How to Customize the Control Center Panel in iOS.
With the arrival of iOS 11, Apple has finally allowed users to customize the Control Center dashboard feature that allows you to quickly access some of the most popular options and features on your iPhone or iPad.
However, in true Apple style, you are limited in what you can actually change. For example, you can remove several controls such as flashlight, timer, calculator camera, etc., but you cannot move the top items, and you cannot remove the default set of options at the top, such as music, adjust brightness, volume, and etc.
In addition, the items you can add can only be selected from the predefined list of items created by Apple. These include controls such as Apple TV Remote, Do Not Disturb, Notes, Wallet, and Text Size.
Access to the iOS dashboard
On iPhone through iPhone X, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the iOS dashboard. On the iPhone X, when the physical button has been removed, swiping up is a new press of the menu button. Instead, swipe down from the top-right corner to open the Control Center.
Default Control Panel Shortcuts
The iOS Control Panel is a shortcut to many things on your iPhone and I use it several times a day. For example:
- Use AirPlay (screen mirroring) to wirelessly stream content from your device to your HDTV via Apple TV
- The fastest way to turn on your flashlight.
- Turn the sound up or down; make the screen brighter or darker.
- Turn music on and off.
- Start a timer or set an alarm.
- Put device in airplane mode
However, in iOS 11, the user is now allowed to customize what appears in the bottom two rows of the dashboard.
How to customize the control panel
To get started, tap Settings on your device and drag down to open the search box.
With so many settings to sort through, the search function is actually very useful and will save you time. Start typing the word “customize” in the search box and you should see “Customize Controls for Control Center” at the top.
The top shows those controls that are currently included in your control panel. To remove a control, just click on the red minus in the far left corner. To change the order of the controls, touch and drag the three lines in the far right corner.
Now scroll down to the customize controls screen. In the “Additional Controls” section, you will see all the controls that you can add. Thus, instead of red minus signs to remove already included controls, you will now see green plus signs for adding controls. Tap the green plus to add one to the Control Center panel.
Here are two screenshots for demonstration. First, my default control panel; Then I tapped the green plus next to the Apple TV Remote and the second screenshot shows a new control added to the bottom of the Enable list.
Now that the Apple TV Remote appears in Settings as an Enabled Control, you can immediately check if it’s added. Just swipe up from the bottom (or down on iPhone X) and the added control will appear in a new row.
Note that the standard controls in the upper blocks of the control panel cannot be removed or reordered, while the lower rows below the screen mirroring and brightness / sound controls can be added and reordered. To get you started, here are some additional controls that I found useful.
Apple TV Remote
Apple TV Remote
The Remote app on your iPhone acts as an Apple TV remote, making it easier to enter app sign-in information, such as signing in to your Netflix account using your voice.
This control directly opens a new edit note. If you use Notes a lot on your iPhone, it’s much faster than searching for an app, launching it and tapping to create a new note.
If you often want to send iPhone tips to friends and need to record what you do, the Screen Recorder control provides a stunning shortcut compared to the old-fashioned way that required connecting your device to a Mac.
This control is for older users who need help zooming in, or even younger people trying to read an incredibly small serial number. This Control Center shortcut is part of iOS’s suite of tech helpers and saves you the hassle of digging into the Settings app.
Be sure to experiment with these added controls to find the ones that are most useful to you. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Enjoy!