iOS4 Remote Music Controls
Apple are renowned for their intuitive user interfaces. In fact, with their iOS operating system for iPhone, they are so confident that they don’t even bother with instruction manuals. After all, who even reads them? And if there’s a problem, there’s always Google. But the risk with this approach is that some users will never discover certain features. You could be missing out on something amazing right now. This post won’t try to unlock all the iPhone’s secrets, but it will go through the various music controls that you may or may not know exist.
(this is aimed at owners of 3Gs and above, using iOS4, but many of these features work on other models so try them out)
Top button – Volume Up
Bottom button – Volume Down
Middle button (Single Click) – Play/Pause
Middle button (Double Click) – Next song
Middle button (Hold) – Voice Control (Speak the name of a song or artist and it will guess who you want and begin playback)
The voice control fails more often than not, but it’s good fun still.
Music Control Dock
Before iOS4, you could access to music controls by double-clicking the Home button. With the new multi-tasking dock, it’s a bit more convoluted. You now need to double-click and swipe to the right (to reach the left-most screen) in order access the same controls. But iOS4 has brought another, more interesting change. Now that any app can offer background audio, it won’t just be the iPod app which you’ll be controlling. Whichever app is playing music will have its icon shown on the right of screen and the controls work just as they do for the iPod. Even Safari can be controlled if you’re listening to music inside the browser. It’s all handled quite very cleverly. You’ll never have two audio sources clashing, or be left wondering when a background app or tab suddenly starts blasting out music.
Lock Screen Controls
While on the Lock Screen (where it says ‘Slide to Unlock’), double click the Home button to bring up music controls that allow you to manage playback, without even unlocking the phone. Typically you’ll want to access this when the phone’s screen is off, in which case you can Triple Click the Home button (once to bring up the lock screen, two more times to active the controls).
Of all the controls, these are the least known, and also the ones I use most.
Shake to Shuffle
Most people discover this feature by accident and wonder what on earth is going on. When listening to music, you can give your iPhone a shake and it will choose a new song. It’s a good idea in theory, but far too sensitive in my experience. There’s nothing worse than choosing a new song, only to have it skip as soon as you put it down beside you! To disable this feature, go to:
Settings > iPod >Shake to Shuffle
Music / iPod App
This is not even worth mentioning, but here we go anyway. While browsing the Music / iPod app, hit the ‘Now Playing’ button in the top right hand corner to get access to your basic music controls. If you didn’t know this, then you’ve REALLY got some research to do.
For all I know, there could be even more ways to control music that I haven’t even discovered yet (wouldn’t that be ironic). But for now, this should be more than enough to cover most circumstances.