headset truth table

There are two kinds of people in the world: those that like keyboard shortcuts 1 and those that don’t remember endless lists of keyboard shortcuts. My wife is the latter, while I am the former (CTRL + LFT ARW). I would like to think that this proclivity of mine is borne out of a desire for greater efficiency. Sarah just thinks I’m OCD, and she’s probably right.

That brings me to the topic at hand.

I got one of these stereo iPhone headsets with an integrated microphone. It has a single push button on it, which to someone like me is a giant question mark.

Though the iPhone user manual talks about microphone headsets and the functionality of the push button, there is surprisingly sparse details.  According to Apple, the push button performs the following functions:

Normal use

single press plays iPod current playlist
single press again pauses track
press and hold 4 seconds voice activation
Phone use, incoming call

single press answers call
single press again hangs up call

The engineer in me — who happens to be well versed in state machines and user interface design — thought that surely there was more functionality packed into that single, questioning button.  So with some trial and error, I found the following additional functions:

extended iPod use

double press advance to next track
double press & hold (a double press and hold works like this: press once and release, followed by a press and hold) fast forward
triple press jump back to beginning of track; if at track beginning already, jump to previous track
triple press and hold rewind

Have fun short-cutting!


  1. …and by extension, appreciate writing cryptic shortcut pseudo code like “CMD + S” or “CTRL + ALT + DEL”

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