iOS 13 brought out a few Control Center tweaks, including a feature that allows you to connect to Wi‑Fi networks and Bluetooth accessories around you without needing to venture into Settings and tap your way through the menus to select a nearby wireless network or device.
In iOS 12 and older, selecting Wi‑Fi networks or Bluetooth accessories from the Control Center overlay wasn’t possible at all. iOS 13 has changed that behavior by introducing interactive Wi-Fi and Bluetooth panels in the Control Center interface.
The handy addition was briefly mentioned by Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, during the June 3 keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2019 held at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
Follow along with iDownloadBlog’s step-by-step tutorial as we show you how to save time when choosing a nearby wireless network or switching Bluetooth accessories in iOS 13.
How to connect to Wi-Fi networks from Control Center in iOS 13
Here’s how to use Wi-Fi selection in Control Center:
1) Reveal the Control Center panel by swiping down from the upper-right corner of the screen on iPhone X or later or iPad with iOS 13 or later, or swipe up from the bottom edge of any screen on iPod touch or iPhone 8 or older.
2) Next, long-tap the Network card (it’s got Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons) to expand it.
3) Now long-tap the Wi-Fi icon to bring up a list of nearby wireless networks.
4) Finally, select the Wi-Fi network you’d like to join.
If the network you’re trying to connect to is protected with a password, you’ll be yanked out of Control Center and taken to Settings → Wi-Fi. When prompted, enter the network password and tap Join. Switching wireless networks without leaving Control Center is only supported for the previously connected Wi-Fi networks with passwords saved on the device.
The wireless network your iPhone or iPad is currently connected to is displayed at the top of the Wi-Fi list with a checkmark next to its name.
iOS 13’s Control Center also sports a shortcut linked to Settings → Wi-Fi — simply tap the Wi-Fi Settings option at the bottom of the menu and you’ll be transported right there.
How to connect to Bluetooth accessories from Control Center in iOS 13
To switch Bluetooth devices from Control Center, follow the steps below:
1) Invoke Control Center by swiping down from the upper-right corner of the screen on iPhone X or later or iPad with the iOS 13 software or later, or swipe up from the bottom edge of any screen on iPod touch or iPhone 8 or older.
2) Now long-tap the Network card with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons on it.
3) Next, long-tap the Bluetooth icon to bring up a list of nearby wireless networks.
4) Finally, select the Bluetooth accessory you’d like to pair with.
The Bluetooth accessory your iPhone or iPad is currently connected to is shown at the top of the menu along with a checkmark next to its name.
Like with wireless network selection in Control Center, tapping the Bluetooth Settings option at the bottom of the menu quickly takes you to Settings → Bluetooth.
New Wi-Fi features in iOS 13
iOS 13 brings other Wi-Fi improvements.
You can now set the Ask to Join feature on or off for both your Wi-Fi network and the Personal Hotspot feature independently of one another. Speaking of which, your iPhone’s hotspot can now be shared with other devices though the Family Sharing feature.
Thanks to Apple’s ongoing work on protecting user privacy, iOS 13 helps prevent apps from secretly accessing your approximate geographical location by polling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Lastly, iOS 13 supports the latest and more secure WPA3 encryption standard.
Here’s a list of Wi-Fi enhancements in iOS 13:
- WPA3 Wi-Fi support: iOS supports the latest standard from Wi‑Fi Alliance to provide you with a more secure browsing experience.
- Automatic personal hotspot: Automatically connect to your nearby iPhone personal hotspot when there’s no internet connection available.
- Persistent personal hotspot: Remain connected to your nearby iPhone personal hotspot even when your device sleeps so you can receive incoming messages and push notifications.
- Family sharing hotspot: Your family’s devices can automatically connect to your nearby iPhone personal hotspot when there’s no internet connection available.
- Popular Wi-Fi networks: Your iPhone determines which Wi-Fi networks at your location are being used and notifies you if one is available.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth location privacy enhancements: API changes and new controls help prevent apps from accessing your location without your consent while you’re using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The above features are available on all devices that are compatible with the iOS 13 update.
iOS 13 compatibility
iOS 13 is compatible with the following Apple smartphone models:
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPod touch (7th generation)
iPadOS is compatible with these iPads:
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro
- 11-inch iPad Pro
- 10.5-inch iPad Pro
- 9.7-inch iPad Pro
- iPad (6th generation)
- iPad (5th generation)
- iPad mini (5th generation)
- iPad mini 4
- iPad Air (3rd generation)
- iPad Air 2
Watch our video overview of the new iPad-only updates embedded below.
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