The New iOS 7 Control Center on the iPhone & iPad: How To Use It

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As the resident technophile, one of the most common questions I am asked regularly by family members and friends is about iOS 7: "What's the deal with that thing that comes up when I scroll up?" They're referring to Control Center, a new feature which I believe can make every iPad, iPhone, and Touch user's life a little bit easier.

To access iOS 7's new Control Center, simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Odds are you might have discovered this new feature accidentally while scrolling, but you can access Control Center anytime, from any screen, including the lock screen.

What's in Control Center? Well it depends on if you're using iOS 7 on an iPad or iPhone.

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  1. Music Controls: this is where you can skip or go back tracks when playing music as well as of course play or pause. If you're currently listening to something, the name of it the song, podcast, or audio file will also display here.
  2. Volume Control: slide to adjust the volume.
  3. AirDrop: if you're not familiar with AirDrop, it's a iOS 7 feature to wirelessly send (via wi-fi or Bluetooth) a photo, video, contact or other file to someone else that also has an AirDrop enabled device.
  4. Airplane Mode: tap on or tap off.
  5. Wi-fi: sadly this does not let you choose which wifi network you want to join, it just lets you turn wi-fi connectivity on or off.
  6. Arrow Down: This icon just signifies to let us know to swipe down to dismiss Control Center and hide it away.
  7. AirPlay: tap here to select which AirPlay connected device to output to. AirPlay is Apple's proprietary wireless output sound and video solution, which can push content to a device like an Apple TV or Airport connected audio device.
  8. Do Not Disturb: tap on or off to shut off notifications.
  9. Mute: tap on or off to mute sound.
  10. Timer: launches the Apple Timer app.
  11. Brightness: slide to adjust screen brightness.
  12. Camera: launches the Apple camera app.

The above list is the features on the iPad. On the iPhone it's largely the same, with the addition of Screen Rotation Lock, Bluetooth on/off control and the ability to launch the Apple Flashlight and Apple Calculator app.

Just Remember: the top row of icons in circles in the center are used to turn on or off specific functions; the bottom row of icons within squares to the right are used to launch Apple apps.

Out of all those options, which have I been using the most? Airplane mode and AirPlay. My wish is that one day Apple will allow users to choose which apps to add and access via Control Center and also allow the selection of specific wi-fi networks instead of just being able to turn it on or off, both of which would offer improved utility customized for individual users.

If my humble guide isn't enough for you, take a gander at the info from Apple with additional visual information of each feature.

(Image: Gregory Han; screencap by Joelle Alcaidinho)

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Main, Tech, iPad, Software & Apps

Joelle loves technology and making things and is in an almost perpetual state of problem solving. She's quite fond of airplanes and coffee and is pretty sure she will eventually read all of the books in her library.