Brian Ellin ☕️
Mar 22, 2015 · 2 min read

Apple, I have one small feature request.

I wouldn’t normally write about something small like this publicly, but it’s been driving me nuts for years and is the one thing that consistently makes me feel like I’m using my iPhone wrong.

It’s the volume change feedback when video is playing. You know what I mean:

That’s a video of my nephew saying his first words. A magical moment shared instantly across the country, phone to phone, needlessly flubbed and visually obscured by this UI.

For me, there’s only two scenarios in which I change the volume on my iPhone: 1) when I’m listening to music or a podcast, and 2) when I’m watching a video.

When listening to music, I almost always have my headphones in and can hear any change in volume. The screen is rarely the focus of my attention in this case, so the feedback doesn’t get in the way.

When watching a video, however, the screen is always the focus of my attention, I’m rarely wearing headphones, and generally need to change the volume to make sure it’s not too soft or loud for my surroundings.

You know what happens next — That volume feedback UI pops up to obscure the screen at what, for me, is usually the most interesting part of the video.

I can hear my nephew’s first words, but not see them. Rewind and repeat, every single time.