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Rewind Review: Great for Driving

With no psychic link to the iPhone, eyes-free music control will suffice

Most people are familiar with the idea of hands-free control, but eyes-free is a less common concept. In the context of playing music on your iPhone, though, eyes-free can be useful. For example, you can change tracks while driving but without taking your eyes off of the road, or when training in the gym and not breaking stride by messing about with fiddly virtual buttons.

Rewind enables you to take control of your iPhone’s music library in this manner, turning your device’s entire display into a gestural interface. You can start playing tracks in Rewind itself, or it’ll take over from whatever’s started in Music. You then tap to play/ pause, swipe from the left or right to go to the previous or next tracks, and tap-and-hold then slide vertically to change the volume. Swiping from top and bottom, respectively, loads screens for exploring your library and toggling additional settings. The settings enable you to fine-tune auto-lock, disable ‘prevent accidental taps’ (recommended, because otherwise the play/pause toggle requires more of a press than a tap), and upgrade to the premium version of the app, which removes the ads from the bottom of the screen.

During testing, Rewind performed well, and was flawless as far as track changes went. The vertical gestures clash a little with Notification Center and Control Center, but they’re fine when starting a swipe further into the screen; anyway, these are gestures for functions you shouldn’t be exploring while otherwise occupied.

From a visual standpoint, the app also impresses, fitting in nicely with iOS 7’s minimal design language, and there’s a very smart night mode. Still, there were some odd bugs and annoyances: the top toolbar when exploring tracks appears too high when ads are running; the duration timer is fine but one surrounds it that loops every 30 seconds, and is a distraction; and track artwork – invariably rectangular – is cropped by circular ‘portholes’.

Value for money?

Our only other niggle with Rewind is in terms of how it compares with the fairly similar but clearly aging FluxTunes. That app (which costs $0.99/69p) looks ugly but provides a much wider range of controls, each of which can be configured. By contrast, Rewind is a much more basic affair, and doesn’t enable you to easily toggle shuffle or switch playlists on the move. If you’re a FluxTunes user, chances are Rewind won’t tempt you, pretty though it is; but if you’re a newcomer to eyes-free and have modest demands, Rewind’s a recommended download.

Price: Free

Size: 3.5 MB

Version: 1.0

Platform: iOS Universal

Developer: Codeline

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