In earlier versions of iOS, Control Center felt a bit cramped, taking up the majority of an iPhone’s screen in order to fit everything in. You could tap a button to toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and similar features on or off, or control music playback via media controls.
With iOS 10, however, there are now three different panels in Control Center, each one serving a different purpose.
The main panel
You still access Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of your iOS device’s display. The first panel is where you now find shortcuts for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Rotation Lock along the top row. A brightness slider, AirPlay and AirDrop controls make up the middle of the panel.
Night Shift has moved from a shortcut button along the bottom row to the middle, where it’s more prominently displayed.
The bottom row of icons is where you can find shortcuts for tasks such as turning on the iPhone’s flashlight, setting a timer, calculator and camera. Naturally, you can access and control various settings with a simple tap as you did previously.
Another new feature in iOS 10’s Control Center adds 3D Touch capabilities to Control Center; more specifically to the app shortcuts along the bottom. As covered in 21 hidden features of iOS 10 post, you can force touch on the app icons to open a list of shortcuts. For example, pressing on the flashlight button gives you three options for brightness settings. Similar functionality is found by pressing on the Timer, Calculator and Camera buttons.
When viewing the first panel, you can swipe to the left to access your media controls. Any time you’re playing music, streaming a podcast or playing videos this panel is what you can use to skip to the next song, adjust volume or AirPlay content to another device.
When playing music, you can tap on the album art to launch the appropriate music app. The same thing happens during playing a YouTube video or the like — tap on the top portion of the panel to go directly to the proper app or website.
Unfortunately there aren’t any hidden 3D Touch features on this panel just yet, but it’s still early in the iOS 10 public beta.
For those of you who use your iOS device to control various appliances and accessories throughout your home using Apple’s HomeKit platform, you can now quickly access and control items directly from Control Center.
Any HomeKit compatible products you’ve connected to your Apple ID will show up on the Home panel. Tapping on something such as lights will turn them on or off. Using 3D Touch, you can open an item to view more information, and adjust a light’s brightness, for example.
In the top-right corner is a button to view and easily toggle your HomeKit Scenes.