A more powerful and easier-to-use way to adjust iOS device settings
Control center is a little awkward in iOS 10, so the new version reverts to a one-page design, meaning you no longer have to swipe left or right just to reach the set of controls you need. Instead, controls are neatly grouped, and there are additional settings just a firm press away.
You might think Control Center looks a lot more cluttered when you first open it, but there’s a smart hierarchy to the way controls are laid out, and settings you’re less likely to want to alter are tucked away.
One of our favorite changes is that the redesigned interface dispenses with some of the clumsy, Mac-like controls. Notice in the screens here that the volume and screen brightness controls are no longer adjusted by dragging a small handle along a track. Instead, they’re shown as two vertical strips; you only have to place your finger on one of these and swipe up or down to adjust its value.
At first, it might appear that some important controls are missing. For example, the one that redirects your device’s audio to an AirPlay speaker or Apple TV, the switch that toggles Night Shift on or off, and the controls for your favorite HomeKit accessories and scenes. In reality, what’s changed is that Control Center now makes more extensive use of 3D Touch than it does in iOS 10. Pressing firmly on some controls, or on groups of them, you uncover more detailed settings such as those just mentioned.
3D Touch can also be applied to the group of connectivity icons at the top left, which initially shows four switches for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data. Pressing firmly on this group reveals AirDrop and Personal Hotspot, and status descriptions for all six items.
Beyond aesthetics and interactions, Control Center sports a huge practical improvement: there’s a bunch of extra controls you can choose to add, and you can remove the familiar alarm, flashlight, camera, or calculator controls if you don’t use them. The additional controls include shortcuts to Low Power Mode, Dynamic Text size, and the special Magnifier camera mode, which is an accessibility feature introduced in iOS 10.