Wednesday, September 20, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

iOS 11: Control Center No Longer Turns Off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Joe Rossignol:

When you deep press on the system toggles pane, for example, a larger pane pops open with previously hidden AirDrop and Personal Hotspot controls.

On iOS 11, users can add, remove, and organize controls in Control Center through the Settings app.

Apple (via Joe Rossignol):

In iOS 11 and later, when you toggle the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth buttons in Control Center, your device will immediately disconnect from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will continue to be available, so you can use these important features[…]

[…]

If you want to completely disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for all networks and devices, follow these steps:

  • To turn off Wi-Fi, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and turn off Wi-Fi.
  • To turn off Bluetooth, go to Settings > Bluetooth and turn off Bluetooth.

On the other hand, if you don’t turn them fully off they will eventually turn fully back on according to some non-obvious rules.

Nick Heer:

I kind of get why this change was made: a frequent barrier in my use of AirDrop “just working” is that a friend’s Bluetooth connection has been toggled off. I don’t think that most people would be fully aware that both networking services must be switched on for many of Apple’s “continuity” features to keep working.

The new behavior kind of makes sense, but it’s not very intuitive.

Update (2017-09-21): In some circumstances, you can use Airplane Mode as a substitute.

John Gruber:

Off the top of my head, I would suggest making them three-way switches: on and connected, on but disconnected, and off. I don’t have an idea for how to present that visually though. Or make on/off buttons available in the expanded menu you get when you 3D touch on these controls. UPDATE: DF reader Matthew Smith emailed to point out that these buttons already have three states: “In Control Center, when you tap the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth icon, it goes from blue to grey. If you tap the Airplane mode icon, both icons go grey, but also gain another indicator: A diagonal line through their icons. This is a good way to tell the difference between disconnected and off. So with the currently available indicators, these could easily become a 3-way switch.”

3-way switches were my first thought as well, but I presume Apple rejected this idea because most people would then actually turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off, thus undermining the point of the change.

See also: Hacker News.

Mike Ash:

I think the functionality makes a lot of sense. But it sure would have been nice to indicate what’s going on in the UI somehow. Maybe not reuse the familiar icons to indicate a new thing?

Update (2017-09-22): Rod Christiansen:

I really like the new behaviour. Most of the time I’m just am trying to get out of a shitty WiFi but I still want it turned on.

Another Control Center oddity: the Remote widget doesn’t work with the Apple TV 3, even though the AirPlay widget (and the full Remote app) do.

Update (2017-09-26): Glenn Fleishman:

Representing three states with an On/Off switch in Settings and Control Center’s multi-state button is not the crispest way to help users achieve their goals. Apple should redesign both areas[…]

Update (2017-11-21): Juli Clover:

In the new iOS 11.2 beta released this morning, Apple has added new informational pop-ups to let users know exactly how these toggles work. The new pop-ups explain that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will be disabled temporarily rather than permanently.

Update (2018-05-19): Greg Hurrell:

Damn Apple. The whole “Turning Wi-Fi off until tomorrow” thing is a rotten lie. I turned it off at 7:30 AM this morning and I look now at 9 AM to see it’s back on again. Happens frequently.

Update (2019-04-28): Deb Chachra:

I an on a packed Acela, and despite having Bluetooth turned off, my phone keeps asking me if I want to connect people’s AirPods.

2 Comments

Siri still turns off (actually turns off, not just disconnects from) Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, for what it's worth.

Apple should put owner-id field in the secure enclave, and only ask for pairing if are your own AirPods (or when the owner-id field is still empty).

(secure enclave remark is only because it souds cool. The rest is serious)

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