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How to check whether an iPhone or iPad is upside down or face up

Swift version: 5.1

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

If your app needs to know the orientation of the user’s device – face up or face down – it takes only four steps to implement.

First, write a method that can be called when the device orientation changes:

@objc func orientationChanged() {

}

That needs to be marked @objc because it’s going to be called by the system whenever the accelerometer signals the orientation has changed. So, step two is to request those changes be sent to the new method:

NotificationCenter.default.addObserver(self, selector: #selector(orientationChanged), name: UIDevice.orientationDidChangeNotification, object: nil)

Third, ask the system to start checking for orientation changes:

UIDevice.current.beginGeneratingDeviceOrientationNotifications()

You shouldn’t leave that on all the time unless you need it; you should call endGeneratingDeviceOrientationNotifications() when you’re done with the data.

Finally, you can read the orientation property of the current UIDevice to see what the orientation currently is. This property doesn’t work correctly unless you already asked UIKit to begin generating device orientation notifications, which is why the above steps were required:

if UIDevice.current.orientation == .faceDown {
    // it's face down
}

You probably want that inside orientationChanged() so that it reads values as they change.

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