Enabling the Side Volume Buttons

Below I will tell you how to take splits using the two real volume buttons that are nicely located on the side of your iPhone.

But before I do that, I want to tell you that Apple forbids the use of the two “volume” buttons on your iPhone to be used for anything other than volume control.  My Stopwatch app (version 1.0) was rejected because Apple discovered that I was using the “+/-” buttons to take splits.  Apple did not give any clear indication of why they do not want users to press these buttons to control their stopwatch. Their only explanation is that it does not meet the guidelines.  (It is interesting that Apple’s very own camera app allows users to take pictures with the volume buttons, thus does not adhere to the guidelines — go figure.)

So, I guess if you are a purist and like to play by the rules 100%, ignore the instructions below — you will not be able to use the side buttons for taking splits.  Personally I use them, and love them.

The steps are strange.  Do this:

  1. Set the race type to either free-relay (FR) or medley-relay (MR)
  2. Hit start then stop about 1 second apart.  Meaning: pretend that your relay swam the race in one second.  That’s awfully quick, yes, but that is on purpose so you don’t accidentally enable the awesome real buttons before reading this page.
  3. Once your buttons are enabled, colored hint labels will show up on the upper-left edge of the screen to tell you what the button does at any given time.
  4. Tell your coaching friends.

I can not guarantee that these buttons will be available in future versions of the app but I will make my best effort.  If at some point in some future version you discover that your favorite two buttons have been disabled, send me an email: swimtoolz@gmail.com. I may still be able to help you unlock this feature.

(And this might be the single best feature — not found in any other stopwatch in iTunes.  If you like it, please upgrade.  It’s only three bucks, and it’s forever.)

Thanks for using my app.

3 Responses to Enabling the Side Volume Buttons

  1. eric salmassian says:

    What do I need to do If you just want to start and stop. if your timing a 50 meter race the start side button will work but the stop side button will not. If you press the split side button then the stop side button will function. What is the work around for this.

    • swimtoolz says:

      Hi Eric,

      You are right. I apologize: I never noticed that bug. The workaround, until I can get that fixed would be to:

      1) hit start when the race starts
      2) sometime during the race, hit “split” and ignore that result.
      3) at the end of the race hit “stop” which is the same button as start.

      Sorry: Less than ideal but at least it is something.

      My intention was to allow simple “start” then “stop” (same button) to time a race without taking splits.

    • Mike says:

      Hi Eric,

      As a workaround, before starting the StopWatch application, make sure the iPhone sound is not at full volume. So, maybe press the “volume down” button a couple of times while the StopWatch app is not running.

      Please let me know if this solves your issue.


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