So, to be clear, you *don't* have to type "go" before directions. (You can try this with the downloadable or web version of Dreamhold, which are exactly the same build as the iOS release.)
Possibly you were confused by an incomplete verb, which can produce this sequence of events:
What do you want to take?
That isn't available.
Inform has always worked this way, although the error message has changed in I7 to "You must name something more substantial." Typing the direction again will work as expected.
The standard abbreviations "l", "i", "g", and "x thing" all work ("look", "inventory", "again", "examine thing"). "Look" requires a preposition -- you'd have to type "l at thing" -- but "x" is the usual abbreviation here. (This *has* changed in I7; recent releases accept "l thing". I'm not sure I like that change, but it postdates Dreamhold, anyhow.)
And, of course, the Apple spellchecker hindered as often as it helped. (Is there a way for a game to populate its lexicon with words expected in the game?)
Unfortunately, no. I included a preference to turn autocorrection entirely off, but there's no way for me to customize its behavior.
It is a self-updating dictionary, so if you reject a correction of "ne" (tap on the popup correction bubble) that will tend to increase the acceptance of "ne" in future commands. However, in my playtest runs, I was never able to convince it to *always* accept those direction words.
after taking on a serious play session in landscape mode, it was unclear how to return to playing it in portrait mode
This is entirely controlled by the device's orientation sensor, not by the app.