Controlling Music Playback in iOS 7

09/24/2013

iOS has always offered a way to control music playback from the lock screen, with controls for changing volume and skipping tracks visible when you wake up an iOS device. With iOS 7, however, Apple has added a new way to control music, using Control Center.

The original lock screen controls are still available. So if you’re listening to music on, say, an iPhone, and press one of its buttons, you’ll see something like the first screen shot below:

2013-09-24 08.51.45.png   2013-09-24 08.52.08.png   2013-09-24 08.52.36.png

You can scrub through the currently playing track using the bar a the top; you can play or pause; you can skip ahead or back; and you can alter the volume. You’ll see these controls whether you’re listening to music or podcasts, and most third-party music players display them as well.

But what’s new is Control Center. You can access this overlay by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. You’ll see it in the lock screen, or at any time, from any app in iOS 7. You can see Control Center in the second and third screen shots above. The second screen shot shows Control Center visible over the lock screen, and the third shows Control Center over a home screen.

As you can see, you have the same music playback controls, together with the other controls available in Control Center. But you get one additional control, the AirPlay button. With this, you can stream music to any AirPlay compatible device, such as an Apple TV, or an AirPlay speaker or stereo.

It’s worth noting that you can no longer control AirPlay or choose a Bluetooth headphone from the Music app; you can only do this from Control Center. If you have a Bluetooth headphone, you’ll be able to select it by tapping the AirPlay button (or, if you’ve recently used the Bluetooth headphone, it should automatically be selected there).