I sat at my desk early in the morning while the office was mostly empty. A coworker arrived, said hello and sat down to work. She put on her headphones and started blasting music. The only problem? Her headphones were unplugged and the music was playing for the whole office to hear.
Accidental noise like this is very embarrassing. I welcome all innovations that make this less likely to occur. I was blown away when I used an iPod for the first time and unplugged the headphones. Unlike the CD players I had used before, the music paused. With the iPod it didn’t make sense to continue to play music without the headphones plugged in, since there was no internal speaker.
I am happy that both iPhone and Android adopted this convention as well. You’re much less likely to embarrass yourself if the sound stops as soon as headphones are removed rather than automatically switching over to the external speakers. I wish that laptops did the same, but alas.
I live most of my work day in a browser. I often end up with a whole slew of tabs. Suddenly I hear some sort of noise – one of the dozen pages I have open is blaring an ad. I usually have to search each tab one by one to try to find the culprit. Chrome recently launched a new feature to visually distinguish which tab is making noise. This is a brilliant innovation, and one I welcome in my quest not to make a fool out of myself in front of others.
Disclaimer: I work at Google. The opinions expressed are my own and do not represent that of my employer.
Fortunately it hasn’t completely. When the phone is locked, a double press on the home button brings up the standard iPod control screen I find so useful:
On the other hand, when you’re in a standard app and double tap the home screen you’ll see the bar pop up at the bottom of the screen with the apps you can switch between. I stumbled upon the fact that you can swipe this bar of icons over towards the left and the iPod controls are visible without having to explicitly hop out of your app and into the iPod controls.
While it’s not two taps and a swipe to get to the controls as opposed to just two taps, this is a very small price to pay for the multitasking of iPhone OS 4. Hopefully this is useful to someone who hasn’t discovered this already.