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Whether I have my Android phone's settings to allow or disallow rotation, the Youtube app always rotates the video to fullscreen when I set my phone sideways.

When searching for this online, I even read somebody say something in the lines of "It's so great that Youtube doesn't care about that silly rotation setting, when I rotate my phone, I want the video to rotate as well, and go fullscreen!".

Well now. Isn't this a huge inconsistency?

I would argue that the system-wide rotation setting should apply to every app, in the same way. And I understand that videos are sort of a "special" kind of content, but a case can be made to want to lock the screen rotation and keep the video fullscreen (landscape orientation) and windowed (portrait orientation) regardless of phone orientation.

How would one go about determining if this is actually a bad UX design?
(More than simply soliciting anecdotal opinions and theories that is)

  • Does not answer your question, but: sometimes the developers would have to adapt their layout for portrait orientation if their layout is made for a landscape orientation -- that could be more work for them – Léo Lam Jun 6 '14 at 18:06
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From a user perspective I can say that it can be a bad UX design. For example when I'm lying in my bed and watching any content I hold my phone naturally in landscape position but I need to display the content in portrait mode. If I cannot force some content to display in portrait, it can be annoying.

I've seen a nice approach in some player apps that were playing videos for both orientations. They had a button, which locked the orientation in the current state. E.g.: http://www.guidingtech.com/assets/postimages/2014/04/video-player.png

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