The ‘Control Centre’ on the iPhone and iPad

I find that the ‘Control Centre’ on iPhones and iPads is often underused with it being hidden away, and yet it can be very helpful. It enables you to do all sorts of things on your device with ease and speed, when you would otherwise have to go digging for these functions in various Apps.

To access the Control Centre on iPads and newer iPhones with no home button, swipe down from the top right hand corner of the screen. For older iPhones with a home button just swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

The Control Centre will appear as per the screenshot below, although it might differ slightly. Most of these functions can be turned on (blue/green/white) or off (transparent) by tapping on them, but for 8 and 9 you will need to drag your finger upwards or downwards to adjust the screen brightness and volume, respectively. I have numbered each of the key functions and describe their purpose in the key beneath the diagram.

  1. Airplane mode – putting your iPhone (or iPad with a mobile network connection) into Airplane mode disables your mobile network connection so that you can no longer send or receive calls or text messages, or use your mobile data (e.g. 4G or 3G) to access the internet. However, you are still able to use an available Wifi network to access the internet.
  2. Mobile data – tap here to quickly disable your mobile data (e.g. 4G or 3G) on your iPhone. I personally don’t find this very helpful as the only time I want to turn off my mobile data is when i’m abroad, and I would do this by tapping on ‘Settings’, ‘Mobile Data’, ‘Mobile Data Options’ and then make sure that ‘Data Roaming’ is toggled off.
  3. Wifi – tap here to quickly turn on/off your Wifi. If you have a mobile network connection on your device, you will still be able to use your mobile data (e.g. 4G or 3G) to access the internet. Turning your Wifi off here will only be temporary – to turn off your Wifi permanently go to Settings and then ‘Wifi’ and then toggle off Wifi (button will go from green to transparent).
  4. Bluetooth – tap here to turn on/off your bluetooth. Bluetooth enables you to connect to other devices that are in the vicinity of iPhone or iPad e.g. speakers or car telephone systems.
  5. Audio Playback – Pause, Play, Fast forward or Rewind whatever you are currently listening to (or were last listening to) on your device.
  6. Lock screen orientation – tap here to lock your screen in either portrait or landscape orientation.
  7. Do Not Disturb mode – this mutes all calls, alerts and notifications on your device. If you tap on ‘Settings’ and ‘Do Not Disturb’ you can schedule Do Not Disturb to go on automatically for a specified time period (e.g. 12pm to 7am) and set it so that only calls from your ‘Favourites’ in your Contacts will be able to ring you during this time.
  8. Screen brightness – as above slide the tab upwards or downwards to adjust.
  9. Volume – slide the tab upwards or downwards to adjust.
  10. Torch – very handy in the night!
  11. Timer – tapping here will take you to the Timer in the Clock App where you will be able to set a timer.
  12. Calculator – tapping here will launch the Calculator App.
  13. Camera – quick access to the camera.