One of the things that struck some as a bit odd at first when they introduced the Nexus 7 last week at Google I/O was that Google chose to use the portrait orientation 'phone' UI vs. the landscape 'Tablet' UI as the default setup for their 7 inch tablet. In fact Google went so far as to prevent the home screen from rotating when the tablet is turned on its side which basically forces you to use it in portrait mode for functions on this home screen. Many have since surmised that Google did this mainly because it was targeting a consumer audience that would use the Nexus 7 more in the easy to 'hold with one hand' 'portrait' orientation.
But what if you're more 'tablet savvy' and you prefer the landscape 'tablet' UI more like the one you see on Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich 10 inch tablets? Well XDA-Developers Member SladeNoctis discovered that this was entirely possible if you changed the LCD density property in the build.prop file. This moves the notification bar from the top of the screen to the lower right corner and tweaks the layout of the home screen and navigation toolbar as well. Now in the future as Google implements 'Jelly Bean' in more tablet devices they might put an option in the settings that would give users the ability to do this without rooting their devices and changing any code. However for now you'll have to have a rooted Nexus 7 to make this change.
Luckily, rooting your Nexus 7 is fairly easy to root.
You can then follow SladeNoctis' Instructions
and presto! You'll have a landscape home screen for your device. Now there are some caveats to doing this. First off while almost everything works fine in this mode it appears that Google is still tweaking some of the graphic elements and thus you'll see some slight anomalies like some text and pictures looking smaller and some apps 'might' look a little off and not be optimized for this orientation yet. In time we expect these issues to be corrected though and they shouldn't interfere with the tablet's normal use.
So what do you think? Will you want to root your Nexus 7 and make the changes to use your Nexus 7 in landscape 'tablet' mode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. I've pasted some examples of the 'tablet' and 'portrait' versions of the same screen so you can see the difference more easily below.