Is Control Center a useful addition to iOS? [Poll]

One of the many new additions to iOS 7 is Control Center. Apple bills it as "quick access to the controls and apps you always seem to need right this second." There's plenty packed in there, too; a series of quick toggles for such things as WiFi and Bluetooth, quick brightness settings, music player controls, AirDrop, AirPlay and quick shortcuts to some of the stock apps and a flashlight. All of this is accessible anywhere within the OS with a simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen, so the quick access part is definitely correct. But, we want to know your thoughts on whether you think Control Center is really a useful addition to iOS?

The music controls have always been quick at hand, as has rotation lock. The other toggles being close at hand are new, however, as are the apps. But, while quick access to a flashlight might be handy, same with the camera, are the alarm clock and calculator apps necessarily what the majority would choose to put there? Perhaps if you could customise which apps, and which toggles for that matter, you have in your Control Center, it would be more universally appealing?

That's what we want to know from you. Granted not many will have used it yet, but on first glance, does Control Center seem like a useful addition to iOS? Would it be something you would use on a daily basis, or would you prefer to be able to customise it to meet your own specific needs? As ever, drop a vote up top and give us your thoughts in the comments below!

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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There are 61 comments. Add yours.

necigrad says:

I love the idea, but I agree that there needs to be customization. I use Siri for alarms (I set varied ones), so that's useless to me. On the flip side I'd love the flashlight one, if only to eliminate the flashlight app I have on my first page for quick access. Let us select what we want on there. Not only does it allow us to put what WE need on there, it also lets us eliminate what we don't. If someone doesn't use one of the options it's clutter, and Apple supposedly doesn't like clutter.

csal80 says:

The design of this controls center was typical apple. Give us what is supposed to be a very useful feature and make it non-customizable so it actually detracts from it's utilization. There are two other toggles I use daily that didn't even make its way in there. How you can put this out and not allow for some basic customization is beyond me.

Iocane Powder says:

Or this could be the toe in the water. If well received they may later allow that bottom row of links to be customized. Seems like the design could easily allow it. Who knows....still in Beta so maybe there will be customization before fall.

Good OL MC says:

I'll use it every day. Having the flashlight toggle there rids me of one more app, having the calculator handy means the app itself can be relegated to another page somewhere else, and now my BT control is only a swipe away.

I'm wishy washy on some of the changes in iOS but this one item has completely streamlined some everyday tasks I do on my phone.

Solamar says:

Agreed, but I used the Hotspot feature a lot more than Calculator, I'd rather have that.
- They need to allow at least a few to be customizable.

khobia2 says:

Agree. Let us hope we can customize it some. I will use it.

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Vanti says:

If we were able to customize it think of the new wave that this would be. If they did allow us to then we could begin to paint a picture of a new apple for the next 5 years because we all know that customization has not been their strong point.

ReedMA says:

I will definitely use it every day. Can't wait!

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quinn_drummer says:

I can see me using it every day. Customisation would be nice but what is there is better than the option we have at the moment. I.e. none. I imagine if customisation doesn't come in 7, it will be added later.

I find it odd they left out a 3G/4G/Mobile Data Toggle. Especially as wi-fi is in there. At least twice a day (when I leave the house & when I get home) I turn wi-fi off and mobile data on. Maybe most people leave mobile data on all the time but if they have given the option for one, why not the other

Quarks_ says:

Being able to switch your phone to silent on Control Centre would be an advantage over the side toggle. Also an indication that this has been done on the top bar.

CORYK333 says:

Besides less use/stress on the hardware, what would the advantage be?

Jeff Kibuule says:

The idea is fine, the UI needs work. Why are some things in circles but other things in squares? And where as Notification Center text is mostly in white, Control Center text is in grey/black. Why?

Beta UI that I really hope gets cleaned up.

hazmat says:

The squares are apps and the circles are settings. Looks to me like it should.

iMaddin says:

Someone already explained the pretty obvious answer about circles and squares for you so I'm gonna answer the other part. Control Center and Notification Center use a different black ground. They both blur what's behind them but control center has a much brighter blur whereas Notification Center uses a darker blur. There's nothing really to clean up here.

Vanti says:

To clarify Imaddins statement. Both notification center and control center are Transparent. The only difference is that one (control center) is more transparent than the other. (Notification Center)

mysterioushunt says:

I wish they would switch the control center and multitasking shortcuts or at least give you the option. Apple still continues to have most of the out of app experience locked down choosing what they think most people will want.

ninjamattic says:

Coming from not having the control center without jailbreak (and even then not implemented in a way I liked), I'm thrilled to death with the Control Center. While I know it's different for everyone, Apple just happened to pick the exact toggles I use everyday. That's what Apple does though. They find out what the best experience would be for 80% of their users, and they throw their full weight behind it. I understand their reasons behind it, and I personally agree. Not sure that it would hurt if they gave people the option though. There are still power users out there, and there always will be. I think the question for them lies in how many Genius Bar appointments they have to field because someone who barely knows how to use their phone suddenly made their Control Center icons disappear. Coming from a consulting background, that would make me nuts. Again, it's not really an argument against letting people customize, but I think it plays a part in their decision making process.

Joshua Massre says:

I like it. But I wish that I could choose what settings go there. For example, I could care less about the flashlight function. Maybe I want a shortcut to some other setting or toggle instead?

Also, the frosted glass look is a bit much when you have any background or icons with multiple colors.

SandeepRoy says:

Very useful - one major reason why people basically JB.
Toggles, just like in SBSettings, would be great, with option to customize AND an App Dock.
I wonder why nobody has mentioned user Profiles - Office,Meeting,Movie. A toggle would be great.

nashlib says:

Absolutely. But I'd want more customization where I can choose atleast a few more toggles.

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parabel says:

I'm already using it every day, for 3 years now, thanks to some very useful jailbreak modifications.

Sigmadeltaphi says:

Why does this poll even exist!?!? Users have been asking for this for years and SBSettings has been a huge piece of the jailbreak community!

Vanti says:

I thought the exact same thing. Correct me if im wrong but hasn't the jailbreak for this been around since 2009.

gzigoris says:

We with jailbroken iPhones have this feature already. It's called "AUXO" and I use it everyday. I am glad to see that Apple can steal ideas from their jailbreak partners.

iMaddin says:

I know many jailbreak users will like this but I personally think toggles are a waste of time. I don't want to spend my time with my iPhone toggling things on and off like some people do. I just leave Wifi on all the time, 3G all the time, and just leave it there. it's not something I want to think about. It's a bit like people who close all their apps after using them. Why do it? It's a waste of your time.
I rarely use the Airplane toggle so I don't mind activating that in settings and Do Not Disturb activated automatically. I rarely need to activate it manually. I use the rotation toggle quite often though.

I do like Airdrop in Control Center though as it will come. In very handy. I think the flashlight is a welcome addition as well as the camera button.

andsoitgoes says:

Wow. I'm amazed by your inability to see the bigger picture here.

Why do I close apps? Because as good as apple's background management purports to be, it still is seriously lacking. I can check memory usage due to Jailbreaking and the difference when apps are cleared out is amazing, even on an iPhone 5/iPad 4.

Other people want to be able to turn bluetooth and wifi on and off easily. Why NOT have it? Just because you DON'T use it doesn't mean it's not useful for the majority of the remaining population. Far too often I'm somewhere that the wifi connection is spotty, here I can just shut it off and use mobile data, then turn it back on quickly. Same with bluetooth. Why leave these radios on when not needed? Having bluetooth able to be quickly switched on and off is very nice to have.

As for do not disturb, when I'm going somewhere that I need to keep my phone, Especially the super loud vibration, completely silent it's amazing to just switch on DND. Meetings, drs appointments and so on.

However opposite to you, I don't often need the rotation toggle, yet I don't begrudge having it in. Since I don't use it, should I stomp my feet and say it's a waste of time?

It's a great feature and it's a long time coming.

iMaddin says:

You clearly didn't understand what I was saying. My point is that a user is that user is not supposed to manage all these things. It's not a PC! Enjoy your phone! Use it. Don't manage it. You'll be much happier if you let the phone do the work.

Of course apps will still use power when they run in the background but they are not fully multitasking. There is a trade off and I definitely believe it's not worth closing apps all the time. Apple did not make the iPhone and ISO do that users have to manage those things.

I didn't begrudge having the toggles. I justified that like closing apps, a user can be so much happier by not having to deal with all that. Another example is the battery percentage indicator. It's really great if you turn it off because otherwise you just look at it all the time and worry about it.

It's all about making the user do less work. You should try it.

chirmer says:

No, we understand your point, we just think you are wrong and close-minded on this topic. Just because you don't need these doesn't mean nobody else does, or that we're kidding ourselves about needing them. I toggle my Wi-Fi on an almost daily basis, because I walk to work. As I walk, I stream Rdio. But, my iPhone hates to let go of my home wireless, so if I don't toggle off my wireless, my music grinds to a halt while my phone tries to use my pathetically weak connection instead of just dropping it and using 4G. So I welcome this addition with open arms as my walk to work will be much more enjoyable.

Shlomi Halevy says:

i hope what he meant was that the reason we buy iPhone and not some Android phone and the reason we do not jailbreak it is because we believe in Apple's vision "don't work. just enjoy". Do you enjoy toggling forth and back ? of course not. you do it because your phone does not work properly. do you enjoy closing apps ? of course not. you do it cause your phone is not ideal. but that's exactly where apple wants to aim. to the ideal phone. the one that has no need to change OS definitions for it to work properly. What Android does is very smart - let's live with faulty hardware, faulty OS, faulty software. let's not work hard on design, ease of use, smooth of touch. let's just throw a phone to the air and give the user all the possibilities to fix it. We do not want to fix our phone all the time. we just want to enjoy by using applications that we desire. that's all. so simple. and is this apple went backward in iOS 7. instead of fixing stability, performance, battery life they give you the option to "fix" their faults. and why do they do it ? cause too many people happens to not understand the concept of ideal phone that meant just to enjoy. after all apple needs money. i personally longing to the times when apple earned less but was no.1 in the graphic area and was not ashamed of it.
And yes. i will use this new options. Unfortunately.

andsoitgoes says:

Why can't we manage things like this? Why can't we have easy access to the things we want to access? That's crazy. Just because you never switch wifi off doesn't mean other people don't and that it's not VERY helpful to do so. Clearly this has been asked endlessly and is why Apple has FINALLY implemented it.

Hell, quick access to these toggles is why a HUGE majority of us jailbreak.

And please don't tell me what will or won't make me happier. What makes me happy is having access to do what I want to have access to.

I have had countless situations where my memory was used up by background apps, causing others to unnecessarily close or safari tabs to refresh when they otherwise don't need to.

Apple is not infallible. They do not make everything perfect for us. Just because they think we do or don't need it doesn't mean it's the case. I strongly believe that many things aren't implemented because Apple wants to make them 120% before they release. Or they want the jailbreak community to flesh out everything. Who knows.

But apple has shown us that things they say are worthless or that we should not have (iPad mini anyone? God how that was a horrible mistake. Sheesh) are not always that.

Neutrino says:

I'm thinking the same as others; would be ideal if the user could customize which shortcuts appear on control center. For me, I would like to have included hotspot.

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IIJBII says:

How can we vote without the majority of us using it yet? Ask again a week or two after the release. This is like asking do you like the new design of the iPhone 6 right now.

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vdroide says:

Adjustments and tweaking can come later. But this Control Centre is absolutely useful. I only installed NC Settings on my Jailbroken iPhone. That was the only thing I needed.

andrew202 says:

I think with the shortcuts like the calculator, Apple can put a simple calculator that is accessible from the Control Center instead of going to the app. Same with the Clock shortcut they can put a timer and alarm on the control center once the clock shortcut is clicked. For the picture app, maybe take a quick basic picture while using any app,

Raginrogue says:

It looks great but needs user customization. For example I would have liked to Have a toggle for data on or off.

nickfire20 says:

I've been waiting a long time for this and can't wait to get it!! I would imagine that Apple will allow for customizing as they do for Notification Center. Either way this is the main and possibly the only feature I will update to ios7 for!

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hakuroji says:

Great improvement to an already fantastic operating system.

Althaf Moideen1 says:

It is very useful , apple should have adopted it last years ios6 this features . I'm bit disappointed apple not included quick access to some of the IMp toggles like 'cellulore data and personal hotspot. I do not keep my cellulore data ON alws , whenever I required I ON it, this is mainly to save battery. And I use personal hotspot also often . I hope apple will add these two imp toggles to control center

luc aubuchon says:

100 % agree with this change. I have different phones, and when I use my Note 2 I always use the quick setting, it is pretty much similar at what Apple did and the good thing about the Note 2 is you can customize which setting you want to see. So good job for Apple on this one.

BrianTufo says:

It's probably the best addition to iOS. How could anyone not like this addition?

zdn1042 says:

About time they add one. Now, I can't wait to get my hands on this.

Derrick4Real says:

i think it's fine but, they could have simply put it in notification center. Second, who uses the compass, flashlight, and calculator so often that they need them to "quickly launch?" Not me. honestly i have a flashlight app that i rarely use but aside from that compass and calculator are buried on the last page in a folder with all the other stuff i barely/never use apps that i don't want to see.

I hope you can customize the toggles, because right now i almost never use airplane mode, sleep, or bluetooth (though i want to buy a bluetooth speaker). I'd rather add location services toggle.

like lots of ios 7, i'd either make it look different and/or reorganize it.

chirmer says:

That's not the compass, that's the timer. And I personally use all of these all the time - they NAILED what to put in Control Panel for myself personally.

Ian Batterham says:

Millions of Android users have enjoyed this functionality for years. It's something we should have had a long time ago. Just one more catchup to Android.

veeoh says:

I've used it every day since I've had the beta. I'd like it to be customisable though with Apps I use more but apart from that, great stuff.

JMSEA says:

for me its the most wanted feature ever!! i wanted control center since i got rid of my htc desire runing stock android!when i got to the iphone i had always the trouble to settings/wifi/toggle on or off, always and still do.i hoped this would be solved in IOS 5 but then again ... i've waited... and yes it is better than ever!!! now the iphone is the best mobile!!

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nat750 says:

Was one of the main things I wanted

nat750 says:

Was one of the main things I wanted

biglee115 says:

I love having the control center but I keep forgetting it's even there. Apple has gotten us so used to not having a lot of these features that I feel a lot of people will forget some of these features are available to them now. Great idea and it's easy access to turning wifi and bluetooth on and off. So far I've probably used it once or twice just to show others the features available in iOS 7, so we'll see what happens once the official release of iOS 7 is out.

chirmer says:

Isn't it a toggle to the timer, not the alarm clock? I know they're in the same app, but I'm pretty sure it's a toggle directly to the timer function, which makes much more sense than to the alarm function. Also this is an amazing addition to iOS! My most anticipated feature!

manicmarc says:

No it's not needed. Most normal people do not Micro-manage their Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other settings. As Steve Jobs said when announcing the iPhone in 2007, the iPhone manages the radios so the user doesn't have to. As for shortcuts to Calculator and Flashlight - put those on your main home screen if you use them often. The only thing needed here is playback controls for media and airdrop. Currently it just seems like a place to chuck a load of commands, like the "Tools" menu in Office 2003.

Vital0gy says:

I guess we should take your analogy further. Why should we waste time with controls for media? Put the media apps on your home screen if you need it. /s

What I'm saying without the sarcasm is that "normal" is subjective to the user and use case. You can say that the phone should be built around 80% of what average users really need. However, if you took that approach then we'd all still be using dumb phones. Honestly, the only thing that a user may "need" would be an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator. That sounds familiar....

Papa LRG says:

I feel like those abandoned Japanese soldiers that still think the war is going on but you all know webos used this from day one right? A swipe down to control all phone functions, and "notification center" to control media apps....that was August 2009. It was great, and you shouldn't have to dig into menu after menu for simple tasks as iOS in the past has done. What's crazy, is apple is talking big game about multitasking cards, and features like this as if they're new and innovative, when they even took/borrowed from webos and in the same form factor years!!! Trust me, you will LOVE these "new" features, and will use them everyday.

erikbock says:

This is the one feature I have been asking for since my first iPhone and had to jail break it to get. Being able to quickly turn on and off WiFi and BT will save me battery life because I didn't turn them off before. Sure they go to sleep but still drain the battery.

meskin84 says:

I think its a great addition to the iOS, I would much rather be able to customize the toggles, but I don't see that happening. The toggle selection isn't bad, but I would like the Hot Spot toggle to be included in it.

gordol says:

I'll be using the BT and WiFi toggles several times a day, that is the one major item I miss from my Droid. Though I think it should be integrated with the Notification Center instead. Quick access to the native apps? The only native apps I use are phone, clock (timers), email and music, and unless the quick-access gives me access to the playlists as well as play/pause/ff/rew, I won't have much use for that either.

karmski says:

What I love is the swipe up to access these shortcuts, rather than double clicking the home button. The iPad has the ability to just gesture from one thing to the next, and it is a much better User experience. I feel that using the home button constantly on the iPhone almost feels clunky in comparison. Can't wait for IOS7!!

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nat750 says:

Was definitely one of the main things I wanted because along with tethering & FaceTime over 3G it was one of the main reasons I always used to jailbreak my iphone. I can't understand why Apple always take a long time to add such simple yet much needed to their OS but I'm glad it's finally here.

TekNiKal says:

Apple you're getting closer and closer. Looks like by iOS 9, i might be ready to switch to the iPhone.

Vanti says:

-- I'll have to try it first
-- Meh, I don't think it it adds any value for me
-- Complete waste of time

Why are these three options even available as a choice category. If you would have to try it first, dont think that it adds any value or that its a complete waste of time you obviously don't need to have an iPhone. Either that or your are old 65+ and don't fully understand how to use an iPhone. This new feature is an absolute must for the IOS community and a feature that i will use EVERYDAY!