iOS 11 Hands-on: The Newly Redesigned and Customizable Control Center

iOS 11 Control Center Featured

One of the starkest new changes in iOS 11 is the newly redesigned Control Center that’s also customizable. We’ve been wishing for this since iOS 7 day and it’s finally here. How exactly does the new Control Center work? How is it customizable? Read on to find out.

Must read: The Best iOS 11 Features for iPhone

Back to One Page Design

After a brief, multi-page detour in iOS 11, the Control Center is back to being a one-page affair. Someone at Apple must have figured out just how confusing and undiscoverable the panels were.

iOS 11 Control Center 1

Now when you swipe up, the Control Center takes up the entire screen, and adds a blur in the background, like the Notification Center.

The design has also changed. The buttons themselves are now black, with white icons and why typography – another big design change in iOS 11.

The top two sections – for toggles and Now Playing are actually expandable. 3D Touch or long press to expand them. The toggles panel expands to show two more toggles – Cellular Data (finally!) and Personal Hotspot. The Now Playing section expands to show more information, album art, seek, volume and shortcut for audio outputs.

Below, there’s another design change. The brightness and volume seekers are now turned into big, fat sliders we first saw in the Home app. They’re actually really pleasant to use. Much more reliable than the think seekers from the iOS 9 days. Night Shift is now hidden behind the brightness slider.

The bottom 4 icons stay the same – flashlight, timer, calculator and camera.

How to Customize The Control Center

iOS 11 Control Center customized

Now let’s talk about the interesting thing. Go to Settings -> Control Center and you’ll find a long list of controls. If you’ve ever added widgets to the Today View, you’ll be familiar with the UI.

iOS 11 Control Center customizing

Tap on the + button to add a control, to remove. Drag the handle bars to arrange them.

Basically, the top 4 rows are consistent. Everything below you can change and rearrange.

Here’s all the functionality you can add:

  • Accessibility Shortcuts
  • Magnifier
  • Alarms
  • Low Power Mode: Finally there’s an easy way to toggle this mode.
  • Apple TV Remote: In expanded mode, you can control Apple TV without opening the app.
  • Do Not Disturb While Driving
  • Guided Access
  • Notes: 3D touch actions let you directly create new sketch or checklist.
  • Screen Recording: A new really cool feature in iOS 11. You can record your screen, including the mic, and it saved directly to Photos app.
  • Stopwatch
  • Text Size: Increase or decrease the system text size using a slider.
  • Voice Memos
  • Wallet

That’s all. Yes, we still can’t customize and add toggles but this is actually a good start.

The Design

iOS 11 Control Center Now Playing

In the first iOS 11 beta, it’s clear that Control Center’s design needs improvement. And I hope that Apple does that before the final release. This doesn’t seem like something Jony Ive would approve on.

I think the overall design can be improved on by tweaking things. But there are a few big issues. For example, the audio output section now takes 3 taps to get to. And it looks weird.

More about iOS 11: Read our running list of all the awesome new features and changes

Step in the Right Direction

Overall, the new Control Center is a welcome change. And I’m confident that Apple will fix the issues in the next 3 months.

What do you think? Do you like the new design? The customizations? Were you hoping for something more? Share with us in the comments below.