iPad mini 6 has a neat orientation trick for those relocated volume buttons

iPad mini 6 is the first major redesign of the small-sized tablet since its debut. The new look is more like the iPad Air and less like the basic iPad thanks to the uniform bezels, Touch ID in the sleep/wake button, and no Home button. There’s also an interesting behavior with the relocated volume buttons that is unique to the iPad mini 6.

iPad volume buttons are usually placed like iPhone volume buttons: on the top left side when oriented with the charging port on the bottom. That’s changed for the iPad mini 6, which places the volume up and volume down buttons along the top edge near the sleep/wake button.

The placement is a curious change that presumably has to do with packing everything inside the full-screen iPad mini, but it turns out there’s more to it than just the internal layout. Stitch Fix developer Jon Hill shared a clip today that highlights a new behavior for those relocated volume buttons.

Volume buttons are no longer mapped to increasing and decreasing volume. Instead, volume up is triggered by whichever volume button is on top of the other and vice versa. That’s a clever trick for a full-screen tablet that can be used correctly in any orientation. The previous volume button behavior means that on two of the possible four ways to hold it, the volume buttons were inverted.

Now for the wishful thinking: might we see this on a future iPad Pro design that relocates the Face ID camera to the center when viewed in landscape, and not center portrait? What do you think about this change? Confusing or a relief? Let us know in the comments.

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