iPhone 101: Easy (and Free) iPhone Remote Shutter Release

iphone, earbuds, remote shutter release

Did you know that every iPhone and iPad sold comes with a remote shutter release for the camera? This is a basic iPhone photo tip, but if you haven’t seen it before it’s a great one.

Keep reading to find out what it is and how to use it.

There are several apps available which add iPhone remote shutter release capabilities to the iPhone, but they often require a second device to work. Apple has quietly had similar functionality for years built into the iOS.

You can use the volume up (or volume down) button on your Apple’s iPhone earbuds as a remote shutter release for Apple Camera on iPhone and iPad.

This easy tip gives you about an extra 2 1/2 feet to step away from the camera to step into the photo. This can mean the difference between a good-looking selfie or a great big arm extending out of the frame of your image.

It’s also a great way to eliminate shake and keep your iPhone’s camera steady when taking slow shutter or time lapse photography.

This tip works for iPad as well and with any camera app that uses Volume Shutter, including Camera+, Camera Awesome, Hipstamatic, and many others.

In previous versions of iOS, this tip has worked for me with some third-party earbuds. Of course, there needed to be volume controls on the buds. I haven’t tested this with the new iOS or any recent earbud models.

Traditional cameras of had remote shutter release for decades. This is a free and convenient way to have it on your iPhone.

Do you use Apple’s earbuds as a remote shutter release? Got any tips or uses I didn’t mention here? Share them in the comments below.


UPDATE 08.07.13: Deleted earbuds with iPads.

About Marty Yawnick 1826 Articles
Marty is a self-employed graphic designer in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. He is an avid Rangers baseball, Chicago Cubs, Packers and Highbury Arsenal fan. In addition to capturing random moments with whatever camera is close by (usually his iPhone), his other interests include coffee, film, music, and traveling in seats 5E and 5F with his fiancé.
  • Anonymous

    iPads are not sold with earbuds. At least, not in America. The boxes only include the iPad, the USB cable, and the USB power adapter.

  • michael

    I have an iphone 5 and this earbud trick does not work

  • Bryan

    Works a treat on my new iPad thank you . Bryan

  • twagn

    works great with my iPhone 5s. Saved me $20 as I was about to purchase a Bluetooth enabled device

  • Alex

    Awesome idea, just saved me $20.

  • Carol Shearman

    doesn’t work on the 6+ :/

    • I am surprised that Apple pulled that functionality on the 6. I’m sticking with my 5S until the 6s next year. Thanks for the heads up.

      • alan kastner

        Marty – I’m not sure what happened with Carol’s 6+, but can say from experience that it works fine on my iPhone 6, and also on a friend’s 6+. That is true of both the Apple earbuds and a third party headset I’ve shot with.

        As such, I’m quite confident the feature will continue to work on the 6S when it comes around. 😉

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