Control Center is a new iOS 7 feature that lets users quickly access a flashlight, common settings and apps from any screen on the iPhone or iPad, even when the device is locked.
The Control Center feature is new for iOS 7 as an answer to complaints that turning on Do Not Disturb, Bluetooth and WiFi and controlling settings and music took too long on the iPhone and iPad.
With Control Center, Apple takes these settings toggles from three or four taps into Settings and puts them in a slide up control panel that users can access anytime the iPhone’s screen is on.
What is Control Center?
Control Center is a slide up menu that offers access to a number of iPhone or iPad controls or settings. It covers most of the basic iPhone controls that users will want to change during their day. It also provides access to what’s now playing and to four common iPhone and iPad apps.
Here’s what you can do in Control Center in iOS 7:
Turn the following settings on and off;
- Airplane mode
- Do Not Disturb
- Orientation Lock
You can also control brightness using a slider right below those toggles. There is no option to set brightness back to Auto from this screen.
Next up users can control the currently playing music including pausing, skipping tracks and interacting with iRadio in iOS 7. Below these controls is a volume slider to control how loud your music is.
Users can also toggle AirDrop settings with a tap and pick AIrPlay devices including Apple TV, Bluetooth or iPhone for the source of audio.
The final set of controls packed into Control Center is a set of four app shortcuts.
- Flashlight – a built-in flashlight iPhone app so you can get light from any screen, even when the iPhone is locked.
- Clock- Jump to timers, alarms and more.
- Calculator – Figure up your tip discreetly or just crunch numbers.
- Camera – open the camera with a tap.
All of these options are fit into a Control Center screen that takes up three-fourths of the screen in portrait and the whole screen in landscape mode on the iPhone. The iPad version is smaller and wider.
How to Use Control Center
Control Center should be on by default on iOS 7 including from the lock screen. To use it, simply swipe up from the bottom of any screen with one finger. The only time we’ve encountered trouble is when swiping up over a keyboard. Users can do this from the lock screen and from apps as well.
Tap on any of the items to toggle the status on or off, skip tracks, adjust brightness or pick a Bluetooth headset. All but the bottom row of apps will not close the Control Center.
To close the Control Center drag down from the top of the menu or just press the home button.
How to Customize Control Center?
Apple will let you customize the Control Center, but only when and where you can access it. At this time there is no way to choose different settings or Control Center apps.
To change Control Center options, go to Settings -> Control Center and access the toggles. Users may want to turn off Access on Lock Screen if they are worried about someone turning Airplane Mode on if the iPhone is stolen. Another option is to turn off Control Center access in apps. This is a good idea if Control Center is launching while you are playing games.