System Media Controls (not just Music App)?

I’m finally getting around to tinkering with the Turn Touch I bought through kickstarter… and not sure if what I want to do isn’t possible or if I’m just missing a key step. Basically, I want to use it for media controls at my desk with my iPhone… it’s typically playing podcasts, sometimes Spotify, and I have it play either via the lightning connection (to speakers in the office) or a bluetooth speaker.

In the office, it’s sometimes just out of reach and/or inconvenient to quickly pause/play or skip ahead (skip a track in spotify, jump 45 seconds ahead in Overcast’s podcast player)… so the TurnTouch sitting right in front of me or sitting in a pocket seems like a great solution.

When I use my phone with pretty much any bluetooth device (car, speakers, etc), the media controls for play/pause, next/prev, and volume work at what I think of as the “system” level (as if I’d swiped into to iOS control center).

In the Turn Touch app, it seems control only works in the Apple Music app (which I don’t use)… so if a podcast is playing and I hit a play/pause button, it stops Overcast and starts playing something from the Music app.

Beyond that, I’ve also not been able to get the volume up/down to work at all in either the Music or Phone apps inside the TT iOS app. Not sure if I should be seeing the volume-bar overlay, but I don’t and either way I hit it repeatedly with no change to volume.

Am I missing a step somewhere, or is it not possible to use it as just a “generic” bluetooth remote for the iPhone’s media controls?


Turn Touch indeed does not work as a “generic” Bluetooth remote for play/pause due to iOS limitations. The system volume controls (volume overlay) recently broke due to some iOS changes but are fixed in an upcoming Turn Touch app version.

If you want to beta test the new app, signup for TestFlight here:

Hmm… that’s a bummer. Having a remote that does both the media controls and volume is the goal, so I suppose I have to look elsewhere and find another use for Turn Touch.

I am curious, though, why so many other devices seem to work fine with iOS given the suggestion that it’s an iOS limitation. An example product I’ve looked at that (but not purchased) and seems to be working with iOS (according to reviews) -

Between that device and lots of speakers/car-audio systems, lots of devices can control both… so I’m just curious. Is Turn Touch is using an older or more limited version of bluetooth spec?

Turn Touch is actually using a newer version of Bluetooth. The older bluetooth APIs allow system level controls but it eats more battery. TT could potentially use those APIs but it would prevent the Bluetooth Low Energy usage, which is why I chose the format I did.

System level volume controls should work though, so I’m surprised they don’t.

The remote you mention (and similar ones) connect as a Bluetooth keyboard — which has its own downsides, such as the software keyboard getting hidden when you aren’t expecting it.

Really we’re still waiting on Apple to allow software control of non-music audio across apps.