Control Center provides one-swipe access to to all your settings and media controls from anywhere on your iPhone or iPad!
Quick access to system-level toggles has been one of the most constant, consistent power-user feature requests -- nay, demands -- for years now. Everything from jailbreak apps like SBSettings to iOS 6's brief flirtation with URL Schemes for Settings made it a must-have on every geek list, come every Apple iOS keynote. And now, with iOS 7 and Control Center, it's finally a reality.
Here's how Apple describes Control Center:
Control Center gives you quick access to the controls and apps you always seem to need right this second. Just swipe up from any screen — including the Lock screen — to do things like switch to Airplane mode, turn Wi-Fi on or off, or adjust the brightness of your display. You can even shine a light on things with a new flashlight. Never has one swipe given you so much control.
And, based on what Apple's shown off to date, here's how it works:
Like Notification Center, Control Center is a layer that you can slide out on top of the main iOS interface. It enjoys the same, bouncing, playful iOS 7 physics, and the same blur effect that mutes but doesn't entirely obliterate what's underneath. Unlike Notification Center, which comes from the top down, Control Center is activated by swiping up from beneath the screen, and rather than dark, smoked glass, it's given a light, frosted effect.
You can access Control Center from anywhere on your iPhone (or iPad), including from the Lock screen.
That Control Center functions so much like Notification Center, and even uses similar nomenclature makes it easy to understand, even for non-power-users who haven't been lamenting its absence on iOS for years. It'll give the obsessive compulsive among us nearly instant access to toggles we probably ought not be toggling all the time, but it'll also give plenty of regular people a fast, easy way to get at things as simple as media controls and even a flashlight when they need them.
Swiping up to reveal Control Center will be confusing for people who've spent any time on webOS, BlackBerry 10, some versions of Android, or even the iPad's gesture navigation system, and personally I do find the swiping up as a way to show the fast app switcher/multitasking cards much more intuitive than the double-button click. However, Android's current two-finger swipe down to switch from their version of notification center to their version of control center isn't as easy to use, and ultimately, as goes Apple and iOS 7 will go hundreds of millions of users.
As to the design itself, while I have concerns about the low contrast and thinness of the icons and typography used, overall the usefulness exceeds the usability, and hopefully the latter can at some point be brought up to match the former. Sadly, Apple hasn't said anything about the customizability -- or lack thereof -- of Control Center, but if the past is any indicator, we probably won't be able to change the settings, controls, or apps presented. At least not this go around.
Control Center will ship as part of iOS 7 this fall. Check out the resources below for more, and let me know -- how do you like what you've seen of Control Center so far?