Apple Guide Podcast

Apple Guide Podcast

Discovering Control Center’s Hidden Secrets

August 06, 2021

Since iOS 7, you could open Control Center and quickly access important device settings. Since then, Control Center had evolved, adding quick access to more device features, keeping you from having to close the app you're in and search through Settings. Here's a guide to everything you can do with Control Center on your iPhone and iPad and how to customize it to make it work for you.

Most importantly, how do you access Control Center? Well, if you have an iPhone with a home button, swipe up from the bottom of your screen. If you don't have a home button or have an iPad, swipe down from the top right of your screen. Once in Control Center, you have a whole host of controls.

First, let's look at the network controls, which is the first box to the left. In the outer section, you can toggle Airplane Mode, Cellular Data, WiFi, and Bluetooth. On devices that don't have cellular service, like your iPad or iPod Touch, you will see AirDrop instead of cellular data. One thing to note, tapping on the WiFi or Bluetooth in Control Center will not turn those services off. Instead, the WiFi toggle will temporarily disconnect you from your current WiFi network, and the Bluetooth button will temporarily unpair you from all of your Bluetooth devices. Any temporarily disconnected services will have a white background, enabled services will have a blue background, and disabled services will have a black background.

When you long-press on that box, you will get an expanded list of options, including AirDrop and Personal Hotspot. Behind every button, here are more options. If you long-press on AirDrop, you can limit who can AirDrop things to you, whether only people in your contacts, everyone, or turn the service off. Long-pressing on WiFi will list all of the WiFi networks in your area that you can connect to, and If you're looking for advanced WiFi settings, you can tap the Wi-Fi Settings button, which will take you to the WIFI section in Settings. The same kind of thing happens when you long-press on Bluetooth, you get a list of Bluetooth devices. Then, if you need to add a new device, you can tap the Bluetooth settings button to quickly jump into the Bluetooth section in settings.

Moving on to the next square, you find your audio controls. Here, you can control the playback of videos, podcasts, music, and any other multimedia content. On the surface of the audio controls, you can see the title, the name of the content creator, and a thumbnail of the album artwork. You also get limited audio controls in the form of play/pause and skip buttons. In the top corner is the AirPlay controls, but more on that later. 

Long pressing on the playback controls gives you more options. The album artwork is front and center and links you to the app the content is playing from. Under the artwork is the title and name of the content creator. Below that is the scrubber, where you can skim between different points in the track. You can also play/pause, skip, and control the volume. In some cases, like playing music from a radio station, you will see different playback controls, such as a like button. 

Now, let's reverse a bit and take a look at AirPlay. When you click on the AirPlay button, you're shown a list of AirPlay-compatible TVs and speakers along with paired Bluetooth speakers and headphones, including with your Beats and AirPods. Clicking on one of these devices will send your content to that device, but you will still have full playback controls from your iPhone or iPad. Some devices may even have extra features. For instance, some battery-powered headphones and speakers may show you their current battery percentage. Or, Apple-made headphones,