Jump to Currently Playing App from Control Center

| TMO Quick Tip

Control Center is one of my favorite new features in iOS 7. Apple essentially took the old pop-up music controls and added heaps of extra functionality, and it’s a very welcome change. One great feature of the old-style pop-up music controls was the button that would take you to whichever app was playing audio.

However, in Control Center no such button appears, leading some to believe that this functionality is no longer there. Thankfully, it’s still there. It’s just less apparent how one does it and how to affectively do it. Here’s how.

First, you’ll need to have some “background audio” playing from an app. This can be something like music from the Music app, a podcast, etc. In fact, the audio can even be paused for this to work. It just needs to show up in Control Center. Next, swipe up from the bottom of your iDevice’s screen to reveal Control Center.

Because there’s no button, it’s not entirely clear what exactly you should be tapping, but I’ve gotten the best results by tapping the song/audio title at the far left- or right-hand side of the screen. If you got it right, you’ll be shuttled over to the corresponding app.

Control Center Music Controls

On a side note, I don’t think tips like these should need to be written. Apple has been getting into the habit of obscuring functionality for the sake of aesthetics, and that’s not good design. So let’s hope that this is a short-lived trend.

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5 Comments Leave Your Own

Gene Moreau

it’s the artist name or song name that triggers it.

Michael Johnston

Gene: That makes the most sense, but the album name line seems to be the most reliable. It’s probably because the track control is also a tap target. Which is stupid for control center.

Eolake Stobblehouse

“Apple has been getting into the habit of obscuring functionality for the sake of aesthetics, and that’s not good design. So let’s hope that this is a short-lived trend.”

I couldn’t agree more, I have thought that myself more than once. It’s really frustrating that they can’t see the wrongness of it.
In fact, the whole idea of iOS7’s design is “well, now people have gotten used to smartphones, we don’t need to show what’s a button anymore.”

The trend is not new. In the old OS, there used to be lines in the top of the active window. Those were grip lines. Up through the early stages of OSX, these got more and more line pinstripes, and eventually disappeared totally.

And how about mice with a cord so short it can’t reach around a small laptop!? But it sure looks more tidy!

I think Ive and Jobs were over-infatuated with minimalism. I’m a minimalist myself, but it’s important to know where to stop.

Eolake Stobblehouse

Michael,
I hope it’s OK I used your illo and a quote in this post, an expansion of what I just said:

http://ereaderjoy.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/apples-over-minimalism.html

Michael Johnston

Sure thing, Eolake. The best piece of advice I give to others who feel the way I do about Apple’s direction is to write them directly. Use the bug reporting system to point out specific examples (http://bugreport.apple.com). They usually make fixes based on this stuff. It’s also useful to send them feedback at http://www.apple.com/feedback. And don’t forget that you can email Tim Cook himself at tcook@apple.com.

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