iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course
by Josh Centers

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Take Control of the iOS 8 Control Center

Control Center is a handy way to access common controls. To open Control Center, swipe up from beneath the bottom of the screen. In some apps, swipe up once to reveal the Control Center handle and then carefully swipe up on the handle .

① 	Here’s a look at Control Center on an iPad. From left to right, you see (**A)** audio-playback and volume controls, **(B)** wireless controls, **(C)** Do Not Disturb and Mute (or orientation lock), **(D)** AirDrop and AirPlay, **(E)** the brightness slider, and **(F)** shortcut buttons. Control Center on the iPhone and iPod touch has similar controls, but with a different layout.

① Here’s a look at Control Center on an iPad. From left to right, you see (A) audio-playback and volume controls, (B) wireless controls, (C) Do Not Disturb and Mute (or orientation lock), (D) AirDrop and AirPlay, (E) the brightness slider, and (F) shortcut buttons. Control Center on the iPhone and iPod touch has similar controls, but with a different layout.

To close Control Center, swipe back down on the handle, or touch anywhere on the screen outside Control Center.

Audio

Networking

② 	When you tap the Airplane mode button in Control Center (circled), the cellular and Wi-Fi icons in the status bar (if any) are replaced by an airplane icon (circled).

② When you tap the Airplane mode button in Control Center (circled), the cellular and Wi-Fi icons in the status bar (if any) are replaced by an airplane icon (circled).

Note: Once you turn on Airplane mode, you can turn on Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth, so an airplane icon in your status bar does not necessarily mean all connections are disabled.

AirDrop

AirDrop allows you to transfer files or bits of data between Apple devices. For example, you could AirDrop a photo from your iPhone to your son’s iPad.

To AirDrop to a Mac, both the iOS device and the Mac must meet Apple’s stringent iOS-Mac Continuity Requirements.

To AirDrop between iOS 8 devices or with an iOS 7 device, you need at least a 4th-generation iPad, iPad mini, iPhone 5 or later, or 5th-generation iPod touch.

To start an AirDrop transfer, use a Share sheet (see Managing Share Sheets in iOS 8). For the transfer to go through, the recipient should work in Control Center to make his device discoverable for AirDrop transfer .

③ 	In Control Center, you can set who can discover you via AirDrop—your contacts only or everyone in your device’s Bluetooth range (about 33 feet or 10 meters).

③ In Control Center, you can set who can discover you via AirDrop—your contacts only or everyone in your device’s Bluetooth range (about 33 feet or 10 meters).

AirPlay

AirPlay allows you to send audio, video, photos, and more to your Apple TV (or just audio to an AirPort Express). Tap the AirPlay button to choose an available device and optionally turn on AirPlay Mirroring.

Note: For more about AirPlay, check out my other book, Take Control of Apple TV.

Do Not Disturb

Useful while you’re in a performance or asleep, Do Not Disturb can be enabled to prevent notification alerts, FaceTime calls, and phone calls from disturbing you with noise, vibration, or your screen’s backlight.

To allow repeated calls or key people (see Favoriting Contacts) to override Do Not Disturb, visit Settings > Do Not Disturb . You can also set Do Not Disturb to turn on and off on a schedule.

④ 	Do Not Disturb can be customized.

④ Do Not Disturb can be customized.

Shortcuts

If your device has an LED flash for its back camera, Control Center includes a Flashlight button . Tap it to turn the light on and off.

⑤ 	On the iPhone, Control Center has shortcuts for Flashlight (**G**), Clock timer (**H**), Calculator (**I**), and Camera (**J**).

⑤ On the iPhone, Control Center has shortcuts for Flashlight (G), Clock timer (H), Calculator (I), and Camera (J).

The other shortcuts—for Timer (in the Clock app), Calculator, and Camera—open those apps respectively, when tapped.

Mute

On the iPad only, you may see this button. Tap it to mute audio from alerts, notifications, and sound effects. However, media playback will not be muted.

Note: On the iPad, whether you see the Mute or Orientation Lock button depends on whether you’ve set the Side Switch to activate Mute or Orientation Lock in Settings > General.

Orientation Lock

Tap this button to lock the screen’s orientation and prevent it from rotating.

Brightness

Adjust the slider to a comfortable level. Typically, it’s better to lower brightness in dark environments and crank it up in direct sunlight. You can also enable Auto-Brightness in Settings > Display & Brightness to help keep brightness at an appropriate level.

What’s Bluetooth?

Bluetooth has been around for years, allowing home electronics and other devices to transmit data wirelessly over short distances.

An important Bluetooth standard, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (LE), is designed to allow small, battery-powered devices to transfer data with minimal power use. For a small device like an environmental sensor or a fitness bracelet—or an Apple Watch—LE is crucial, because the device can transmit data using just a trickle of power from a cheap button battery.

Apple began including Bluetooth 4.0 in its devices a few years ago (making it possible for these devices to receive data from so-called “Bluetooth Smart” devices). Any iOS device that can run iOS 8 has Bluetooth 4.0, except for the iPad 2, which has Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.

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“PSA: If you’re at a performance, remember that you can turn on Do Not Disturb quickly from iOS 8’s Control Center.”

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