You know the routine - you're browsing Android Police, scrolling through our amazing content when you lie down in bed, only to have your phone go crazy. The narrow content you were scrolling through has switched from portrait to landscape view, even though the phone is still facing the same direction relative to your head as it was before. At best, you stand your phone back up, pull down your notification shade, and press the toggle. At worst, you navigate away from the app into system settings and dig around for the display options. Rotate on Shake is faster than both of these options. Just give your phone a shake to toggle auto-rotate on and off. It's that simple.

What It Does

To clarify, Rotate on Shake doesn't actually rotate on shake. Shaking your phone toggles auto-rotate, which then permits you to rotate your own screen the old-fashioned way. It's going to require a solid, healthy shake to activate by default, but this is a good thing since it prevents the app from activating unless you really want it to. After a good shaking, the phone will vibrate and throw up a toast notification showing whether the phone display was just locked or unlocked.

Rotate4 Rotate1 Rotate2


What It Doesn't Do

Most of Rotate on Shake's "drawbacks" are a matter of personal preference. For example, unlocking the display turns on auto-rotate, sending the screen swirling around in whatever direction I hold my phone, but locking the display turns off auto-rotate and resets the view back to portrait. For better or worse, the display doesn't remain in landscape, and there is no option in the settings to enable this behavior. Yes, this is how Android works by default, but it would be nice if Rotate on Shake expanded on the functionality in this way. It feels like it should, after all.

Rotate on Shake also doesn't throw an icon in the notification area. This doesn't bother me, as I always rush to disable icons for this type of background service whenever given the choice, but I know others might appreciate having a visual notice of when the process is running. Again, there is no option in the settings to enable this.

So What Is In The Settings?

Not much, really. Users can toggle the vibration on and off, along with the toast notification. Both are on by default, and a person should get by just fine relying on either one. But disabling both, to me, just sounds like a nightmare. But hey, it's an option.

Rotate7 Rotate5 Rotate6

The app's sensitivity is adjustable, though the developers have mistakenly labeled it "Sensibility." Clicking on the setting pops up an outdated slider box that will make certain users cringe. It defaults to 750. Turning it down lower will make the app as sensitive as a Geiger counter, with only the slightest movement necessary to trigger the display. But cranking it up might just require strapping the phone to a jackhammer.

Should You Buy It?

That's right, Rotate on Shake isn't free. The app costs $1.60 to use, and there is no free version. I understand why you might want to test something like this out first before making the plunge, but so far this might just be the happiest I've been giving the Play Store money. Wrestling with auto-rotate has plagued me since my first Android device, and this is the least intrusive solution I've seen yet. That said, alternative options still work. You could combine this with an app like Smart Rotator, which lets users pre-select which apps should open in which orientation, and both will continue to work just fine. This app takes a fundamentally different approach, and it doesn't clash with pre-existing toggles or system settings either. Shake on Rotate is purely a supplementary product, and one I highly recommend.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • http://www.betheunchurch.blogspot.com maisonpulaski

    I would have been excited about this if it had actually been "shake to rotate". Please update us if the app gets this ability.

  • PamelaLibrarian

    I love what it says under "Sensibility" in the settings screenshot.

    "Helps you decide how sensible will be the sensor" I'm guessing English is not the first language of this app developer. ;)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yeah, it's not. I pointed it out to them and they said they'd fix it in the future.

    • sandroforbice

      LOL we did not expect an amazing review from Android Police (and we thanks them for that) the app was released in 2011 and we now founded a new team porting all our old apps on the new account. We are an Italian team and for "Rotate on Shake" we did a baaaddd job translating it, as @archon810:disqus pointed out we are now using a professional translator :)

    • spookym

      Thank you. I believe you're correct in your assumption.

  • Josh Legoza

    "but locking the display turns off auto-rotate and resets the view back to portrait."

    I might be wrong, but isn't that the default behavior in android? My Nexus 4 snaps back to portrait if I hold it in landscape and lock rotation with my notification toggle. Stock 4.3, rooted. It would be really nice if this app could change that default behavior and just lock to the orientation it's currently in. Given how convenient it is to toggle that would be really nice.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      That's right, it does the same for me when I use the toggle.

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      You're correct. I have clarified the passage to make this clear.

      • Matthew Fry

        Please keep an eye out for us and let us know if they update to add this. My use case for this is when I pull up a picture and it's always the wrong orientation no matter how I turn it. Yes, I know I can go in and rotate the image but I'm laaaaazy.

    • Matt McNair

      That must be a phone only feature as a Nexus 7 with stock 4.3 locks the screen in what ever rotation you are currently in.

      • Josh Legoza

        Good to know. Don't think I ever tried that on my N7, which is surprising since I use that lying down more often than my phone. Thanks!

  • arrrr

    Not HOLOYOLO, my eyes, they're burning :(

  • dave

    or get samsung phone after the 3 and have this sorted by the front camera...

    • Trenton Seagoe

      How does one dot this?

  • Mike

    1.6$? I mean, it's ok, but that can be done in Tasker and exported to an installable application in no time.

  • Vitaly

    This can be done with Tasker easily.

  • Tyler Humphreys

    I remember using this over a year ago when it was called Shake 'n Rotate, and it was free.

    Here's the play store link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.andreabaccega.togglerotation

    Was it bought out by these guys, or is this a copy?

    • sandroforbice

      Hi, I am Sandro from Pizza Entertainment, yep it is the same App we launched in 2011, we just founded a new team and merged all our apps in the new account. The new version is updated with some fix and improvement.

  • Alex h

    I prefer gmd gesture control. put three fingers on my screen and slide down and it toggles auto rotate

  • Andrew

    Doesn't the Play store allow you to return an app within a certain amount of time for a full refund? Making trepidation over trying out a paid app kind of silly? I haven't actually returned an app I was trying in a long time, but used to do it all the time.

  • Tim Harper

    My auto rotate is always off..it's more of a pain than helpful...I turn it on with a notification toggle if I need it in landscape, such as rafflecopter on here.