iOS 11 has changed how Wi-Fi and Bluetooth switches in Control Center work, but many users didn’t get the memo and were left dumbfounded realizing toggling these controls off doesn’t really shut down wireless radios.

To address that problem and help avoid further user confusion, Apple has included a pair of popups in iOS 11.2 beta 3 to explain the updated functionality of the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles. Now when the user brings up Control Center and taps on either switch for the first time, an informational popup offers a brief explanation how they work.

Tapping the Wi-Fi toggle yields a message saying that the current Wi-Fi network and others nearby will be disconnected while the Wi-Fi radio will continue to be available for features like AirDrop, Personal Hotspot and location accuracy.

A similar message appears when the user interacts with the Bluetooth switch in iOS 11.2’s Control Center for the first time. “Currently connected accessories will be disconnected and other accessories will not connect,” reads the prompt. “Bluetooth will continue to be available for Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, Personal Hotspot and Handoff.

Like before, users can permanently shut down wireless radios through the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth sections of the Settings app or by turning Airplane Mode on. iOS 11.2 also tweaks Wi-Fi and Bluetooth iconography for the disconnected state in Control Center.

Control Center iconography for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth before iOS 11.2.

Before iOS 11.2, toggling Wi-Fi or Bluetooth off in Control Center greyed out the icons. In iOS 11.2, the icons turn from blue to a white background that’s visually similar to the Volume and Brightness sliders in Control Center.

The new iconography is definitely more consistent with the rest of Control Center while helping better distinguish between the on, disconnected and off states for the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons.

Updated iconography for the disconnected Wi-Fi and Bluetooth states in iOS 11.2

Given that the Electronic Frontier Foundation recently criticized Apple’s implementation of these switches, calling them “misleading“ and “bad for user security,” Apple’s done the right thing introducing these informational popup in iOS 11.2.

What do you think about these changes? Do they make your more confident interacting with Control Center’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles?

Let us know in the comments!

  • Hektōr

    Makes it clearer but doesn’t make it useful. As someone said on MacRumors Forum: “toggled on should be on, toggled off should be off”. That’s it.

    • 9to5Slavery

      Agreed

    • diggitydang

      Even better – give people the choice in the settings app! I have an Apple Watch and often use Air Drop, so I like that it acts this way. I can totally understand those that want it turned off completely though.

  • 9to5Slavery

    A pop up?? I hate pop ups !!!!!!!

  • AMB_07

    Good Apple, now next step is to take a step back and undo this dumb change to the control center.

    • Christopher Lim

      Well, I actually prefer the way thus acts as it leaves them on for AirDrop. I use a Mac, an Apple Watch and an iPhone and this makes handoff and AirDrop far more consistent. Especially with my other friends who before iOS 11 always switched them off. Now everything is faster. Sacrificing user control for ease of use has always been Apple’s mentality.

      • AMB_07

        What you say makes no sense because it implies that the process was either slower or less convenient in the past and this is false on both accounts.

      • Christopher Lim

        It was slower since plenty of people switched off bluetooth and AirDrop and had to manually switch it on every time it had to be used. Since now’s it’s persistently on in the background, discovery has gotten way quicker and reliable as well as not needing additional steps to switch it back on. Making it faster and more convenient compared to the previous method. Of course, this does not apply to people who always had it on… but hey, those people are unlikely to be complaining anyways.

  • Yeah this doesn’t help anything. Apple needs to make the toggles functional, not write a book about what they do. Most users resort to these toggles to turn something off entirely.

    • Mr_Coldharbour

      Well said. Thank you!

  • Ronny Llerena

    I personally think that if I TURN SOMETHING OFF, that it’s OFF, not just half way off. Apple should be worried about fixing bugs instead of doing things we don’t really care for, in a sense the control toggles are practically USELESS if they don’t turn things OFF, STUPID, I think.

    • Mr_Coldharbour

      I couldn’t agree more. What’s the point of CC now? Glad I’m still on iOS 10.3.3.

  • Lui

    I really do not understand you guys, the game has changed. From now if you want to complety turn off WF/BT, go to Settings and do so.
    If you continue using CC icons, you need to consider that it works differently. End of story.

    • Mr_Coldharbour

      So you enjoy having things mislead you and turn halfway off, and bombard you with yet more and more useless pop ups on something you already know?

      The majority of us savvy users who noticed this change abhor this change and think it’s stupid and unfounded and want the old behaviour back (a behaviour which made sense). Now CC is just a useless pop up sheet.

      • Christopher Lim

        Who are we? I knew exactly what it did (it’s been covered since the betas) and I love this change. Solves the AirDrop hassles my friends always cause by switching BLE off for no reason whatsoever. I use an Apple Watch and multiple other Macs and iDevices within my family and this makes handoff and sharing way more reliable.

      • Blip dude

        Then why even come up with pointless feature to begin with then. The only thing this does is disable wireless headphones and Wi-Fi connections, literally nothing else that most users would need to worry about.

        Also, some of us don’t use Airdrop, have an Apple Watch, pencil, etc. so for those people so for those this is an inconvenience as they now to go through the settings app AGAIN to disabled something that up until a few weeks ago could’ve been done in less than 2 seconds, that’s the point.

      • Christopher Lim

        I believe that disabling discoverability for bluetooth and or WiFi avoids some of the security vulnerabilities of the protocols. But at the same time, not disabling Apple’s features like handoff and AirDrop.

        Those features can be used with other users even if you yourself do not have multiple devices. However, with the increasing push to wireless connectivity (Wireless keyboards, mice, stylus, bluetooth…) It would make sense that Apple would want to ensure that their features and hardware will work reliably. Especially frustrating since there isn’t another option. Plus, why would you want to fully disable those features anyways? Most users use WiFi all the time and iPhone 7 and above don’t even have a headphone jack so…

  • HardTakeR

    turn on and turn off.
    no more!

  • Mr_Coldharbour

    Oh great! Now we hve YET ANOOOOTHER additional pop up each time we tap on an icon.

    “Disconnect until tomorrow”…what does that even mean? “Until tomorrow” when? This whole design is just wrong I can’t believe only a few of us here are actually annoyed by it. Of course Apple only caters to those who don’t know any better.

    Instead of addressing the issue and give users a choice they just bombard us with yet more and more pop ups.

    For God’s sake Apple, undo this dumb change to Control Center and bring back the old behaviour, or at least give us the OPTION to ACTUALLY have those radios turn OFF when we tap those CC icons.

    This is one of the reasons I’m sticking to iOS 10.3.3 on my 6S Plus. They’re making a user not update because of that.

    OFF should be OFF, and ON should be ON. End of story, period, full stop!

    • Christopher Lim

      I agree with the option of a setting to chose. But I like this behaviour more than the past one. If only they could implement something similar on macOS… I’ve noticed far more consistent AirDrop and Handoff between my friends and I, solves most of the past issues with them always switching off bluetooth LOW ENERGY to “save energy”. Most people will keep WiFi on most of the time anyways. The popups are supposedly only for the first time, shouldn’t be a bugger.

  • techfreak23

    I don’t understand why people are so butt hurt about this change. Sure they should have been more transparent after making the change, and not waited after so much outcry and two dot releases to have an explanation on the device. It’s actually nice that it leaves the functionality for certain things (WiFi leaves 3 functions enabled and Bluetooth leaves 4 and everything else is disconnected). For those of us that use continuity, handoff, or airdrop and frequently disable Bluetooth and WiFi for other reasons, one might forget to re-enable them when sitting down at one’s computer or going up to a friend’s device trying to AirDrop them something. One would then have to pull up control center to toggle the settings. Probably after wasting some time trying to figure out why those two features didn’t work before realizing they turned off the very radios that enable them in the first place. I don’t understand how people are missing Apple’s logic on this.

    However, I’ll agree with the compromise to have the behavior as an option in settings, but in the grand scheme of things this is a pretty minor “issue.” Unless there is some proof of concept that shows this in fact a breach of security in some way or the device can be accessed more easily, people are complaining over nothing. The technology has improved so much at this point that the battery impact by having these radios on is extremely minimal.

    • Icebox766

      If you’re a heavy user, as I suspect most readers are here, and you want to squeeze every minute of use possible out of that battery, you will want the radios off when you don’t need them. I don’t have other apple devices myself, so I don’t give a hoot about airdrop, handoff, or features for the watch or pencil. I don’t use personal hotspot. I’m adult enough to know that I need to turn Bluetooth or wifi on when they’re off. No biggie. Control center is a nice time saver, and having to constantly go into settings to get the desired effect is a PITA that CC was designed to solve.

      Tl;dr Not all iPhone users have the same needs. An option in settings allowing users to decide is what’s best.

      • techfreak23

        Yes, that’s why I said I agree on the compromise to have the option in the settings.

        I am a power user myself, but the difference in battery life with those options on is pretty minimal in my daily use. Apple wouldn’t have set it up this way if leaving those radios on for those very specific functions would have any significant impact on battery life. But maybe they’ll give users an option in a future update since there has been so much outcry about it.

    • Blip dude

      Because if I want something on or off, I want it turned on or off, simple as that. Don’t care if any of my other connected devices (watch, pencil, etc) are affected, as that was the main point to begin with.

      If a user doesn’t know the fact that his or her watch, wireless headphones or pencil become disconnected when the Bluetooth toggle is, that’s their issue.

      • techfreak23

        Then hopefully Apple includes the option for the behavior of the toggles.

  • Blip dude

    “Bluetooth will continue to be available for Apple Watch, Apple Pencil, Personal Hotspot and Handoff.“

    Wait, what?? Yeah, at least in my experience, that’s a no. The second I toggle Bluetooth off in settings, EVERYTHING connected to said device is disconnected, so when I had my Apple Watch, it would get disconnected, and Airdrop and handoff between iPhone and iPad was disabled until I toggled it back on in Control Center.

    In other words, it didn’t “just work” for me Apple, at least not the way you’re advertising it.

  • CG

    I wish Apple would go back. iOS 9 was the peak of iOS.