Apple Community Envisions Better Ways to Activate Control Center on iPhone X

One of the biggest software changes on Apple's new iPhone X is the location of Control Center, the useful user interface that provides you with quick access to music playback controls, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles, the flashlight, calculator, and much more thanks to iOS 11's customizable layout. On pre-iPhone X devices, the Control Center is awoken by swiping up from the bottom edge of the device. Because that action is now the default "go home" gesture on iPhone X, Apple has moved Control Center to the top right edge of the smartphone.

This location change has removed the simplicity and ease-of-access to Control Center for many iPhone X users -- particularly those who are left handed -- who have been posting about the iPhone X-specific issue in the MacRumors forums, Twitter, and on Reddit. Some of these users have also provided interesting alternative locations and invoking gestures that Apple could potentially implement in future iOS updates, but it should be reiterated that these are simply community ideas and not in any way an indication that we'll see them added to the iPhone X.

How to activate Control Center on iPhone X

Reddit has been the source of multiple ideas for new Control Center gestures on the iPhone X, with a few that replace existing gestures (so you'd have to choose between two options in Settings) and some that are new. One user theorized that the iPhone X's new Reachability gesture (swiping down on the Home indicator, which must be activated in Settings) could have an alternate option for invoking Control Center.

Further threads provided variations on this idea: 3D Touch on the Home indicator for Reachability and pulling down on the indicator for Control Center, or keeping Reachability as it is and using 3D Touch on the Home indicator for Control Center. The 3D Touch solution has been put forward by multiple people over the last few days and appears to be a favorite, particularly because Reachability's new swipe-down gesture on the Home indicator can be difficult to execute and could potentially be an even more frustrating location for Control Center.

Other ideas have been shared on the MacRumors forums, including one that could be an additional option for the swipe-down gesture that enacts Search anywhere on the Home Screen, but that would make Control Center impossible to call up within apps. iOS developer Guilherme Rambo posted his own idea on Twitter this week, suggesting that a 3D Touch edge swipe could house Control Center. Currently, this is used as an app switching gesture, which Apple at first removed from iOS 11 and then brought back in a later update, so it's another idea where you'd have to pick one setting over another.


While Rambo's idea appears to be focused on Control Center replacing an app switcher gesture, a few users have also had ideas where Control Center is added into the app switcher. In these, you'd swipe up and hold to access other apps as normal, and Control Center would potentially be the first app you see instead of the last-used app. Or, Apple could place it on the right side of the app switcher, as one Redditor posited. Another mockup by Twitter user @jwangARK placed buttons under the app switcher for easy access to both Notifications and Control Center.

Another iOS developer, Riley Testut, theorized a simple solution that would place Control Center at the bottom right edge of the iPhone X display instead of the top right edge, while swiping up from the center would still go Home. A few iPhone X users have also pointed towards Assistive Touch in Accessibility as a workaround for easier Control Center activation, but that comes with a permanent, virtual Home Button on your iPhone screen, which will be a hard trade-off for some iPhone X owners.

With the iPhone X out in the wild for one full week as of today, November 10, the location of Control Center is one of a few gripes that early adopters have had with Apple's newest smartphone. Another notable point of contention focused on the iPhone X keyboard's "wasted space", with users presenting a few potential solutions to that as well, including placing recently used emoji or punctuation in the empty field below the space bar.

Make sure to check out our iPhone X Roundup for more details on the smartphone's new features.

Related Roundups: iOS 11, iPhone X
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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EFF Says iOS 11’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Toggles in Control Center Are Misleading and Compromise Security

Apple recently confirmed that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are not fully disabled when toggled off in Control Center on iOS 11, and the change has generated some fresh criticism from a prominent non-profit digital rights group.


For background, when Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are toggled off, an iPhone or iPad on iOS 11 merely disconnects from a Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth accessories. The actual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios in the device remain activated.

Moreover, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth automatically reenable at 5:00 a.m. local time each day, or if the device is restarted.

iOS 11 works this way so that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth continue to be available for AirDrop, AirPlay, Apple Pencil, Apple Watch, Location Services, and Continuity features like Handoff and Instant Hotspot.


As a result of the change, the Electronic Frontier Foundation believes that iOS 11 compromises users' security. In a critical article, the EFF said the toggles are "misleading" and "bad for user security."
When a phone is designed to behave in a way other than what the UI suggests, it results in both security and privacy problems. A user has no visual or textual clues to understand the device's behavior, which can result in a loss of trust in operating system designers to faithfully communicate what’s going on. Since users rely on the operating system as the bedrock for most security and privacy decisions, no matter what app or connected device they may be using, this trust is fundamental.
The EFF said the "loophole in connectivity" can potentially leave users open to new attacks, and it linked to a white paper that unveils apparent zero day vulnerabilities and security flaws in modern Bluetooth stacks.

The article added that, at a bare minimum, Apple should keep the Control Center toggles off until the user flips them back on, rather than overriding the user's choice at 5:00 a.m. local time the next morning.

Overall, the EFF's arguments are generally the same as those shared by iOS 11 users who are unhappy with the change. The toggles still behave the same in the iOS 11.1 beta, however, so there's no indication Apple will reverse course.

iOS 11 users can still completely disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for all networks and devices by toggling them off in the Settings app. A device can also be placed in Airplane Mode with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth disabled.

In a support document, Apple said users should try to keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on for the best experience on an iOS device.


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Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Aren’t Fully Disabled When Toggled Off in Control Center on iOS 11

Apple has confirmed that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are not fully disabled when toggled off in Control Center on iOS 11.


Even when toggled off in Control Center on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 11 and later, a new support document says Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will continue to be available for AirDrop, AirPlay, Apple Pencil, Apple Watch, Location Services, and Continuity features like Handoff and Instant Hotspot.

Toggling off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi in Control Center only disconnects accessories now, rather than disabling connectivity entirely.

If Bluetooth is turned off, the iOS device can't be connected to any Bluetooth accessories until one of these conditions is met:

  • You turn on Bluetooth in Control Center.
  • You connect to a Bluetooth accessory in Settings > Bluetooth.
  • It's 5 a.m. local time.
  • You restart your device.

    While Wi-Fi is disabled, auto-join for any nearby Wi-Fi networks will also be disabled until one of these conditions is met:

  • You turn on Wi-Fi in Control Center.
  • You connect to a Wi-Fi network in Settings > Wi-Fi.
  • You walk or drive to a new location.
  • It's 5 a.m. local time.
  • You restart your device.

    Apple made this change in the iOS 11 beta, and it gained more attention after the software was publicly released yesterday.

    iOS 11 users can still completely disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for all networks and devices by toggling them off in the Settings app.

    Apple says users should try to keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on for the best experience on an iOS device.

    (Thanks, FlunkedFlank!)

    Related Roundup: iOS 11
    Tags: Control Center, Bluetooth

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  • How to Use and Customize Control Center in iOS 11

    One of iOS 11's key new features is a redesigned Control Center that is highly customizable thanks to 3D Touch integration.

    Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

    When you deep press on the system toggles pane, for example, a larger pane pops open with previously hidden AirDrop and Personal Hotspot controls.


    On iOS 11, users can add, remove, and organize controls in Control Center through the Settings app. Simply follow these steps.


    How to Add Controls to Control Center on iOS 11

    1. Tap on the Settings app.
    2. Tap on Control Center.
    3. Tap on Customize Controls.
    4. Scroll down to More Controls.
    5. Tap on the "+" sign to the left of a control to add it to Control Center.

    How to Remove Controls From Control Center on iOS 11

    1. Tap on the Settings app.
    2. Tap on Control Center.
    3. Tap on Customize Controls.
    4. Scroll down to Include section.
    5. Tap on the "-" sign to the left of a control to remove it from Control Center.

    How to Organize Controls in Control Center on iOS 11

    1. Tap on the Settings app.
    2. Tap on Control Center.
    3. Tap on Customize Controls.
    4. Tap on the three lines to the right of a control and drag its position up or down.
    The default controls in the top portion of Control Center, such as the brightness and volume sliders, cannot be removed or reorganized.

    List of Default Controls

    • AirDrop
    • Airplane Mode
    • Bluetooth
    • Cellular Data
    • Personal Hotspot
    • Wi-Fi
    • Music
    • Orientation Lock
    • Do Not Disturb
    • Brightness
    • Night Shift
    • Volume
    • AirPlay Mirroring

    List of Customizable Controls

    • Accessibility Shortcuts
    • Alarm
    • Apple TV Remote
    • Calculator
    • Camera
    • Do Not Disturb While Driving
    • Flashlight
    • Guided Access
    • Home
    • Low Power Mode
    • Magnifier
    • Notes
    • Screen Recording
    • Stopwatch
    • Text Size
    • Timer
    • Voice Memos
    • Wallet
    Control Center remains accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the screen nearly anywhere on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus or earlier.

    On the iPhone X, Control Center can be opened by swiping down from the top right part of the screen next to the TrueDepth front camera system.

    Related Roundup: iOS 11
    Tag: Control Center

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    How to Use and Customize Control Center in iOS 11

    One of iOS 11's key new features is a redesigned Control Center that is highly customizable thanks to 3D Touch integration.

    Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

    When you deep press on the system toggles pane, for example, a larger pane pops open with previously hidden AirDrop and Personal Hotspot controls.


    On iOS 11, users can add, remove, and organize controls in Control Center through the Settings app. Simply follow these steps.


    How to Add Controls to Control Center on iOS 11

    1. Tap on the Settings app.
    2. Tap on Control Center.
    3. Tap on Customize Controls.
    4. Scroll down to More Controls.
    5. Tap on the "+" sign to the left of a control to add it to Control Center.

    How to Remove Controls From Control Center on iOS 11

    1. Tap on the Settings app.
    2. Tap on Control Center.
    3. Tap on Customize Controls.
    4. Scroll down to Include section.
    5. Tap on the "-" sign to the left of a control to remove it from Control Center.

    How to Organize Controls in Control Center on iOS 11

    1. Tap on the Settings app.
    2. Tap on Control Center.
    3. Tap on Customize Controls.
    4. Tap on the three lines to the right of a control and drag its position up or down.
    The default controls in the top portion of Control Center, such as the brightness and volume sliders, cannot be removed or reorganized.

    List of Default Controls

    • AirDrop
    • Airplane Mode
    • Bluetooth
    • Cellular Data
    • Personal Hotspot
    • Wi-Fi
    • Music
    • Orientation Lock
    • Do Not Disturb
    • Brightness
    • Night Shift
    • Volume
    • AirPlay Mirroring

    List of Customizable Controls

    • Accessibility Shortcuts
    • Alarm
    • Apple TV Remote
    • Calculator
    • Camera
    • Do Not Disturb While Driving
    • Flashlight
    • Guided Access
    • Home
    • Low Power Mode
    • Magnifier
    • Notes
    • Screen Recording
    • Stopwatch
    • Text Size
    • Timer
    • Voice Memos
    • Wallet
    Control Center remains accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the screen nearly anywhere on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus or earlier.

    On the iPhone X, Control Center can be opened by swiping down from the top right part of the screen next to the TrueDepth front camera system.

    Related Roundup: iOS 11
    Tag: Control Center

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    iOS 11 Preview: Control Center Gets Customizable With 3D Touch

    Apple on Monday introduced iOS 11, the next major version of its mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The software update, available this fall, includes a completely redesigned Control Center that fits on one page and is much more customizable thanks to 3D Touch.

    Control Center's default appearance (left) and with additional controls (right)

    When you deep press on the Music pane, for example, a larger pane with volume, playback, and other controls pops open. Likewise, when you deep press on the pane with Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Cellular Data toggles, a larger pane pops open with AirDrop and Personal Hotspot toggles.

    More granular controls appear by deep pressing with 3D Touch

    On iOS 11, users can add and organize additional controls and toggles to appear in Control Center through the Settings app. However, the following controls are default and cannot be hidden: the system toggles pane, music, orientation lock, brightness, volume, Do Not Disturb, and AirPlay Mirroring.

    In Settings, users can add and organize additional controls to appear in Control Center

    The following controls can be added and organized in Settings:

    • Accessibility Shortcuts
    • Alarm
    • Apple TV Remote
    • Calculator
    • Camera
    • Do Not Disturb While Driving
    • Flashlight
    • Guided Access
    • Low Power Mode
    • Magnifier
    • Notes
    • Screen Recording
    • Stopwatch
    • Text Size
    • Timer
    • Voice Memos
    • Wallet

    Control Center still lacks a truly customizable drag-and-drop layout, but the return to a single-page design and some customizability are welcomed improvements. The ability to add additional controls such as Low Power Mode and Accessibility Shortcuts will also be appreciated by many users.


    The first iOS 11 beta was released to registered Apple developers on Monday. A public beta will be available in late June through the Apple Beta Software Program. The software update should be officially released in September.

    Related Roundup: iOS 11
    Tag: Control Center

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