Desktop cradles and screen rotation


New member
Aug 9, 2011
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Hi All,

I spend most of my workdays in front of a computer, and have been looking at buying a charging cradle for my Merge (U.S. Cellular). I had a cradle for my last phone (HTC Touch, Windows Mobile 6) and found it very useful.

Unlike the Touch, however, the USB port on the Merge is on the side of the phone. Correspondingly, the (very few) cradles that I've found for sale for the Merge require docking the phone horizontally. Personally, I don't have a preference for which way the phone is oriented - but I do want the text to be right-side-up when I'm looking at the screen.

One of the few, persistent issues I've had with the Merge is screen rotation. Realistically, the problem probably stems from my lack of understanding about how screen rotation does / is supposed to work. Nonetheless, the fact remains that the home, dialer, and a few other common screens do not rotate, unless I force them to do so by sliding out the keyboard. (At which point they work fine, which begs the question why they don't rotate automatically, but that's another topic...)

My concern, therefore, is that the home and dialer screens will appear sideways when I dock the phone on a horizontal desktop cradle.

I've looked into "car mode" as a solution, which I understood (perhaps mistakenly) forced the screen to rotate; I thought that if this worked, that maybe desktop cradles could do the same thing. While there don't appear to be any real car docks for the Merge, I was able to test using an app that forces the OS into car mode. Unfortunately, the home/dialer/etc. screens still don't rotate. I'm still unclear as to whether this is a hardware, generic Android, or U.S. Cellular Android issue but, either way, I still cannot rotate the screens that I'd expect to use while my phone is cradled.

This brings me to my questions. If anyone has used a horizontal desktop cradle for the Merge before:

Q1: Do all screens (including home and dialer) rotate when you dock the phone on the cradle?

If so:
Q2a: What type (carrier and OS release) of Merge do you have?
Q2b: What type (brand and model) of cradle are you using?

Q3: Also, for background, is home screen rotation support a hardware, Android, or carrier-specific Android issue?

Thanks, in advance, for any insights you can offer.