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Get to know iOS 10's new Control Center

Apple has revamped, added new features and changed the overall look of iOS 10's Control Center.

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In earlier versions of iOS, Control Center felt a bit cramped, taking up the majority of an iPhone's screen in order to fit everything in. You could tap a button to toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and similar features on or off, or control music playback via media controls.

With iOS 10, however, there are now three different panels in Control Center, each one serving a different purpose.

The main panel

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

You still access Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of your iOS device's display. The first panel is where you now find shortcuts for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Rotation Lock along the top row. A brightness slider, AirPlay and AirDrop controls make up the middle of the panel.

Night Shift has moved from a shortcut button along the bottom row to the middle, where it's more prominently displayed. The bottom row of icons is where you can find shortcuts for tasks such as turning on the iPhone's flashlight, setting a timer, calculator and camera. Naturally, you can access and control various settings with a simple tap as you did previously. Another new feature in iOS 10's Control Center adds 3D Touch capabilities to Control Center; more specifically to the app shortcuts along the bottom.

As covered in our hidden features of iOS 10 post, you can force touch on the app icons to open a list of shortcuts. For example, pressing on the flashlight button gives you three options for brightness settings. Similar functionality is found by pressing on the Timer, Calculator and Camera buttons.

Media panel

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When viewing the first panel, you can swipe to the left to access your media controls. Any time you're playing music, streaming a podcast or playing videos this panel is what you can use to skip to the next song, adjust volume or AirPlay content to another device.

When playing music, you can tap on the album art to launch the appropriate music app. The same thing happens during playing a YouTube video or the like -- tap on the top portion of the panel to go directly to the proper app or website.

Unfortunately, there aren't any hidden 3D Touch features on this panel.

Home(Kit) panel

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

For those of you who use your iOS device to control various appliances and accessories throughout your home using Apple's HomeKit platform, you can now quickly access and control items directly from Control Center.

Any HomeKit-compatible products you've connected to your Apple ID will show up on the Home panel. Tapping on something such as lights will turn them on or off. Using 3D Touch, you can open an item to view more information, and adjust a light's brightness, for example.

In the top-right corner is a button to view and easily toggle your HomeKit Scenes.

For more information on the ins and outs of iOS10, check out this guide to all things iOS10.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on July 13, and has since been updated to reflect the launch of iOS 10.

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