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iOS 18 may fix one of my biggest issues with the iPhone

A person holding the Apple iPhone 15 Plus.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2024 is just a few days away, and it’s definitely going to be a big one. There’s been a lot of talk about Apple finally adding some AI smarts in iOS 18 and macOS 15 — but AI won’t be the only new thing coming.

A new report from MacRumors suggests that Apple is overhauling the Control Center with a new design and more customization options in iOS 18. This isn’t the first time that we heard this rumor. However, it seems that multiple sources who are familiar with the matter, according to MacRumors, claim that Apple has tested a redesigned version of Control Center for iOS 18.

It’s not confirmed if it’ll be part of the update next week, but regardless, it’s about time Apple gave the Control Center some TLC.

The problem with Control Center in 2024

Someone holding an iPhone 14. The display is turned on and showing the Control Center.
Control Center on an iPhone 14 Joe Maring / Digital Trends

In 2013, with iOS 7, Apple added a new feature called Control Center. With just a swipe on the screen, whether on the home screen or within an app, you could bring up a panel with multiple buttons. These buttons were controls and toggles for commonly used settings like Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, rotation lock, brightness and volume levels, and more.

For over a decade, the Control Center has largely remained unchanged. It’s one of my most used features, as I bring it up dozens of times a day. I often use it to toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when I’m experiencing some hiccups, brighten or dim the screen, turn on Low Power Mode, turn off Dark Mode for a quick second, and a few more things.

Quick Settings on the Google Pixel 8 Pro.
Quick Settings on an Android phone Joe Maring / Digital Trends

However, one of the more annoying things about Control Center is that it’s so basic compared to Android’s Quick Settings panel. With Android, you’re able to customize the Quick Settings toggles directly from the panel itself. From here, you can choose what shows up by dragging and dropping, rearrange the order to whatever you want it to be, and more. If you want to have a toggle for everything, you can with pages within the panel.

Right now, with iOS 17 you can’t customize Control Center directly. Instead, you have to go to the Settings app, scroll down for Control Center, and then you can customize it.

But it’s not even full customization either — you only get to choose what appears in the bottom half of Control Center. The top half, which has connectivity controls, rotation lock, silent toggle (for iPhone 15 Pro models), Focus, Now Playing, brightness, and volume sliders cannot be modified.

It’s long overdue for big changes

The quick settings screen in iOS 17 on the Apple iPhone 15 Plus
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

According to MacRumors’ report, the iOS 18 changes to Control Center will include the ability to rearrange controls with a drag-and-drop gesture. It’s not clear if this change would allow users to modify the controls that can’t be changed, but this would certainly apply to the optional ones at the very least.

I would love to see Apple allow us to rearrange our Control Center shortcuts with a simple drag-and-drop gesture. Android already does this, and it just makes the most sense. Even if this is the only big change for Control Center, it would be more than welcome.

It was always a bit idiotic that you could never customize the Control Center directly, as everything has to be done through the Settings app. The same thing can be said for changing settings in various apps, too, which are buried in the Settings app instead of the app itself, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

OxygenOS quick settings panel on a OnePlus 12R kept on the edge of wooden bench.
Quick Settings on a OnePlus Android phone Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Though the report only talks about a new way to customize your controls through drag-and-drop, there are other changes that Apple could make to improve the overall user experience. For one, I think we need 5G toggles at this point (sometimes I need to switch to LTE because of connectivity issues), and if you’re a HomeKit user, then consistency would be a welcome change instead of just suggested controls. There’s no guarantee that these requests will show up next week, so let’s just keep our fingers crossed.

I’m also curious what the possible “redesign” will look like. There were whispers that iOS 18 could have some visionOS-inspired changes, which I would personally like to see, but nothing has been set in stone yet.

Thankfully, we don’t have to wait much longer now. WWDC 2024 kicks off on Monday, June 10. And, hopefully, it will bring us the Control Center changes I’ve waited years for.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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