Flipping Through iPhone Photos While Listening to Music

Yesterday, I noticed something unexpected when I combined the following two very common user actions on an iPhone:

1. Listening to music
2. Swiping through photos

Eventually, I landed on a video and to my surprise, the music stopped playing.

At first, I was very confused. Had I played the last song in a playlist and had that song concluded? I navigated to the song and saw that was not the case. Then I came back to the video and thought some more and decided that this behavior is by design due to the OS preparing to play the video. And since it is preparing to show the video above, the music I’m listening to needs to be stopped.

But herein lies the problem. I hadn’t even clicked play yet. I may not even want to watch this video and may want to continue browsing through all of my photos and videos listening to my music uninterrupted.

The better user experience is to allow the music to continue playing until the user explicitly clicks on the Play command.