Imagine having instant access to the most frequently used features of your iPhone. Then imagine being able to use those shortcuts from anywhere on your phone — from any app or screen, even if you haven’t yet entered your passcode. How handy would it be to have that kind of control of your iPhone?
The update to iOS 7 last fall brought many changes to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch so that even if you didn’t get a new device, you can still enjoy many new features including Control Center. 30 Top iOS 7 Tips and Tricks! explains how you can make the most of these features to make you feel as if you got a new device, even if you didn’t.
If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 7, be sure to become familiar with Control Center for easy access to lots of features for your device. You can save precious time and plenty of frustration by using Control Center to control your phone.
What Is Control Center?
Control Center is a translucent panel you can swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 7. Control Center gives you instant access to shortcuts for your most important controls from any screen on your iDevice. Instead of opening your phone and hunting for the control you want, you can swipe up from the bottom of your screen to access Control Center. You can open Control Center even if you’re in an app already, on the phone, or haven’t yet entered the passcode to unlock your device.
You can be doing almost anything on your device and access Control Center with minimal interruption to the task at hand. Just swipe up from the bottom of your screen and Control Center will appear.
How to Use Control Center
You can use Control Center by swiping up with any finger from the very bottom of your screen. When you swipe up, Control Center will appear as an overlay on top of the screen you were viewing.
To exit Control Center, either swipe down, press the Home button, or touch the screen above Control Center.
Control Center Settings
You don’t have to allow access to Control Center from anywhere. If you would prefer not to be able to access Control Center from your Lock Screen or within apps, you can restrict access to it.
From Settings you can restrict or allow access to Control Center on your Lock Screen or from within apps. To control access to Control Center, go to:
Settings => Control Center
You can toggle on or off:
- Access on Lock Screen
- Access within Apps
What You Can Control with Control Center
Using Control Center you can access certain apps, features and controls so you don’t have to dig through your apps or Settings to get to what you need. Save time and frustration by having Control Center easily accessible no matter what you’re doing on your phone.
Control Center gives you shortcuts to these features:
No need to fumble with your iPhone or iPod Touch in the dark to find your flashlight app. Swipe from the bottom of the screen, press the Flashlight icon in Control Center and the flash from your camera will illuminate your surroundings.
If you have a separate flashlight app for your iPhone now may be the time to delete it. Chances are pretty high that you’ll never need it again!
→ Note that because the iPad does not have a flash for its camera, there’s no flashlight icon in Control Center for the iPad.
Press the timer icon to set the timer, set an alarm, start the stopwatch or use the world clock. You can set the timer to sound an alarm or use it to turn off your music if you want to fall asleep to your tunes.
Access the calculator quickly by pressing the calculator icon in Control Center on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
→ Note that because the iPad does not have a native calculator app, there’s no calculator icon in Control Center for the iPad.
Open your camera app quickly from anywhere by pressing the camera icon in Control Center.
→ Note that you can also access the camera quickly without unlocking your phone by swiping up on the camera icon on your Lock Screen.
Send and receive photos, videos, apps, web pages and more to other iOS 7 users around you using AirDrop. AirDrop works with iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5 and later iOS devices that have been updated to iOS 7.
You can access AirDrop in Control Center and make yourself visible to no one, your contacts or everyone. To save battery life, choose Off until you need to use AirDrop.
Send your photos, music and videos to an AppleTV using AirPlay. You can also mirror what’s on your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch screen to your TV using AirPlay and an AppleTV.
Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to reveal Control Center and press AirPlay.
You can control the brightness of your screen in Control Center. Slide the brightness meter to adjust the brightness of the screen. Remember that the brighter the screen, the more battery power you’re using.
Access your sound controls from Control Center. You can adjust the volume to be louder or softer, and play/pause, fast forward and rewind with music controls. You can see what song or other audio file is playing and the elapsed time as well.
Swipe up and press the airplane icon to enable or disable Airplane Mode. No need to open the Settings app to control Airplane Mode (though you still can use Settings to control Airplane Mode if you really want to!).
To conserve battery power, or disconnect from Wi-Fi for another reason, you can turn off Wi-Fi from Control Center. You can turn it back on from there too.
Press the Bluetooth icon in Control Center to turn Bluetooth on and off.
Do Not Disturb
To silence your phone and turn off sound notifications and alerts, turn on Do Not Disturb by pressing the moon icon in Control Center.
To lock the screen into portrait or landscape mode, press the lock rotation icon in Control Center. Press it again to unlock it.
Have you been using Control Center? Did you know Control Center existed? What controls have you been using most? Is there a feature you wish were included in Control Center? Let us know in the Comments section below!