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Probably one of the most welcome improvements in iOS 7 is a new feature called Control Center. Control Center is a collection of some of the most commonly used settings and tools on your device which you can quickly access from a central location. To open Control Center simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen. You can also do this while in just about any other app. The layout of Control Center varies a bit, depending on which device you're using, and whether you're using your device in Portrait or Landscape orientation. But you'll find almost all of the same settings on all of the iOS devices. Most of the settings here can be accessed elsewhere on your device, but for many of these, you'll have to dig through several levels of menus to find them.
A couple of these items reside here exclusively, and can't be found anywhere else. We'll take longer looks at many of these settings later in this course, but for now here's a quick run down of the options here in Control Center. The five buttons across the top here allow you to quickly toggle these settings on and off with a single tap. The first one is Airplane Mode, which shuts down all the radios in your device so it won't receive or transmit any data. Similarly the next two, turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off and on. Next to that is the Do Not Disturb mode button, for setting your phone to not ring or alert you of any incoming messages. We'll see this in action and learn how to adjust its settings later in the course.
The 5th button here is Orientation Lock, which keeps the display from rotating even if you turn your device sideways. This is the only place on the iPhone and iPod Touch to access Orientation Lock. On the iPad, this might be either the Orientation Lock button or the Mute button. It depends on which action you've assigned to the switch on the side of the iPad. Below the five buttons, we have the Brightness slide. This is one I use all the time, especially when I'm in a dark restaurant or a theater. Normally you have to dig into a couple levels of menus to get to your Brightness settings, but here in Control Center, it's easy to make quick adjustments. Under that, you'll find Playback Controls for any audio you might be listening to.
Depending on the type of audio or the app you're using, you'll see a couple of different configurations of controls. But you'll always have a Play button with Rewind and Fast Forward buttons on either side. Or possibly 15 Second Rewind and Fast Forward buttons if you're listening to an audio book. You also have a slider to quickly adjust the Volume level. Under that, if your device supports the new AirDrop file sharing feature, you'll find AirDrop controls. I'll talk about AirDrop in its own upcoming movie. If there are any AirPlay enabled devices nearby, such as an Apple TV, you can connect to them from here, to stream audio or video from your device to the Apple TV.
And lastly, below that are four buttons to quickly access useful tools. The first one is a Flashlight, which turns on the iPhone and iPod touch's Flash and leaves it on until you turn it back off. This is the only place you'll find this control, and you won't find this button on the iPad, because iPads don't have built in flashes. Next to that is a Timer button, which instantly takes you to the Timer section of the Clocks app. This can be really useful when you need to set a countdown for anything, to you taking your lunch break, or for baking a cake. The button next to that, opens the Calculator app. This is another app that isn't available on the iPad, so you won't find this button there. And the final button gives you quick access to your camera, for those times when you need to get a shot as quickly as possible.
Now Control Center itself has a couple of settings of its own. Now to close Control Center, you can either tap outside of Control Center, swipe down or just press your Home button. To get to the Control Center settings, go to Settings> Control Center, and first choose if you want to be able to access Control Center from the Lock Screen. With it on, when your phone is locked, swiping up from the bottom of the screen still opens Control Center. This can be really convenient til you get to your camera or to the playback controls if you're listening to music or any of the other settings. One downside to this is if your device is stolen, it can be put into Airplane mode even if you have a pass code lock on your device.
And Airplane mode makes it impossible to track your phone's location with tools like Find My iPhone, which we'll see how to use later. So if that's a concern you might want to sacrifice the convenience of accessing Control Center from the Lock screen. The other option here is access within apps, if you want to be able to get to Control Center at anytime, no matter what you're doing on your device, keep this switched on. But if you're using an app that involves a lot of swiping in different directions, you might want to disable Control Center from within Apps. As it can get kind of annoying to keep opening it by accident. Now lastly I want to offer a quick tip here, you might find that its difficult to open Control Center in certain apps.
For instance maybe you browsing a page in Safari, and when you swipe up instead of seeing Control Center you actually scroll the page. But I found that if I place my finger just below the screen and swipe up a little more slowly, I'm able to open Control Center more consistently. And again to close Control Center you can tap its handle, or tap anywhere outside of the Control Center window. So, that's Control Center, a really useful and convenient addition to iOS 7.
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