8 Ways to Control Your iPhone With Your Apple EarPods

Many Apple EarPods hanging down

The ubiquitous white earphones that come with new iPhones are not only a way to get audio into your ears without annoying the world around you. From controlling music to talking with Siri, your Apple EarPods can do a heck of a lot more than just look (and sound) pretty.

Even if you’ve had an iPhone for some time, there’s probably at least one tip in this list that you didn’t know. Check it out and leave any additional tips you know of in the comments below.

Apple instructional illustration of controls on Apple EarPod remote

Media Control

From movies to audio books to Spotify or just the standard Music app, any media that plays on your iPhone can be controlled by the inline remote on your Apple EarPods. Even though there are three buttons, you only need the middle one to get all these done.

1. Play/Pause – This is a pretty simple one, but if you press the center button on the EarPod remote, your iPhone will pause playback of whatever media is currently active. Press it again to resume.

2. Skip Forward or Backward in Tracks – Double-click the center button in the EarPod remote to skip to the next track in whatever you’re listening to. Triple-click the center button and you’ll move backward through tracks, starting with a replay of the current track.

3. Fast-Forward and Rewind – You can also move forward and backward within the current piece of media. Just press the center button twice and hold it to go forward. Press three times and hold to go backward.

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

Phone Calls

Wait, you can use an iPhone to make phone calls, too? While apps and media make up the majority of iPhone usage, it is a phone at heart. (Thus the name.) So, naturally, the EarPod remote can also do a few things with phone calls.

4. Answer or End a Phone Call – When your iPhone is ringing, all you have to do to answer it is press the center button of your EarPod remote once. To end the call, press the button again.

5. Decline an Incoming Call – To decline an incoming call using your EarPod remote, just press and hold the center button for two seconds. This will forward the call along to your voicemail.

6. Switching From an Active Call to an Incoming Call – If you’re on a call and you get call waiting, just press the center button of your EarPod remote to place the first call on hold and answer the second one. You can switch back with another press of the center button. If you’d rather hang up on the first call and answer the second one, just hold the center button down for two seconds while you’re still in Call #1 to hang it up and move over to Call #2.
Apple EarPods in packaging

Other Apps

There’s even more that you can do with the EarPod remote, but to round out this list we’ll look at two important features: the camera and Siri.

7.Take a Picture – This is the only tip in this list that doesn’t use the center button. To use your Apple EarPods as a remote trigger for the iPhone camera, just press the Volume Up (+) button on your remote while you’re in camera mode and you’ll take a picture. This is perfect for low-light situations where your hand might add some shake to the image.

8. Siri – To access Siri with the EarPod remote, press the center button and hold it until you hear Siri ding. This is great for when you need some information while listening to music or when you just get off a call.

Scrubly social-sharing menu.

Scrubly sign-up.