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iOS 7 Control Center and Notification Center: Information and settings on the fly

My favorite feature in iOS 7 is the Control Center. Having such a feature was the one reason I jailbroke my phone under previous versions of iOS. No more; the Control Center handles almost all of my desires when it comes to instant access to my most-used iOS settings. The Control Center and the Notification Center go hand in hand, but let's take a look at the Control Center first.

Before you get started using it, go into your Settings and take a look at the Control Center options. You have two: the ability to access it on the lock screen and access within apps. I have both of these activated, but at the very least, I advise having the lock screen option activated.

There are five rows on the iPhone version of Control Center.

The first row features toggles for Airplane Mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and the Orientation Lock.

The second row lets you set your brightness.

The third row is a mini music player. It'll let you know what song is playing, gives basic controls for music and adjusts volume.

The fourth row provides access to AirDrop with compatible devices and AirPlay. As you can see, my soon-to-be-departed iPhone 4S doesn't support AirDrop, so it doesn't show on the screenshot.

The final row has quick access to several apps: a built-in flashlight (finally), clock, calculator and the iPhone's camera.

The iPad setup of the Control Center puts all of these into two rows and is a bit different. AirDrop is on by default, and there's only quick access to the camera and clock functions.

I've been greatly pleased with Control Center on both my iOS devices. The one thing I wish is that you could customize what appears in the control center. I'd switch out my little-used Bluetooth toggle for the ability to turn my internet tethering off and on quickly. I'd like the ability to choose which apps I want to quick launch from Control Center, especially useful if you favor a third-party camera app such as Camera+.

Notification Center

Notification Center is a lot like its predecessor in iOS 5 and iOS 6, except it now features the same sheer overlay as the Control Center. Like the Control Center, it can be accessed from the lock screen.

The best new feature is a clear, concise view of what's coming up today. As you can see from the image above, the weather is gorgeous in the Harrisburg area; it would take me about six minutes to drive to Enola from my apartment; and I have an upcoming meeting. This screen can be customized in settings to show different items in the today view, and I love how you can check off items on the Reminders list. The traffic update is one of the best features of Google Now that made its way to iOS 7.

You can toggle among three different tabs to look at items specifically for today, all your notifications or the ones that you've missed over the past day. To dismiss notifications, you still have to go under the all section and clear them by app. I wish you could just swipe away them away.

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