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Jason

Apple clarifies what Control Center Wi-Fi, Bluetooth toggles do in iOS 11.2 beta

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A little pop-up message goes a long way to understanding Control Center buttons.

 

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The first time a user turns off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi from the Control Center on their device, they'll see a pop-up window that will say "disconnecting nearby Wi-Fi until tomorrow" or "disconnecting Bluetooth accessories until tomorrow." The messages also explain that both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are not totally disconnected in this case, however, they will still function to allow some features and devices to work with that iDevice. Bluetooth will still be available for the Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, Personal Hotspot, and Handoff, while Wi-Fi will still be on for AirDrop, Personal Hotspot, and location accuracy.

 

While the Control Center toggles turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi temporarily, there are a few cases detailed in an Apple support document that will turn both features back on automatically. Wi-Fi will turn back on when you connect to a Wi-Fi network via the Settings app; when you walk or drive to a new location; when it's 5am local time; or when you restart your device. Bluetooth is similar: the feature will turn back on when you connect to a Bluetooth device via the Settings app; when it's 5am local time; or when you restart your device. In order to fully disable Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, you'll have to use the dedicated toggles in the Settings app.

 

How intuitive for these buttons to not do what pretty much everyone expects them to do.

 

As noted by one of the Ars commenters,

 

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So when I turn off wifi to save battery on my 20 mile bike ride my choice will be overridden in less than a mile. Thanks Apple.

 

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I wonder when this started? I noticed a while ago that killing bluetooth via control center wouldn't disconnect my Apple Watch. I wonder if it's because people would kill bluetooth and wonder why their Apple Watch / Apple Pencil didn't work. Still dumb that the buttons don't do what they seem to do.

 

The bike use case is interesting, though. I'd wager that killing wifi for a 20 mile bike ride is either battery neutral or makes the battery life worse if signal strength / GPS is weak and the phone uses them more for location services when wifi is off.

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I think this is kind of annoying, but I'm not really going to get up in arms about it. There was a time when turning off wifi and bluetooth would have made a noticeable impact on battery life, but I seriously doubt that's the case anymore. (It would be interesting if someone would test that on modern phones.) They use those radios in the background for more and more, I imagine that Apple is absolutely correct in that this will help more people than it could really hurt.

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1 hour ago, Kal-El814 said:

I wonder when this started? I noticed a while ago that killing bluetooth via control center wouldn't disconnect my Apple Watch. I wonder if it's because people would kill bluetooth and wonder why their Apple Watch / Apple Pencil didn't work. Still dumb that the buttons don't do what they seem to do.

 

The bike use case is interesting, though. I'd wager that killing wifi for a 20 mile bike ride is either battery neutral or makes the battery life worse if signal strength / GPS is weak and the phone uses them more for location services when wifi is off.

 

Another Ars commenter:
 

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Let's cut to the chase. This is all about iBeacon. Wouldn't want the retail stores who use this service from Apple to not be able to track you.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Jason said:

Another Ars commenter:

 

Uhh... probably not? That seems like a really limited use case. And don't you need specific apps for iBeacon to work? Keeping it on for iBeacon specifically seems really unlikely.

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I like that control center now works this way instead of completely killing everything. 

 

I think the WiFi comes back on so (clueless) people don’t download apps/updates on their data plan. 

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