With less than two months to go, we wanted to set our expectations for iOS 11. The ability to customize Control Center has been on my wishlist ever since Apple introduced Control Center in iOS 7 in 2013 (iOS 8 wishlist, iOS 9 wishlist and iOS 10 wishlist).
But instead of giving us the ability to customize and extend Control Center, Apple completely redesigned it and moved the audio playback controls in an entirely different pane. Apple also extended the functionality of the app related icons in the bottom row by adding support for 3D Touch. But it still fell short of my expectations. There is still no way to customize it.
Customize Control Center
Control Center is one of my favorite features in iOS, but one of its most obvious limitations is the limited number of toggles and quick launch app shortcuts, and the lack of ability to customize it. I hope Apple finally addresses these limitations in iOS 11.
Currently, in the first pane, Control Center gives you quick access to 5 system toggles, such as AirPlane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Orientation Lock. It also provides 4 quick launch shortcuts for LED flash, Stop Watch, Calculator, and the Camera app. It is great to be able to access these features from anywhere in iOS without leaving the app you’re currently using.
But Apple can make it a lot more useful by giving us the freedom to customize its functionality by allowing us to change the toggles and quick launch app shortcuts. For example, I use Personal Hotspot and VPN quite often, and would ideally like to access toggles for these from Control Center.
The same applies for quick launch app shortcuts. I hardly use the Calculator since I prefer using the PCalc widget, so it would be nice to be able to launch some of my frequently used apps such as Safari, Tweetbot, and Spotify, from the Control Center (rather than having to press the Home button, and so on). It should also allow us to change the Camera shortcut with that for our favorite Camera app. I would also like to change the shortcut for the Stop Watch, which I hardly use, with Alarm, which I use daily.
It would also be nice if we have the ability to rearrange the position of the toggles and the quick launch app shortcuts.
Extend Control Center
Last year, I was hoping that in addition to giving us the ability to configure the order and the number of toggles and quick launch shortcuts, Apple would give us the ability to scroll through them so that we can access more than just 5 toggles or quick launch shortcuts.
But it won’t be possible to implement it with the introduction of panes for the music playback controls. However, Apple can increase the number of toggles from 5 to 10 on the iPhone, as a dedicated row for the Night Shift feature seems like a waste of real estate on the Control Center.
Advanced Control Center Concept
UI Designer and motion graphics artist, Sam Beckett, had created an awesome concept last year which showed how Apple could enhance Control Center.
Even if Apple does not allow us to add more than 5 toggles and shortcuts to the Control Center, I would be more than happy if Apple allows us to at least select the toggle and app shortcuts of our choice in Control Center like Beckett has shown in his concept video.
What do you think? Let me also know what’s on your iOS 11 wishlist in the comments below.
Check our the other features in our iOS 11 wishlist: