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Control Center iPadOS 14

Control Center in iPadOS 14

Control Center is a major feature of iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and most recently, macOS, that provides quick access to key features of the user's Apple device.


The Control Center was first introduced in 2013 as part of iOS 7 and could be accessed by swiping up from the home screen or any app. It appeared as a rectagular sliding "tray" of simple geometric controls, with toggle buttons for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Orientation Lock at the top. Sliders for screen brightness and volume were stacked at the center, along with audio playback controls. At the bottoms were simple monocromatic icons for access to frequently used functions, such as the LED flash (for use as a flashlight), Calculator, and Camera. The "tray" background was slightly translucent with the background appearing blurred behind it.[1]

In iOS 10, the Control Center received a major design overhaul. User interface elements became more rounded, and features were split up among 3 swipable panels. The first panel contained many of the original features, but audio playback controls were replaced with AirPlay, AirDrop, and Night Shift controls. The second panel was devoted to audio playback with control over target devices. The third panel was devoted to HomeKit.[2]

In iOS 13, Dark Mode was added to the Control Center.

In iOS 14, the Control Center gained more customizability and the panels were consolidated into expandable groups. A new toggle called Sound Recognition was added to allowed the device to detect sounds such as appliances, doorbells, pets, and babies crying. HomeKit appliances were also added to the Control Center. In iOS 14.2, Music Recognition was added, making the device detect music and time-out at 15 seconds.


Swiping from the top-right corner on an iPad will enable Control Center, which otherwise functions in a similar manner to iOS.


Control Center for Mac was introduced in 2020 as part of macOS Big Sur. It allows access to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirDrop and other features, in a manner somewhat similar to Control Center on iOS and iPadOS.[3]


TvOS 14 Control Center

Control Center in tvOS 14

Control Center for Apple TV was introduced in 2019 as part of tvOS 13.


The Control Center was given mainly positive reviews for being simpler to access (with no need to go all the way into Settings to modify device preferences), but also for being easy to navigate.[4]

The iOS 11 update was criticized for having security and battery issues. Turning Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth off in Control Center while leaving the radios on would hurt battery life and potentially compromise privacy, as having Wi-Fi and Bluetooth "off-ish" would seem as if Wi-Fi was not on in the Settings app itself. It was also criticized for having connections turn back on the following morning.[4][5]


  1. iOS 7 How-to: Use Control Center to quickly manage settings by Sarah Guarino, AppleInsider. 2013-09-18.
  2. How to Use the New Control Center in iOS 10 by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors. 2016-09-14.
  3. Here’s a first look at the new Control Center and widgets on macOS Big Sur by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac. 2020-06-25.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Control Center by Federico Viticci, MacStories. 2017-09-19
  5. The most common iOS 11 problems, and how to fix them by Steven Winkelman, Digital Trends. 2018-07-13.

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