Apple quietly added a feature everyone wanted in iOS 11, and it just caught up to Android in a big way

During Apple’s WWDC 2017 event on Monday, I was looking out for one relatively small update in iOS 11 that would make a big difference: the ability to turn Low Power mode on or off from the Control Center.

I wasn’t the only one who wanted this feature, as many others posted tweets proclaiming their desire for a faster, easier way to access the iPhone’s Low Power mode.

But lo, it was never announced during the WWDC keynote, and it looked like we’d have to keep going through the somewhat convoluted process of tapping or 3D Touching into the Settings menu to turn on the battery-saving feature.

Yet, from the darkness of the concluded Apple event rose tweets that would allay our sorrow, like this tweet from app developer Ryan Jones, complete with siren emojis and excited capitalised elation:

Jones spotted the feature we all wanted in iOS 11, and it was good. 

Understandably, not everyone has seen Jones’ tweet, or the tweets of others who also found the unannounced feature, and many dismissed Apple for seemingly not addressing the feature. But Jones and I are here to tell you that, yes, it is coming.

And, on top of the ability of adding Low Power Mode to the iOS Control Center, we can finally customise which features we want to add to Control Center, like turning off our iPhones’ cellular connection or adding a shortcut to the Notes app. No longer are we limited to the shortcuts Apple thinks we should have access to.

For several years now, Android users have had this level of control. They could swipe down on their phones to reveal a customisable shortcuts menu, which allows them to quickly and easily access features they use on a regular basis. And now, iPhone users are finally getting some level of control, too. 

Galaxy s8 shortcuts menuBusiness InsiderThe Android shortcuts menu on a Galaxy S8.

As small as these Control Center features may seem compared to the bigger announcements at WWDC, it’s a major shift from Apple’s usual controlling ways, and it’s a sign that Apple may finally be giving more power to its users to customise their iPhones and iPads in the way they want them to work.

It isn’t yet clear what other shortcuts we’ll be able to add to the Control Center in iOS 11 until its final version is rolled out in the fall. Another shortcut I hope to see is an option to turn on or off the mobile hotspot.

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