Microsoft's AI-Powered Bing Google's ChatGPT Rival Hogwarts Legacy Review Ozempic vs. Obesity Best Super Bowl Ads 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid Review OnePlus 11 Phone Review Super Bowl: How to Watch
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Easter egg in iOS 4: Remotes control music apps

The seemingly unexposed ability to use speaker and headphone remotes to control playback within music apps on iOS 4 is a surprisingly useful feature for Pandora, Slacker, and Napster users.

Napster playback
Control playback remotely in Napster.
Screenshot by Jasmine France

One of my main uses for the second-generation iPod Touch was to connect it to a pair of docking speakers at home and then stream music using Pandora, Slacker, or Rhapsody. Not only am I sick to death of my own music collection, but using these services means I don't have to exert time and energy on making playlists. Of course, there was a major drawback: when a less-than-spectacular song came on, I couldn't use the speaker's remote to skip it from across the room, whilst I relaxed in the considerable comfort of my couch. It seems that iOS 4 has changed all that.

I recently got my hands on a 2010 iPod Touch for new app testing, and the experience has been pretty spectacular. It was made even sweeter today when I was toying around with Napster's new iPhone app and discovered--quite by accident--that the remote integrated into the MEElectronics MP11P+ earphones controls playback within the app. What's this, now?

I set of on a tirade of testing, first switching between apps while using the MP11P+, and then hunting down an in-house speaker with a remote (specifically, the Philips DS8500). Success! The remote controls work flawlessly with Napster, Slacker, and Pandora, though Rhapsody insisted on crashing throughout and had some trouble with the play/pause command (it reads one-click as "back"). I also verified compatibility with the Klipsch Image X10i, the Thinksound TS02 + Mic, and even a pair of Skullcandy 50/50s.

Perhaps I'm a bit overexcited, but this seemingly minor feature is hugely convenient in my book. What do the rest of you think? Time for me to step aside and take my crazy pills? Or is the remote functionality actually worth getting animated about?