iPhone gets orientation lock, slide out iPod controls in latest Beta

Just when we were starting to thinking that the only new feature newest iPhone OS 4 Beta had over the one before it was that it.. you know.. works*, up popped this little gem.

As with all the OS 4 Betas that came before it, double tapping the home key bring’s up Apple’s app-switching drawer, offering up a list of recently used applications. In Beta 3, however, this drawer packs a few new tricks: iPod controls, and a much-clamored-for orientation lock option. This new page is accessed by swiping the drawer to the left from the first page, similar to how users go from Page 1 of the homescreen to the Spotlight search page.

Orientation locking is a feature that many users — primarily those who read in bed — have been asking for for ages. The iPad offered it up first, with the hardware switch near the volume keys locking the orientation rather than silencing the device.

* At least, it seems to work — there’s still no word as to why Apple just pulled it down