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Home / iPhone / My least favorite feature of the iPhone X: Control Center

My least favorite feature of the iPhone X: Control Center

Video: iPhone X review: Face ID, the notch, and a new screen

It turns out, the home button isn’t the only thing missing from the iPhone X. Control Center, Apple’s one-stop shop for various toggles and app shortcuts, is also missing.

Well, that’s not entirely true, but it sure feels like it is. To open Control Center on the iPhone X, you have to swipe down from the top-right corner of the display. However, after nearly a month of daily use, I’ve found my use of Control Center has all but stopped.

Prior to the iPhone X, a swipe up from the bottom of the screen would put music controls or the calculator app at my fingertips. I never really paid attention to just how often I would disable Wi-Fi or adjust the brightness of my display through Control Center until I started using the iPhone X. It was something I did without much thought.

Indeed, the feature is still just a swipe away, but the gesture is in an inconvenient location especially for one-handed use. Reaching with my thumb to the top-right corner is awkward. And I say this as a right-handed person. I can’t imagine how awkward this placement is for a left-handed user. At first, I thought muscle memory had gotten the best of me and I would eventually adapt to Control Center’s new home. That’s not the case.

Starting in iOS 11.2, currently in beta, Apple added a handle (similar to the one that’s constantly at the bottom of the screen) to remind users where Control Center is located. But, instead of adding a small line to help people find Control Center, I think Apple should change how it’s accessed altogether.


(Image: Jason Cipriani/ZDNet)

Prior to the iPhone X’s announcement, a video was uncovered from within iOS firmware that showed Control Center access used the same gesture for multitasking: A swipe up from the bottom, with a slight pause to display recently used apps with Control Center to the right.

I like the idea of using a gesture that iPhone X users are already doing, and it starts at the bottom of the screen, to open Control Center.

With a camera shortcut already on the lock screen of the iPhone X, another option would be to replace the left-swipe gesture that also opens the camera, with a shortcut to Control Center. We don’t need two shortcuts to the camera app on the same screen.

There are pros and cons to each method for accessing Control Center, and frankly, I’m not sure which one is the best. I do know, however, the current method isn’t the answer, and I’m not alone in that thinking.

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