iOS 10 Wish List: Customize and Extend Control Center

iOS 10 - Control Center

Apple is widely expected to unveil iOS 10, the next major mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, at the WWDC 2016 in June.

With less than two months to go, we wanted to set our expectations for iOS 10. The ability to customize Control Center is one of the features that I hope makes it to iOS 10’s feature list.

Customize Control Center

This is not a new one. It was on my iOS 8 wish list and iOS 9 wish list but did not make it to the OS despite rumors and even clues that Apple was working on it. Apple added a shortcut for the Night Shift toggle in Control Center in iOS 9.3, but that’s the only change Apple has made since introducing it in 2013.

Control Center is one of my favorite iOS features, 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 10.

Currently, 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 gives you quick access to turn on the LED flash, which turns your iPhone into a flashlight. It is great to be able to access these features from anywhere in iOS without leaving the app you’re currently using. It also has 4 more quick launch shortcuts for the Stop Watch, Calculator, Camera apps and the newly added toggle for Night Shift.

But Apple can make it a lot more useful by giving us the freedom to customize and extend its functionality. 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.

Extend Control Center

In addition, it would be great if we can configure the order and the number of toggles and quick launch shortcuts in Control Center. So instead of static toggles and app shortcuts, we should be able to scroll through them so that we can access more than just 5 toggles or quick launch shortcuts. The ability to order them will allow us to configure the system based on how often we use them. Apple could allow us to customize and extend the functionality of the Control Center via the Settings app, in a similar fashion to the customization feature available for Glances in the Apple Watch Companion app.

Apple Watch Companion app - Glances

Jailbreak tweaks such as FlipControlCenter already allow us to customize and extend the functionality of the Control Center, so this should be an easy one to implement.

UI Designer and motion graphics artist, Sam Beckett, has created an awesome concept which shows how Apple could enhance Control Center in iOS 10.

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.

Notification Center + Control Center?

Stephen Hacket of 512 Pixels has suggested that Control Center should be baked into the Notification Center just like Android’s Quick Settings, as it “just does way too many things.” But I disagree, I prefer Control Center and Notification as separate features in iOS.

Other issues and improvements

At times, I find it difficult to access the Control Center while in an app, which can be quite annoying. I hope Apple addresses this issue in iOS 10 as well.

What do you think? Let me also know what’s on your iOS 10 wish list in the comments below.