The iPad mini 6 volume buttons change their input based on orientation

The all-new, redesigned iPad mini features plenty of noteworthy elements. That includes the “all-screen” design thanks to its smaller bezels, Touch ID built into the top button, and a USB-C port. Among other things. But it looks like Apple slipped in another detail, tied to what many would consider is one of the more boring elements of the tablet.

That would be the volume buttons. Usually, these aren’t very exciting at all. And, up until today, that’s because they didn’t do anything all that exciting. But it turns out Apple made a key change to how these buttons are implemented in the new iPad mini (sixth generation).

In all the other iPad models, the volume buttons are mapped, with dedicated input commands for whichever button you push. So, for example, when an iPad Pro is placed in landscape mode, the volume button on the left is volume up, while the button on the left is volume down. And that remains the same input options no matter how the iPad Pro is oriented.

That changes with the brand new iPad mini 6, though. As noted on Twitter by developer Jon Hill (via 9to5Mac), Apple included an orientation trick with the smallest tablet in the lineup. Now, the buttons aren’t dedicated at all, and they will change input options based on the orientation of the tablet itself.

Now, with the new iPad mini, volume up is directly associated with whichever button is on the top, and volume down is tied to whichever button is on the bottom. Which means that in a couple of instances, the volume buttons can be inverted based on what users are typically accustomed to. You can see it in action in the clip Hill posted to his Twitter account recently.

Of course, it’s worth noting that Apple moved the physical volume buttons on the iPad mini 6 altogether. They are now located on the top edge, on the same side as the top button itself. So, if you have the new iPad mini 6 and you’ve noticed that, depending on how you’re holding it, the volume buttons are a bit different than what you might be used to, now you know why.