Hands-On With iOS 11's Revamped, Customizable Control Center

In iOS 11, the Control Center has seen its third major overhaul in three years, and this time, it's received a drastic redesign with a single page spread and bubble-style icons.

Control Center functionality has also changed significantly, with new 3D Touch options and customizability that allows users to choose to add settings for the features they use most in iOS. Both the redesign and the new 3D Touch options are outlined below in our hands-on video.


Control Center has a love it or hate it look and the customization options may not go as far as some users would have liked, but there are several neat features hidden within that are an improvement over previous Control Center layouts.

For the first time, there's access to a one-tap Low Power Mode setting, and an Apple TV setting brings up a full Apple TV remote that doesn't require an app. There's also a new one-tap screen recording feature that takes a video of whatever you're doing on the iPhone or iPad, and there are an expanded range of settings that cover everything from Accessibility options to HomeKit, Notes, and Text Size. Users can choose just a few settings, or add every single one.

Networking settings, music controls, and options for brightness, volume, AirPlay, rotation lock, and Do Not Disturb are static and can't be hidden or rearranged, but the bottom rows of icons are customizable and can be edited in the Settings app.

Every Control Center setting that's not a simple on/off toggle has 3D Touch functionality. Some, like music, offer expanded options, while others, like brightness and volume, provide access to a larger icon for changing the setting. Still others, like the Apple TV option, offer up a full interface only accessible through 3D Touch (or a long press on devices without it).

On the iPad, Control Center has been baked into the App Switcher. Swiping up on the screen on the iPad now opens App Switcher instead of a full Control Center, with Control Center settings located at the right of the display.

Control Center is likely to see some design refinements over the course of the beta testing period. Right now, the iOS 11 beta is limited to developers, but Apple plans to release a public beta in late June.

We're going to have a full selection of videos covering all of the new features in iOS 11, so make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors.com.

Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
47 months ago
I'm so glad they finally did this. Some people might not like the look, but I think this opens up the possibility for it to become more modular going forward. Previously it didn't make sense that they didn't use more screen space for the controls as it dimmed the background anyway.

I still don't get why something like low power mode wouldn't be located in the settings toggles group at the top, but whatever. Hopefully in the future we can customize those toggles as well as the locations of everything. I imagine you could drag around elements in the settings app and they would snap into place.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
47 months ago
"Control center is likely to see some design refinements."

Good.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GuitarMan0121 Avatar
47 months ago

If your iPhone doesn't support 3D Touch, will a long press work in place of it?

Yes my SE uses long press. In fact, I don't really see the point of advertising 3D touch for CC when so many devices just use long press :rolleyes:

5s, 6, 6+, SE, and every iPad = long press

6s, 6s+, 7, 7+ = 3D touch
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
47 months ago

I don't get it, why couldn't they just have done all this on iOS 11? It seems like this is their fifth try at a CC (it's been there for almost 4 years now? maybe more?), and they still couldn't nail it perfectly. Just chipping lazily away at it piece by piece with each iteration...

But then what would they show in iOS 12? :D
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
robertcoogan Avatar
47 months ago
It's just so much clutter. And ugly to boot.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
subjonas Avatar
47 months ago

I'm so glad they finally did this. Some people might not like the look, but I think this opens up the possibility for it to become more modular going forward. Previously it didn't make sense that they didn't use more screen space for the controls as it dimmed the background anyway.

One advantage I'll be losing with the old CC is in the car I like to leave the Waze app open for navigation (iphone on mount) and overlay the CC music control page over it for audio control. Since the old CC doesn't cover the top of the screen, I can see the next direction in navigation. It was my workaround to have split screen navigation and audio controls on iphone. It would be more ideal of course if there was actually split screen for iphone. This would be my only use case though.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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