I just updated my iPhone X to iOS13 – I wait until the .1 release comes out to avoid the worst bugs! – and am wondering what’s changed on the Control Center?
If your vision of a great smartphone experience is to never encounter a bug and just stay focused on what you’re trying to accomplish, who you want to chat with and what programs you want to launch, you should never update to the so-called “dot zero” release. What’s that? It’s iOS 13 before Apple releases iOS 13.1 or even 13.0.1. While Apple extensively tests all releases, it’s not until it’s released to the millions of iPhones ‘in the wild’ that the weird bugs show up. Solution: A quick patch to fix the most egregious. This time, iOS 13.1 came out in record time, less than a week after the 13.0 release!
In fact, two weeks later we’ve had a second minor update, so my new iPhone 11 Pro is running iOS 13.1.1 already. How can you tell what you’re running? Go to Settings > General > About. Now ya know!
There’s a lot that’s new in iOS 13, notably Dark Mode and lots of performance enhancements, but in terms of day to day improvements, the changes to Control Center are some of the best. Control Center, you’ll recall, is the screen of shortcuts you reveal by swiping down from the top right corner of the screen. On my iPhone, here’s what I get:
The top are always the same, with handy brightness and volume sliders, quick access to whatever you’re playing currently (I’m listening to Sirius XM and it shows up with track info, as you can see) and more. The lower two rows of buttons can be customized to meet your needs in Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. There’s a finite list, alas, and no third party additions, but still useful).
What’s new is that you can tap and hold either the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth button and gain additional controls without ever leaving Control Center. So cool. For example, a tap-and-hold on Wi-Fi reveals this:
In this zoomed in view I can see more info about my connections, including that I’m currently connected to Starbucks WiFi and my Bluetooth connection is to my beloved Sennheiser Momentum M2 wireless ANC headphones.
But there’s more! Tap and hold on the displayed Wi-Fi connection and…
Now you can see the available Wi-Fi networks and even switch between them with a single tap. All without ever leaving Control Center. So handy. Need more detail? Tap on the “Wi-Fi Settings…” link on the bottom to launch right into that screen in Settings:
What’s also worth pointing out is that you can do this same tap and hold trick with the Bluetooth connection too. For example, if I do just that where it shows I’m connected to my Momentum headphones, here’s what appears:
Between the two, this eliminates one common reason that people head into Settings in the first place. No searching, no app launch, no getting to the correct screen. Really quite easy, and definitely helpful. Want to learn more about iOS 13? Apple has a page for that: New Features in iOS 13.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about iOS and the iPhone since the very first release, iOS 1, though it wasn’t called that back when I got my iPhone 1 back in 2007. Suffice to say, I have a lot of iPhone help on the site, so I invite you to check it out while you’re here!