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iOS makes it more difficult to control the volume when casting media

It seems that the iPhone's physical buttons no longer support controlling the volume when casting to other devices.

Published onMay 31, 2024

Apple Music Library stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • A recent iOS update stops users from relying on their iPhone’s physical buttons to control the volume of media they’re casting to other devices.
  • The change has sparked outrage on online forums, especially among users actively using the Spotify Connect feature.
  • Interestingly, the Apple Music and TV Remote apps still offer the aforementioned volume privilege that third-party apps had to drop.

It’s no secret that Apple sometimes disadvantages third-party developers by giving itself special privileges — or taking away some of their existing ones. Following a recent iOS update, likely iOS 17.4, users casting media to other devices can no longer control the volume using their iPhone’s physical buttons. This has sparked outrage on Reddit and the Spotify Community forums, as many users actively relied on the now-removed option.

According to a Spotify Community moderator, a recent iOS change has stopped the music streaming app from using the iPhone’s volume buttons to control Spotify Connect devices. They stated: “Due to updates on iOS, Spotify users no longer can use their iPhone’s volume controls to change the volume on connected speakers. Instead, please use the volume slider in the device menu.”

It’s still possible to control the volume of connected devices using the device menu’s software volume slider. However, that’s inconvenient for many users, as now they must bring up the dedicated menu more frequently. Before this change, they could easily and quickly change the volume by clicking the iPhone’s side buttons.

Interestingly, Apple’s own Music and TV Remote apps still support controlling the volume of media playing on tvOS using the iPhone’s physical buttons. Meanwhile, I couldn’t replicate the functionality when using the Spotify, YouTube, and YouTube Music apps on my iPhone and Apple TV. This indicates that all third-party apps have likely been cut off.

It’s unclear when exactly this change rolled out, but — based on the numerous user reports across the web — it was likely included with iOS 17.4. However, Spotify has also removed the feature from its app completely. So, even if you’re running an older iOS version, you will lose the feature anyway once you update Spotify.

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