With iOS 11, Control Center has morphed from a place to get easy access to system controls into something that is much more useful. You can now get quick access to system apps, change audio settings, and even begin a screen recording session.
Here are our top tips for making the most out of Control Center in iOS 11. These tips apply to iOS 11 specifically, so if you haven't upgraded yet be sure to do so in order to gain these great new features on your iOS devices.
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How to access Control Center
On iOS devices (specifically, iPads and most iPhones), you can quickly and easily access Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. On an iPhone X, due to the Home Bar, you access Control Center by swiping down from the top right portion of the screen. Swiping down from the top left portion of the screen will reveal the Notification Center.
If this is your first time using Control Center, you'll be greeted with the default controls on the screen that allow you to do things like adjust the device volume, screen brightness, and more. We'll show you how to customize this view and access some of the new iOS 11 features in Control Center.
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Using Force Touch or tapping and holding
New in iOS 11's Control Center is the ability to Force Touch on controls—or tap and hold if you're on a device that doesn't support Force Touch—to get additional information/options. For example, follow these steps when music is playing on your device.
- Open Control Center.
- Tap and hold or Force Touch on the Now Playing control (Figure A).
When you Force Touch on many of the controls in Control Center, you get additional details and/or options. For the Now Playing control, you'll get the ability to scrub the currently playing track, see album artwork, and change the output of your iOS device to a Bluetooth device, AirPods, or an AirPlay device.
Here are descriptions of what some of the useful widgets do when you Force Touch or tap and hold them.
- System control: Shows toggle for Airplane Mode, Cellular Radio, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; tapping and holding shows AirDrop and Personal Hotspot settings and additional information about the Wi-Fi network.
- Screen Brightness control: Tapping and holding gives access to toggle Night Shift and True Tone.
- Camera: Options for Take Selfie, Record Video, Record Slow-mo, and Take Photo.
- Flashlight control: Controls the flashlight's brightness; there are four brightness levels.
Adding, removing, and rearranging controls
You can easily add and remove items from the Control Center by opening Control Center Settings.
- Open the Settings app.
- Navigate to Control Center | Customize Controls (Figure B).
In this list, tap the "+" button to add items to Control Center, or tap the "-" button to remove items that are currently displayed. Note: Some items cannot be removed, such as the system, volume, brightness, and now playing controls.
In this list, you can also rearrange the order in which the controls appear in Control Center. To do this, drag and drop the items in the list to your desired order.
Using Screen Recording
One of the biggest new features in Control Center is the ability to record your iOS device's screen and have the video saved to your photo library. Learn more about this screen recording functionality by reading our how-to article on the subject.
SEE: iOS 11 power user tips and tricks (ZDNet)
Controlling Apple TV
In iOS 11, you have the ability to control your Apple TVs using Control Center. This will come in handy when you're using the office Apple TV for AirPlay presentations and no one can find the remote.
To use this feature, you need to enable the Control Center control.
- Open Settings.
- Navigate to Control Center | Customize Controls.
- Click the "+" beside Apple TV Remote if it's not already enabled.
With this option enabled, open Control Center and tap the Apple TV icon—this will open the remote control interface for Apple TV. Tap at the top of the control to change which Apple TV on your network you're controlling. Drag your finger around on the trackpad area just as if you were using a virtual Apple TV remote on screen. There are dedicated buttons on the virtual remote for Play/Pause, Menu, Home Screen, and Siri.
If you're using this Apple TV remote control feature in Control Center, you can delete the Apple TV Remote app from your device if you no longer need it for gaming controls or any of the other features it provides.
- Apple iOS 11: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- New iOS 11 feature automatically deletes unused apps to free up storage on your iPhone (TechRepublic)
- How to use drag and drop in iOS 11: Three tips for improving your workflow (TechRepublic)
- Three iOS 11 iPad features business users are overlooking (TechRepublic)
- 22 hidden features in iOS 11 (CNET)
Cory Bohon is an indie developer, creating both iOS and OS X applications at Cocoa App (his own company), MartianCraft, and for various other clients. As a part of full disclosure, he does not write about any software that he has created or has helped to create through these outlets.
Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite technology part-time since 2007. He runs a development blog named ObjDev when he isn’t writing about consumer tech.