iOS 18 makes this once complicated iPhone feature much more user-friendly (and I'm a fan)

At WWDC 2024, Apple unveiled updated widgets, multiple shortcut pages, and a slick new way to customize your phone's Control Center in iOS 18.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
Key Photo selection of Prakhar Khanna in Live Photos on the iPhone 15 Pro
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

This year's WWDC is underway, and one of the most functional new features in the upcoming iOS 18 is a revamped Control Center.

The last major change with the Control Center happened nearly five years ago, when Apple introduced the ability to add, remove, and rearrange toggles with the release of iOS 11. Today, the company is changing the interface to allow users to further customize these toggles, which include flashlight, screen recording, calculator, auto-rotate, screen mirroring, and more, by rearranging them from within the Control Center page.

Also: Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2024, including iOS 18, Siri, AI, and more

Why is this a big deal? Previously, rearranging icons in the Control Center required users to open the Settings app, tap into several slides within the Control Center section, and then manually add, remove, or reorder what's on the page. With iOS 18, you can simply tap and hold on an icon from within the Control Center and drag it around, similar to how you'd rearrange apps on the home screen. You can also resize the widgets.

The new Control Center will also support multiple pages of shortcuts. A long swipe-down from the home screen hovers through a vertical stack of widgets and controls. I've never had an issue with having too many icons in the Control Center, but I can see this being useful for those who want to organize them based on functionality; perhaps one page for basic tasks and another specifically for smart home appliances.

Also: Apple Photos app is getting an AI-powered editing feature to wipe out photobombers

Speaking of which, Apple is adding a new music widget and updated interface for smart home controls. Currently, the music player is permanently situated in the top-right corner of the Control Center, with very minimal functionality (only play, pause, and skip track). As for the state of smart home toggles, it can be very chaotic when you have a few too many lights and accessories throughout the house; each one basically requires its own separate toggle.

For more, find out how you'll be able to schedule text messages in iOS 18.

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