Apple needs to revamp Control Centre in IOS 10
This time last year, tech journalists bemoaned the lack of genuine multitasking in IOS 8, and how various features were buggy and poorly implemented. IOS 9 addressed several of these issues, and in many ways was the smoothest and most comprehensive update that Apple had ever released. Yet it left one major part of the iPhone experience unfinished: Control Ccentre.
This feature is accessed with a swipe up from the bottom of the screen on either an iPhone or iPad and contains such vital controls as flashlight, Bluetooth and wifi on/off toggles, brightness and volume, amongst other functions. Now that these items are in Control Centre, they can be accessed far more quickly than by digging around for them in the bloated settings app (another area that needs to be addressed in IOS 10). The problem with Control Centre is that we are stuck with what Apple thinks are the all-important shortcuts, rather than what the user thinks. We mere mortals are not yet trusted to configure our own preferences, which is odd, given that notifications centre, the menu accessed by swiping from the top of the screen down to the middle, is almost entirely customisable, as are Apple Watch "complications". I see no reason why the toggles in Control Centre cannot be the same. For instance, I use Personal Hotspot all the time to enable my iPad to use my iPhone's 4G allowance, yet the process is burdensome, involving several taps on multiple menus in Settings to turn it on. How much more convenient to be able to turn it on in Control Centre? I understand that Apple doesn't want to confuse the novices, but these guys can simply enjoy the default arrangement while the rest of us can feel like we are, ahem, in control of our own devices.
IOS 9 created split view on the iPad, a far more useful search capacity, the new notes app and a back button allowing users to quickly return to the last app they were in. Simple, effective stuff. So much so that many Apple commentators appear more conservative with their wish lists for IOS 10. Much of the low hanging fruit in terms of essential improvements has been taken with IOS 9, such as an onboard keyboard that makes sensible suggestions to help users type more quickly. Yet there are still a few issues to iron out, as the iMore team have made clear in their wish list for iOS 10. Control Centre ought to be front and centre of any redesign that Apple delivers.