iOS 4.2 features: Volume slider widget for iPhone and iPod touch

iOS 4.2 features: Volume slider widget for iPhone and iPod touch

iOS 4.2 GM brings a volume slider widget to the iPhone and iPod touch, just like beta 1 did for iPad. Since iPhone and iPod touch have a no landscape view for home screen, and much narrower screen real estate in general, the volume slider isn't next to the other widgets like it is on iPad, and there's no brightness slider to go with it, but here's what you do get:

  • Double tap to open the multitasking fast app switcher dock
  • Swipe left to move to the music controls and orientation lock widgets
  • Swipe left again to move to the volume slider widgets

For more, see our complete iOS 4.2 beta walkthrough.

[Thanks @iSkythe!]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iOS 4.2 features: Volume slider widget for iPhone and iPod touch

50 Comments

They should have made that the brightness control why would I double tap the home button and swipe twice to get to the volume control when I have 2 volume buttons for that on my phone doesn't make sense but I have sbsettings so it don't matter I can change my brightness fast with that anyway

I wish I could have my custom double click back. But I will settle for a triple click that would be cool. Why do I need a widget for this? There is not a point with the phone in my hand that the volume button is an inch away from my finger. Good for the iPad, iPhone not so much

Um yeah, I really want brightness...volume doesn't hold much appeal to me, don't see much usage from it when there is the better option of pressing the side of the phone...

One of my favorite things about my jailbroken device is how quickly I can bring up the brightness slider in sbsettings. I miss the customizable double click home button as well - I had it set to my camera for when there was a need for a quick photo

total fail on this one apple... who would reach the volume through all these steps. Volume rocker on the side and on my earphone remote duh... as said brightness slider would have made more sense as well as a quick Wifi or Airplane mode switch

Instead of the useless volume slider, how about bringing the BT and Wifi toggle switches out of Settings "oblivion" and into the realm of "quick" access? I am waiting for 4.2 then will probably JB to re-install sbsettings.

Maybe apple decided to go for volume slider so that in future phones they get rid of the physical buttons. We all know Apple wants ads few physical buttons as possible, so maybe this is a first step in getting people used to not using the volume buttons on the side? I think its ridiculous to double tap + swipe twice to change volume but once people get used to doing that, it might not be a hassle anymore.

they could just put icons for airplane mode,brightness and wifi on this instead of volume and by tapping them we could change those just like sbsetting! this could reduce the need for Jailbreak! not a wise move by apple!

@JNGold and Ali I agree. This is 100% useless on the iPhone. I wish Apple would of made it WiFi and Bluetooth or something like SBSettings. There's always iOS 5 though next year. :-)

Couldnt a couple things change for the final release from GM? I know it's close to the final product but it could get pulled and replaced with the brightness everyone wants. So much apple bashing on a not finalized update.
With that being said... It'll most likely be a volume slider -.-

Seems redundant. As for getting rid of volume buttons - I'd not buy an iPhone without volume buttons.

@marc Agreed. I swear if bluetooth isn't fixed in this update I swear I'm throwing this thing at someone's head! Ok, not really but you get my point.
@JhonnyC 99.9% of the time the GM is the exact same thing as the final release. Hell, it is the final release. We aren't getting this changed no matter how much we complain to daddy (Jobs).

Agree with others. Brightness is what I would like to be able to change there. I have volume buttons already. Wonder what SJ thought when he gave his approval on that.

I think apple is just tinkering around with this idea... maybe for iPhone 5, we will get widgets there, instead of the home screen like all the other platforms? Or maybe a new notification system that involves going the the "multi-task" bar, then pulling up your notifications

To all wanting a brightness slider, the reason it's a volume slider is for AirPlay. The hardware volume buttons won't control the airplay speakers (I don't think anyway) and also when connected to an airplay device the airplay icon appears next to the volume slider. This should have been mentioned in the article really! It's really an airplay control area.

Actually just tested and the hardware buttons DO still control volume of the airplay speakers, but I still think it's intended as an Airplay area, hence no brightness control

As above its probably for Airplay.
And second, remember iOS with 4.2 is now UNIVERSAL meaning the volume slider needs to be there for the ipad. There is no more specific iPad OS anymore like 3.2 was.

I'm predicting, as with a couple of other people, the physical buttons will be removed. In iPhone 5. Im fine with that if that's the case. I hardly use those buttons anyway. I have the volume controls on my earphones or I use the volume controls that are built into the iPod apication.

What? Remove the hard buttons for volume control? that would the stupidist most moronic move in the history of phone development. Can you imagine being on a phone call and having to drill down to change volume?
Curse you Perry the Platyapus!!!!

Once again, Apple will no doubt tout this "new" feature that they "gave" us. Yet, we STILL cannot change the email tone, or add our own sms tones. Now, we have another way to do something we could already do. Don't they have a thing about allowing devs to submit apps that duplicate a phone function, only better?? Guess that doesn't apply to them. This is a GIANT yawn.....

I already have a brightness slider. It's in Settings, it's all the way up, and Auto is turned off. :roll:

WHY DONT THEY MAKE A WIDGET TO ENABLE AND DISABLE WIFI WITHOUT HAVING TO GO TO SETTINGS MUCH LIKE SBSETTING
AND HOW ABOUT ADDING A FEATURE WHICH WHEN SENDING A PIC MMS IT ALWAYS DOSNT HAVE TO BE THE HIGHEST DAMN QUALITY! WHICH TAKES FOREVER TO SEND! GIVE US THE OPTION TO SEND SMALL MEDIUM AND FULLSIZE LIKE YOU DO IN EMAIL!! IS THAT SO FUKKIN HARD!!!
WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT APPLE ISNT SO BRILLANT AS THEY THINK THEY ARE THERE ACTUALLY SO BEHIND AND ITS HARD FOR THEM TO CATCH UP! THINK ABOUT IT 3 IPHONES UNTILL WE WERE ABLE TO GET MMS MESSAGING THE REAL WAY! ANDROID WILL TAKE OVER AS FAR AS APP STORE THATS ALL IPHONE HAS BETTER AND THE DISPLAY IT STOPS THERE IMO

TO ALL WHO THINK U NEED A EXTRA WIDGET TO CONTROLL THE VOLUME WOULDNT IT BE QUICKER AND EASIER TO JUST CLICK THE HARD BUTTONS ON THE SIDE THEN HAVE THAT DAMN STUPID TASK SWITCHER POP OPEN AND SWIPE TO THE LEFT ?
I LOVE HOW EVERYTHING!!! SITS IN THAT DAMN TASK SWITCHER MEANWHILE ID SAY NOT EVEN HALF THE APPS USE THE BACKROUND ENABLED API

IMHO it would be much better if, instead of a volume slider (rendered quite useless by the buttons on the side), the double-righty-swipy-view showed buttons for toggling WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth etc. Kind of like SBSettings, only official.

I am really starting to wonder about the apple development team. This is so unnecessary. If your device does not support multi task like iPod touch 2Gen, and iPhone 3G, this feature will not work. Makes no sense to add a feature that you already have with the volume buttons.

@jon the iPad also has hardware volume controls. This volume slider simply makes no sense, no matter how you look at it. Brightness and toggles is what is needed there. I might even consider not jailbreaking if they add that, as SBSettings is probably the only JB utility I can't live without.

This is the beginning of the end for hardware button functions. If Jobs and Ives have their way, we'll soon be using a floating fiberglass screen, straight outta Philip K. Dick.

In case you didn't know, the Physical buttons on the phone actually control the ringer volume when no audio is playing. I often want to change the audio volume without opening the iPod app. The old pop-up for double clicking the home button had a volume slider. Haveli a brightness slider there would be less usefull, as I very rarely change my brightness level, why would I need a quick access slider for a feature I use less often than even the still present stocks app.
I do agree though, that apple should stop being idiots and should use that space for more used quick access toggles. Ultimately we should be able to choose which toggles/sliders we want there. I wouldn't mind being able to keep swiping across for more manually added toggles.

ok, i get it already you all want sbsettings on the iphone but its not there. As was already stated the volume slider is for airplay and when no audio is playing the metal volume buttons control ringer volume. Hence making it useful, be patient the JB community beat them to multi-tasking and its the same with SBS it will probably be out in the next major IOS release. and remember its just a phone.

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Idk if this has been posted already, but on iPhones and and iPod touch 4g (idk about others) you can change ringer volume with the buttons (if it is turned on) on the homescreen but not in apps that use sounds or music( like games). With this, you could turn off ringer control with buttons, and have a way to change sounds volume and ringer volume independently.

To john j- you need a higher brightness during the day, and lower if you are reading something in the dark, so a quick toggle would be useful