iOS: How to use iPhone, iPad earphones in 13 tips

There's 13 handy functions available from the earphones you get standard with iOS devices -- you can even speak to Siri. Not only this, but many third-party headsets offer the same functionality. It makes sense to know what you can do.



A single tap on the middle (depressed) region of the headphone controller is all it takes to Play or Pause your music, video or podcast.

Volume up

If you've never taken a close look at your headphones, do it now. You'll see the middle region is flanked by + and - buttons. To raise earphone volume, tap the + button, to lower it tap -.

Fast forward

To speed up your track simply tap the Play/Pause button rapidly twice and hold the control down after the second tap -- the track will skip forward.


Similarly, to rewind a song tap the Play/Pause button three times and hold the control down for the track to skip back.

Skip to next track

Bored of the song that's playing? Just tap the Play/Pause button twice to skip to the beginning of the next track.

Skip to previous track

You can also skip to a previous track -- all you need to do is tap the Play/Pause button three times.

Activate Siri

Press and hold the Play/Pause button and you'll activate Apple's Siri. Now you can use Siri to get travel directions, send a message, make a call or change the album or playlist you're listening to.

Take photo

Once you’ve launched the Camera app you can tap the + (volume up) button to take a photo -- this is very useful if you are using an iPhone tripod or trying to keep your device as steady as possible to take the shot.

Reject incoming call

Receiving a call and unable to take it? Just press and hold the Play/Pause button for two seconds until you hear two low beeps. The call will be sent to voicemail.

Answer and/or hang up incoming call

If someone calls you, answer the call by tapping the Play/Pause button. Once the call completes, tap the button once again to hang up.

Switch calls

If you receive a call while you are talking to someone else, press the Play/Pause button once to switch to the next call. Press it again to end the second call and return to the original.

Hang up current call, answer new call

In conversation with someone when a call comes in you need to give undivided attention to? Hold the Play/Pause button down for two seconds. When you release the button, you'll hear two low beeps that tell you the original call has been ended and you will be answering the new incoming call.

Control Macs, too

You can also use your earphones with your Mac. The volume, play and pause functions will work with iTunes and QuickTime Player and for dictation. It makes sense that when Apple introduces Continuity in Yosemite, you should then be able to access some additional iOS device functions via your Mac.

I hope these tips help you get more from your iPhone, iPad (or iPod touch).

Also read:

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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