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How to use AirPlay audio controls in iOS 11’s Control Center

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How to use AirPlay audio controls in iOS 11’s Control Center

Don't panic—the AirPlay button to switch audio sources hasn't disappeared from iOS 11's Control Center. It's just a little hidden.

When you need to send audio from your iPhone or iPad to a different device, you can pop open the Control Center and tap the AirPlay icon near the audio controls to get a list of options. With iOS 11, that button is still there; it's just an extra press away. So no, you don't have to go all the way to Settings > Bluetooth to switch the audio output.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac (sadly, no public beta for the Apple Watch). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

How to AirPlay using audio controls in iOS 11's Control Center

The new Control Center in iOS 11 includes some stock controls you can't change and a collection of buttons you can add, remove, and reorder. One of the stock modules is a set of audio controls, but its basic view is quite... basic. Until you expand it.

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your Home screen to launch Control Center.
  2. Press firmly (iPhone) or long press (iPad) the upper right section of Control Center. It will display whatever you're playing on your iPhone at the moment. If you just tap it, it'll just open the app associated with what's playing.
  3. Tap the AirPlay button on the top right of the new window. It looks like a triangle with rings around it.
  4. Tap the device to which you'd like to AirPlay audio.

The expanded view also has the volume slider, playback scrubber, and a thumbnail of your content that you can tap to launch the audio app.

Easy-peasy or not?

Obviously, it would be nice if Apple decided to make that audio-out button available as its own button in Control Center. Since iOS 11 is in beta, that's a possibility—and it would be so great as an optional button, since anyone who doesn't mind the extra force-tap could simply turn the dedicated button off.

Keep in mind that many audio-playing apps have an AirPlay button right inside the app, too.

Any questions about audio playback controls in iOS 11? Let us know!


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