Home Run Hits For Your iPhone Home & Volume Up Buttons [iOS 5]



Apple hit more than a few home runs at this weeks WWDC keynote and the announcements surrounding iOS 5 were the best as far as most of us at Cult of Mac are concerned.  However, one of the home runs that went straight out of the ball park was an announcement about the changes made to the Camera app in iOS 5. That app has changed in two very important ways involving the Home and Volume Up buttons.

The Home button has always been used to wake up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch so that you can view alerts, check the time, day, and date or to use the slider to unlock your device.  Additionally, if you press and hold the Home button it launches Voice Control as it has done in the past. Now under iOS 5 the Home button does something a bit more exciting.

Home Button

Camera Access From the Lock Screen

If you pick up your iPhone 4 running iOS 5 and need to take a quick shot with the camera and the screen is locked simply press the Home button twice.  You’ll get the usual media playback controls, the slider to unlock your iPhone, and a camera icon.

Tap the camera icon and the Camera app launches. You are then ready to take still photos or make a video.

Photos or videos created this way are the only ones accessible to whomever is taking them. The Photos app will not show other photos or videos in your camera roll or library. If you need to access those you’ll have to enter your pin to unlock your phone.

Volume Up Button

Volume Up Turns Into A Shutter Button

The Camera app will now allow you to use either the on-screen shutter button or the upper most volume button to control the shutter. If you press that volume button the app will snap a photo and if you are set up to make a  video instead you can use it to start and stop  recording.


These are two really nice new features coming in iOS 5 and I think Apple did a great job by including these in the next release of iOS. However, I’m hoping that they’ll go ahead and allow app developers to implement the volume button control in their own photography apps sooner rather than later.



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  • Goms

    dont know what to do, my contract ended in may but i held out in hope for a new iphone in june. I dont see the point of upgrading to a old iphone and being locked in for 2yrs when i could get a samsung galaxy s II but now i dont know what to do… wait for an iphone that may not even be released or get a samsung galaxy s IIwhats your opinions?

  • Jordan Clay

    My girlfriend got the White iPhone 4 last night.  Her dumbphone samsung crapped out.  I was telling her to wait (before the phone died) to buy an iPhone.  We were in AT&T and she realized that the best phone for the money is the iPhone.  or that HTC WinMo7 phone.

  • steven

    If you’re really impatient and can’t wait a few more months, get the Galaxy. If you can wait until fall for a superior phone, get the iPhone.

    Just because your contract is up doesn’t mean you have to go buy a new phone right away, you know.

  • Goms

    but how can anyone be sure of a new iphone coming? 

  • stokessd

    I’d hardly call features that have been available for months (or years) on app store aps (camera+) or are jailbroken features a homerun.  

    Honestly, I’m more than a little underwhelmed that another full point release of the OS hasn’t brought significant improvements.  Multi-tasking and backgrounding of apps still sucks (tom-tom I’m looking at you), and the lock screen is still a wasteland of unused potential.  

    Time based sound changes are still missing; IE I don’t want mail notifications sounds playing at night but I do in the day (autosilent fixes this).  the list goes on and on.  

    I must be getting old and jaded, but all the announcements were pretty underwhelming.  Lion not being sold on physical media is more than underwhelming, it’s alarming.


  • Hampus

    There will be a new iPhone coming, do you really think they won’t bring out an update with dual core and so on?

    And, is your current phone really so crappy? Do you really NEED a new phone this instant or can you wait?

    Also, do remember that if you go get that Samsung Galaxy S2 you’ll likely only receive one software if even that. Samsung will probably release another phone in not too much time to make the S2 feel old :p
    And last but certainly not least, you’ll lose all the apps you probably have for your current phone.

    I’d wait if I were you.

  • John Marshall

    Apple had only two objectives when they released the iPhone: simplicity and predictibility. It was never meant to be a full-featured handset, and keeping things stable requires time and testing.

    If you’re looking for a swiss-army style phone, get an Android. Just don’t be surprised if you spend more time fiddling with it than using it.

  • 300AShareMakesMeSmile

    You’re probably old and jaded.  Too bad Apple didn’t consult with you since I’m sure you’re going to start your own smartphone company to design a smartphone that works exactly the way you think it should.  Apple is just dicking around when it comes to satisfying consumers, right?  Steve is just stupid by not putting every possible obscure feature in iOS 5 and so it’s doomed for failure unlike Android.

  • Frank

    Well I was kinda in the same boat with my iPhone 3GS.  So instead of locking myself into another 2 year contract, i Just went on Craigslist and bought a brand new iPhone 4.  That will hold me over until the new stuff comes out whenever they decide to release it.  Just a suggestion…………..

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  • Pckid32

    Sorry but click , swipe, click does the same thing. Surely click volume up button once to open the camera click it again to take picture. At least make the image of the camera permanent on the lock screen. This one is a rubbish feature. Sounds better than it will actually be reaching round for the volume up button is going to be more awkward than how it works now. Lots of lovely new things in iOS 5 but this ain’t one of them.

  • t87

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  • Eddie

    quite agree – it’s very gimmicky. in the previous OS a swipe and a touch gets you the camera. In iOS5 you have the option of two clicks on the home button and a tap on the camera icon = one extra move. And it’s extremely hard to find that volume up button without fumbling around. Not practical at all so why bother with it?