How To: iOS 11 Got an Awesome New Control Center — Here's How to Use & Customize It on Your iPhone

iOS 11 Got an Awesome New Control Center — Here's How to Use & Customize It on Your iPhone

Among the most exciting iOS 11 features for iPhone is the fully revamped Control Center. Not only look visually better, not to mention it's only one page now, but it gives us something that only Android users and jailbreakers could get before — a way to customize what controls actually appear in the swipe-up menu.

Since its introduction in iOS 7, the Control Center has remained a drab staple on the iPad, iPhone, and iPad touch. The only way to fully customize it was through tweaks that were only available if you were lucky enough to catch a stable jailbreak.

In iOS 11, Apple has finally given us a little of what we wanted, with a customizable Control Center by default. It's a welcome addition that's long overdue. Better late than never, and it might even be enough to dissuade many towards the risky proposition of jailbreaking their devices, thus keeping the iOS ecosystem more secure as a whole.

What's Different in iOS 11's Control Center

The Control Center on iOS is markedly different from the other versions that came before. The first thing that catches the eye is its overall dark theme and more compartmentalized layout. The second thing you'll notice is that it's only one page, which is way less clunky than the two-page Control Center that came before it. That means the Music player is now a tile you can long press or 3D Touch on to expand, versus being on a separate page.

And for the first time, you are now presented with many more custom tiles that let you toggle, adjust, and access a variety of applications that were absent in previous iOS versions. The most notable standard additions are the Volume, Cellular Data, and Personal Hotspot, which can now be switched on and off on the fly.

As you can see below, the new Control Center in iOS 11 (middle) looks way better overall than the iOS 10 version (left). Doing a long press or 3D Touch on the upper-left box opens it up to more tiles that you can toggle on and off (right). And yes, you heard that right ... long pressing actually works now for non-3D Touch devices.

And it doesn't end there! In iOS 11, users are now able to add more tiles to the bottom of the Control Center to tailor their device to their needs as never before, so let's go over that next.

Customizing Your Control Center

It's incredibly easy to add shortcut tiles (or quick setting tiles, to steal from Android) into your iPhone's Control Center in iOS 11. Simply head over to the Settings page and choose Control Center. From there, you can freely choose which tiles you'd like to add in, then just exit once you're done.

There are some options you can't remove or reorganize, though, including Airplane Mode, Cellular Data, Personal Hotspot, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AirDrop, AirPlay, Volume, Do Not Disturb, Rotation Lock, and the Music player.

The ones you can add/reorganize includes Screen Recording, Alarm, Do Not Disturb While Driving, Notes, Accessibility Shortcuts, Apple TV Remote, Guided Access, Low Power Mode, Magnifier, Stopwatch, Text Size, Voice Memos, and Wallet. Hopefully, this list grows to third-party apps one day.

Further Refinements

As briefly mentioned before, quick actions are not limited to just 3D Touch-enabled devices. For instance, doing a long press on the Flashlight tile paves the way for an adjustment bar that in turn lets you fine tune its brightness. If you have an iPhone 6S or higher, you can use 3D Touch instead to perform this action.

A hard tap or 3D Touch on other icons like the Timer and Camera gives you more quick options that you can choose from, such as adjusting the time limit and quickly starting the timer with a tap of a button, or choosing a specific function for the camera to perform and save you from the hassle of scrolling through modes within the app itself. And there's more too, so go ahead and explore. We won't ruin all the fun for you!

The Control Center on iOS 11 shows a great deal of promise, and will likely improve as the software matures. And as great as this feature is, it's just the tip of the iceberg as we delve deeper into the latest and greatest iOS yet, so stay tuned as we find more juicy tidbits. What other tweaks do you wish for Apple to tack on as they further refine the Control Center? As always, feel free to post in the comment section below and share your thoughts.

Cover image and screenshots by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

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