Inside iOS 11: Apple's Control Center grows modular, gets customizable

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2017
For the second year in a row, the iOS Control Center has seen a major overhaul, as the latest revisions in iOS 11 are even bigger than last time -- including the ability to add or remove shortcuts.




Editor's note: This article was originally published in June following the beta release of iOS 11. It has been updated and republished for the public launch of iOS 11.

Within a collection of 18 total additional controls, users can select which quick tasks they want in Control Center, and choose what order they are displayed in.

With all of the optional items removed, the new Control Center is simplified down to seven total items: wireless options, music controls, rotation lock, do not disturb, screen mirroring, brightness, and volume.

Optional items added or removed are presented in rows of small icons at the bottom of the display. Users can reorder them as they see fit, though the arrangement of the core seven Control Center items cannot be adjusted.




The new Control Center takes up the full display when invoked, unlike past versions which only took up the lower portion of the screen. This additional real estate allows for all controls to be presented, if the user so chooses, and negates the need to switch between panes as was offered in iOS 10.

Some Control Center items offer greater functionality when pressed firmly with 3D Touch. These capabilities are emulated on non-3D Touch devices, like the iPad, with a long press.




For example, the wireless controls option includes airplane mode, cellular data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the main view. Pressing firmly expands it to also display AirDrop and Personal Hotspot controls.

Music controls can also be expanded for scrubbing, the flashlight icon pops up for brightness options, and Apple TV and HomeKit buttons use 3D Touch for quick controls, without the need to launch an app.

Other options that can be expanded with 3D Touch are screen mirroring, brightness, volume, Wallet, screen recording, camera, calculator, accessibility shortcuts, alarm, notes, stopwatch, text size, timer, and Voice Memos.




Adding and removing items from Control Center is accomplished through the iOS Settings app, where "Control Center" can be selected from the main list. Items included in Control Center are displayed at the top, and tapping and dragging the three lines to the right of each allows users to easily reorder them.

Each included item features a red icon to the left that can be tapped to bring up a "Remove" option. Below, under "More Controls," additional items are presented with green icons to the left, and tapping one instantly adds it to the "Include" list.

If all 18 items are added to Control Center, viewing them all actually requires scrolling. As before, Control Center can be dismissed by swiping down from the top of the display.

The full list of optional Control Center additions that can be chosen by the user are:
  • Accessibility Shortcuts
  • Alarm
  • Apple TV Remote
  • Calculator
  • Camera
  • Do Not Disturb While Driving
  • Flashlight
  • Guided Access
  • Home
  • Low Power Mode
  • Magnifier
  • Notes
  • Screen recording
  • Stopwatch
  • Text Size
  • Timer
  • Voice Memos
  • Wallet
For more, see AppleInsider's ongoing "Inside iOS 11" series.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Looks like Android is going to yet again have a run for there money. The ability to customize yet stay secure. Hmmmm seems a no brainer to me
    peterhartSolirepressthisJinTechStrangeDayswatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 2 of 17
    jeffarazzijeffarazzi Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Why can't they add an add-on to take you directly into the settings control panel? 
    laytechclexmandacloo123
  • Reply 3 of 17
    irelandireland Posts: 17,568member
    I like the new button-style design.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 17
    wlymwlym Posts: 82member
    Why can't they add an add-on to take you directly into the settings control panel? 
    That's for iOS 12.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,049member
    Ugly. 
  • Reply 6 of 17
    laytechlaytech Posts: 136member
    What about wifi networks, does it allow you to be able to switch between wifi networks easily, rather than having to go into settings every time? This is something i have been waiting for, often my iPhone connects to my 2GHZ wifi network but works better of the 5 GHZ, so I am constantly having to swap wifi networks, which would be made much easier if I could simply press and hold wifi in the control centre and view other wifi networks to connect to.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 17
    clexmanclexman Posts: 148member
    Why can't they add an add-on to take you directly into the settings control panel? 
    laytech said:
    What about wifi networks, does it allow you to be able to switch between wifi networks easily, rather than having to go into settings every time? This is something i have been waiting for, often my iPhone connects to my 2GHZ wifi network but works better of the 5 GHZ, so I am constantly having to swap wifi networks, which would be made much easier if I could simply press and hold wifi in the control centre and view other wifi networks to connect to.
    I just want to join a wifi network from the control center. We can't be the only ones that want a shortcut to the wifi settings.
    dacloo123
  • Reply 8 of 17
    michasammichasam Posts: 5member
    laytech said:
    What about wifi networks, does it allow you to be able to switch between wifi networks easily, rather than having to go into settings every time? This is something i have been waiting for, often my iPhone connects to my 2GHZ wifi network but works better of the 5 GHZ, so I am constantly having to swap wifi networks, which would be made much easier if I could simply press and hold wifi in the control centre and view other wifi networks to connect to.

    Why don't you delete on the iPhone the PW for the 2Ghz WiFi?
    watto_cobraalexmac
  • Reply 9 of 17
    The design is horrible but the usability of the individual control center buttons is much, much better.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,748member
    dysamoria said:
    Ugly. 
    I think it's beautiful and useful. This is the best setup they've ever offered. It even allows for 3D Touch to be discovered in a more natural way, as 3D Touch to get to more controls and finer control feels obvious with this design.
    alexmacpatchythepirate
  • Reply 11 of 17
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,000member
    dysamoria said:
    Ugly. 
    Define ugly.

    ireland said:
    I like the new button-style design.
    Me too, very minimalist - uniformly colour - not distracting (I am looking at you Windows 10).

    dacloo123 said:
    The design is horrible but the usability of the individual control center buttons is much, much better.
    I think the design is elegant, simple and effective. If they were colourful, multiple disproportionately size, complicated icons, anything with shades or bezel, too small or too big, then I would agree with you they re horrible. This is the opposite.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    frost_0nefrost_0ne Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    laytech said:
    What about wifi networks, does it allow you to be able to switch between wifi networks easily, rather than having to go into settings every time? This is something i have been waiting for, often my iPhone connects to my 2GHZ wifi network but works better of the 5 GHZ, so I am constantly having to swap wifi networks, which would be made much easier if I could simply press and hold wifi in the control centre and view other wifi networks to connect to.
    I'm in the same position, my 5GHz network it twice as good as the old 2GHz network. I've found that it will only connect to the 5 if I go into wifi settings and "forget" the 2GHz network. Boom. Phone only connects to faster network now. 
  • Reply 13 of 17
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,989member
    I think that center image filled with nothing but light grey, barely differentiated icons will be utterly bewildering to most users. There is almost no way older people will find a screen like that usable or helpful. At minimum the icons should be broken into smaller clusters, but each icon should ideally have at least one word of text describing what it does.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    A bit off topic: But AppleInsider, could you maybe make an article with the best/most attractive/interesting getting started on AR? The App Store is not helpful in this respect, and if I try to get the AR tape measure, I get tons of old tape measures. I’d really like to test this out.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    BluntBlunt Posts: 223member
    Great design. Nice icons. Very usable. People calling this ugly don't know shit.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 16 of 17
    I LOVE the new control panel. I'm loving iOS 11 in general so far. My only gripe.. I wish there were more options when you get into Homekit controls, seems like you should be able to at least fill the screen with favorite devices and scenes if you want, and without having to toggle back and forth between them.
    Soli
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