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iOS 7 feature focus: Getting a hold on Apple's Control & Notification centers

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
The addition of Control Center to Apple's iOS platform opens up new possibilities with regard to ease of operation on iPhones, iPods, and iPads, but it also makes it more necessary for iOS users to better understand the security implications that accompany that increased accessibility.



In brief



Control Center gives iOS users system-wide access to a number of functions in a manner that is unprecedented on Apple's mobile platform. With a simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen, users can control AirDrop file sharing settings, screen brightness, the camera, the Clock app, system volume, and music playback. Control Center can also enable and disable Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and system mute.



Missing from Control Center is the option to go directly into the full Settings menu, but the feature does give access to a number of the most frequently-accessed controls. Still, users cannot, for instance, toggle Personal Hotspot mode or enter specific Wi-Fi or Bluetooth settings from within Control Center.

Raising the Control Center overlay will also automatically pause any video app that is currently playing.

Gaining control



Control Center settings are accessible through the Settings app on an iOS device. On both the iPhone and the iPad, the settings menu for Control Center is in the second group of options, just under its counterpart, the Notification Center menu. Apple's settings for Control Center present the user with two options: the ability to toggle Access on Lock Screen and the ability to do the same for Control Center Access Within Apps.



The former Control Center setting may seem minor, but it has security implications. While the feature is useful, it actually represents a minor security hole in iOS. With some quick finger work, an unwanted party can bypass a user's passcode protected lock screen to get access to Mail, Photos, and Twitter apps, as well as possibly a few others.

Update: The lockscreen passcode bug introduced in iOS 7 was quickly fixed with Apple's release of iOS 7.0.1.

The "vulnerability" did not give full access to the device, though it did open up the possibility of unwanted emails and tweets being sent, and it does potentially expose a user's pictures to prying eyes. Turning off access to Control Center from the lock screen, though, easily negated the vulnerability.

Exerting control



While it won't launch into expanded settings options, Control Center does at least allow users to access more control of apps involving music playback. This is accomplished by double-tapping on the title of the track currently playing or paused. While it sounds simple, this is a bit more difficult than it appears, as the song information text appears to be the only hotspot to launch into a music app and that text is rather small. In our trials, two or three taps in the general vicinity of the song text was usually sufficient to open wider music controls. This functionality launches not only into the native Music app, but also apps like Spotify and others that play music independently of the native app.



Secure control



As aforesaid, Control Center raises potential security issues, as it grants a degree of access to a device without having to know a passcode or have use the owner's fingerprint. Unless the option is disabled, Control Center can be accessed on the lock screen, but it gives access only to the aforementioned settings and features. At worst, a thief could activate Airplane Mode using Control Center, shutting down the device's wireless connectivity and preventing a user from locating or erasing it via Find My iPhone.

Notification Center



The counterpart to iOS 7's pull-up menu is Notification Center, the platform's pull-down menu. Notification Center has seen a significant visual redesign to bring it into alignment with Apple's iOS 7 aesthetic, but its functionality is largely the same: it serves as a central repository for system and app notifications.



Notification Center categorizes updates by Today, All, Reminders, and Missed, self-explanatory groupings that make it easy to find what one wants to find. A user navigates between the options by swiping left or right. Dismissing notifications is as easy as tapping on the 'x' button displayed next to each notification.

Users have more control over Notification Center's functionality than they do with Control Center. The Notification Center settings menu not only toggles access from the lock screen, but it toggles what Notifications will display for the user.



Users can control whether Notification Center will display any or all of the Today, Calendar Day, Reminders, and Tomorrow summaries. They can also choose how those notifications are sorted, either manually or chronologically. Below those settings, users can control with specificity which apps can display notifications and what kind of notifications they can display.

In an individual app, a user can determine whether an app's notification will display as a banner, as an alert, or not at all. They can also tweak the badge app icon setting, potentially doing away with irksome red number badges on apps they don't typically interact with. Also alterable are the sound settings for an app's notifications, whether the app's alerts will appear in Notification Center, and whether notifications will show on the lock screen.

Note on accessibility



Apple has also changed the interface actions for Notification and Control Center if a user has enabled VoiceOver in the accessibility menu. With VoiceOver enabled, the device will not simply bring up Notification or Control Center with a simple swipe up or down from the bottom or top of the screen.

Instead, a user with VoiceOver enabled should hold a finger at the center of the top or bottom of the screen. The device will then play a sound similar to the pass-through gesture sound. At that point, the user can pull straight up or down to bring up the Notification or Control Center. In order for this feature to work, a finger should be roughly half-on and half-off the screen.

This is a change from iOS 6, when users were required to utilize a three-finger swipe to bring down the Notification Center from the top of the screen (Control Center is new to iOS 7). Some who rely on VoiceOver complained that the three-finger swipe was too difficult to accomplish when using the device with one hand, and so the new touch-and-hold method allows for users to access both Control Center and Notification Center without accidentally invoking the menus.
post #2 of 23

such a shame Apple doesn't allow the user to customise Control Center

post #3 of 23
BTW I see that iOS 7.0.2 has been released to address the lock screen by pass bug.

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post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post
 

such a shame Apple doesn't allow the user to customise Control Center

No, not really. CC is pretty d@mn good just as it is. Consistency also aids with customer support. You know, "support", as in what Android lacks.

post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post

such a shame Apple doesn't allow the user to customise Control Center


 



Agreed at least one or two user option buttons.

And... I like the flash light feature on the iphone control center!

Speaking of IOS 7 features, wonder why they got rid of swipe to delete in email?

Best feature(IMO, next to the flashlight) is the new multi task, swipe up to close, etc. Works great on iPad. Little more cumbersome on iphone(does not always center as I would expect) but lots better than iOS6 by a mile.

As for translucents etc... it nice, but typing this on my work Win7 IE8 and guess what... translucent window borders etc so not necessarily new(but new for mobile OS).

the 3d layer affect. Nice gimmick.

Color scheme of icons, you do get use to it! (never thought I would say that... at first it was 'eeewwww')

As others have opined - its amazing how all of sudden after using iOS7... iOS6 looks very old/stale.
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post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post
 

such a shame Apple doesn't allow the user to customise Control Center

No, not really. CC is pretty d@mn good just as it is. Consistency also aids with customer support. You know, "support", as in what Android lacks.

 

Functionality-wise I think it works, but appearance-wise pretty frugly. iOS 7 color scheme/translucency, in general, is just not my cup of tea.

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post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Speaking of IOS 7 features, wonder why they got rid of swipe to delete in email?
 

 

They didn't. It's now swiping a different direction I believe

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post

 

They didn't. It's now swiping a different direction I believe

 



Yes, I should have been more clear, swipt to right, now swipe to left.
In any case... once I figured it out, it works for me.
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post #9 of 23

Control Center is focused on systems relative to the direct physical operation of the phone (via virtual toggle switches) independent of applications.

 

The only thing missing would be related to power management.

 

What else would you need to add to Control Center (relative to its functional focus) that would require customization?

 

Sometimes less is more; and more is less.

 

In response to the article, alogical as it would seem to access Settings from within Control Center, to do so from the Lock Screen would present a Major Security Hole.

 

Apple was wise to not enable the user to access Settings from within Control Center.

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post
 

such a shame Apple doesn't allow the user to customise Control Center

 

Control Center is focused on systems relative to the direct physical operation of the phone (via virtual toggle switches) independent of applications.

 

The only thing missing would be related to power management.

 

What else would you need to add to Control Center (relative to its functional focus) that would require customization?

 

Sometimes less is more; and more is less.

 

In response to the article, as logical as it would seem to access Settings from within Control Center, to do so from the Lock Screen would present a Major Security Hole.

 

Apple was wise to not enable the user to access Settings from within Control Center.

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Yes, I should have been more clear, swipt to right, now swipe to left.
In any case... once I figured it out, it works for me.

 

It used to swipe in both directions, now it just swipes in one direction. Apparently those of us who noticed the difference were "swiping it wrong" before. ;)

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by arlomedia View Post
 

 

It used to swipe in both directions, now it just swipes in one direction. Apparently those of us who noticed the difference were "swiping it wrong" before. ;)

 

I don't think that we were swiping it wrong but they added the navigation feature through the menus where if you swipe to the right it goes back one level (to the inbox, back in Safari, or parent menu in settings)

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by InteliusQ View Post
 

What else would you need to add to Control Center (relative to its functional focus) that would require customization?

 

I have no need to gain quick access to Airplane mode so it would be great if I could swap it with 3G - something I tend to turn on/off frequently during the day.

 

I usually turn it off as it is a battery drain and only have it on when I don't have access to WiFi.

 

Other than this - I think Control Centre is awesome!! :)

post #14 of 23
Personal Hotspot would be a great addition to control centre
post #15 of 23

I like Control Center, but WHY is Airplane Mode on Control Center and cannot be removed from it?!  Turning Airplane Mode on disables Find My iPhone.

post #16 of 23

One issue I have with swiping to delete is in Messages.  I normally selectively delete a lot of messages but opt to keep important entrys, photos, etc. by using the "edit" function.  Now it seems that this is no longer possible??  Left swipe only gives a peek at the time stamp.

 

Update, actually I just stumbled on it, double tap an entry and select "More", then you can tag and delete selected entries as before..

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmon View Post
 

I like Control Center, but WHY is Airplane Mode on Control Center and cannot be removed from it?!  Turning Airplane Mode on disables Find My iPhone.

That is a real issue, hmmm!  I guess it should be that Control Center access should be disabled in lock screen for now.

post #18 of 23
Is anyone having trouble with next destination? It worked perfectly in beta but, now I have nothing. I have the settings turned on and the privacy setting under location services all turned on. Even in the frequent locations settings, it shows all the places I go. Still, nothing pops up in the today view. Any ideas on how to fix this?
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmon View Post
 

I like Control Center, but WHY is Airplane Mode on Control Center and cannot be removed from it?!  Turning Airplane Mode on disables Find My iPhone.

 

It doesn't disable activation lock, though. They need your iCloud password to wipe the phone, and your iCloud password to restore the phone. Both require internet connection, which would turn Find My iPhone back on.

 

Will deter most thieves. 

 

But yes, Airplane mode should probably be disabled from Control Center when the phone is locked, or require a password.

post #20 of 23
Quote:
As others have opined - its amazing how all of sudden after using iOS7... iOS6 looks very old/stale.

It really is isn't it? I really like it. It's fresh, clean and seems snappier! :)

 

I really like the "frosted glass" look. I hope to see it in OSX, too.

post #21 of 23
I like CC as it is.. .just feel I may as well put out my opinion too..
post #22 of 23

I think its a great addition. The flashlight is great there. I wish buttons like wifi also had a shortcut to the full settings page instead of just on/off.

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by InteliusQ View Post
 

 

Control Center is focused on systems relative to the direct physical operation of the phone (via virtual toggle switches) independent of applications.

 

The only thing missing would be related to power management.

 

What else would you need to add to Control Center (relative to its functional focus) that would require customization?

 

Sometimes less is more; and more is less.

 

In response to the article, as logical as it would seem to access Settings from within Control Center, to do so from the Lock Screen would present a Major Security Hole.

 

Apple was wise to not enable the user to access Settings from within Control Center.

 

I have the misfortune to use Vodafone in the UK which has an appalling 3G network, most of the time I have to turn it off to save battery and avoid phone calls being dropped however when I need data I toggle it on.

 

I also use VPN quite often so would like that to be in control center rather than 3 menus deep.

 

I don't use calculator that often, I'd rather have weather.

 

Unlike others who have commented, I use airplane mode every day so I wouldn't want that to go away.

 

The point is everyone is different and a few customisations can go a long way to improve the usability of the product.

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