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iOS7: Accessing Music Controls
By Jesse Hollington | 09.23.13

Q: Previous versions of iOS had a feature where one could double tap the home button on the home screen to access music controls. How does this work on iOS 7?

- Joshua

A: All of these functions have been moved to the new iOS 7 Control Center which can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of any screen—including the lock screen—subject to your preferences set under the Control Center section in the iOS Settings app.

Double-tapping the Home button from the home screen has not actually provided direct access to music controls since prior to iOS 4.0—the point at which the recent apps tray appeared and those controls were moved to that location. Access to music controls in iOS 4, 5, and 6 therefore required multiple actions—a double-click of the home button followed by a left-to-right swipe gesture on the recent apps tray to switch over to those controls. The Control Center comes up with a single upward swipe gesture and provides direct access to not only music controls, but a number of other commonly used features.


On the iOS 7 lock screen, playback controls are now displayed automatically, without a double-tap of the Home button needed to bring them up. A triple-tap single tap of the Home button will temporarily return the standard clock view in case you need to see the time (thanks to Larry for pointing out in the comments that only a single-tap is actually required now).

Be sure to check out our complete guide to the Secrets & Features of iOS 7 for the full run-down on what’s new and different.


Next: iTunes Radio: Requirements for ad-free listening

Previous: Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of Apple TV 6.0


Double-tapping the Home button from the home screen has not actually provided direct access to music controls since prior to iOS 4.0

This is simply not true. Until upgraded a few days ago to ios7, I was double-tapping on the home button constantly to play/pause/change music on 6.1.4. It is only now with ios7 that I’ve been unable to have access to these functions on my iphone5.

It was always possible before.

By David on 09.26.13 at 03:36 PM

@David (#1): The key word here is direct access—meaning bringing the controls up directly on the screen as a pop-up display, with no additional gestures required. This was the normal behaviour prior to iOS 4, and in fact even for non-multitasking-capable devices (the second-generation iPod touch, for example), after iOS 4.

Since iOS 4, however, double-tapping brings up up the recent apps list first, requiring a subsequent left-to-right swipe gesture to access the playback controls.

The point is that playback controls are theoretically easier to access on iOS 7, as the home button isn’t involved at all—only a swipe gesture which you would have to perform in addition to double-tapping the home button anyway.

In the very least, a swipe up gesture should be no more difficult than the older double-tap-and-then-swipe-right gesture.

By Jesse Hollington on 09.27.13 at 02:52 PM

You can actually just press the home button once to toggle between music controls and time.

By Larry on 09.27.13 at 09:47 PM

@Larry (#3): Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve amended the article to note that. During the betas, this required a triple-tap, but it makes more sense that only a single tap should be required.

By Jesse Hollington on 10.01.13 at 03:45 PM

I think the original poster was referring to double tapping home **from the lock screen.** This has been possible up until IOS 7, as I also used it everyday.

I’m annoyed that it is no longer possible, as I could turn on music in the car without having to take my eyes off the road and look at my phone.

By Karen Ar. on 10.02.13 at 06:02 PM

This is still a BIG BUG IN PROGRESS. I beta tested and still with the final release and update since the release if you start playing music from the standard icon withing the OS you can double tap the home button from the lock screen and see music controls.

However, you cannot get to your music from the lock screen without having started playing music from within the the OS.

Also when you swipe up from the lock screen to see music controls the music may not play at all. You can use Siri to launch music from the lock screen.

By Spanish Fly on 10.15.13 at 07:39 PM

Even though the places to access music and controls are different ios 7 still will NOT play to Bluetooth as it did in previous ios versions.

By RDrennan on 04.10.14 at 12:09 PM

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