ‘volume up’ or ‘volume down’ button. Instead, they’re simply… ‘volume’.
To turn the sound up, users can simply press whichever one happens to be on top of the other, and vice versa. Since the iPad doesn’t really have an “upside down” anymore thanks to its entirely full-screen design, it does away with the need to hold it “correctly” to use the buttons “correctly.”
In fact, this means that in two of the four orientations the device is held, the button functions are inverted.
This was explained and demonstrated by Jon Hill, who is a developer at Stitch Fix, on Twitter.
Here is a fun #Apple #iPadMini6 note I haven’t seen mentioned. The volume buttons for increasing or decreasing the volume change based on the device orientation. Whatever button is on top in landscape or to the right in portrait is the volume up button. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/vWC1Gw5LYb
— Jon Hill (@jon_m_hill) September 27, 2021
So, if you were wondering how the volume control works in a button placement that prompts the question “why did they do that?” at first glance, here it is.