How to Use the iPad Control Panel

iPad control panel

The Control Panel is a great way to get access to music controls and basic iPad settings from anywhere on the iPad, including when playing a game or surfing the web. You can even open the iPad's Control Panel from the lock screen, which is great if you want to turn down the volume or skip a song.  

How to Open the Control Panel on the iPad:

You can access the control panel by sliding a finger from the very bottom of the screen up towards the top.

The trick is to tap your finger on the very edge of the screen where it meets the bevel and then move your finger up.  You should see the control panel appear as you move your finger.

If you have an older iPad with a bulky case, you may have problems getting your finger right at the edge of the screen.  If your case is in the way, it might be time to buy a new case.  But most of the time, you should be able to get your finger in the right position.  Try starting below the screen on the outer bevel.

Note: If you aren't seeing the same divided control panel as pictured above, you may need to upgrade to the latest version of the operating system.

How to Use the Control Panel:

The new control panel divides the basic controls and the music control.  If you want to control your music using the familiar play, pause, skip and go back controls, swipe from the right side of the screen toward the left to pull the slightly visible music controls into focus on the main screen.

 If you have an AirPlay device like Apple TV, you will also be able to toggle from your iPad speakers to your AirPlay speakers using these controls.  

On the main screen, you can do switch various features on or off and get access to some basic controls.

Airplane Mode. This switch shuts off all communication on the iPad, including Wi-Fi and the data connection.

So called because of the frequent requests to shut down communication when lifting off and landing on an airplane, it's not quite as useful as the same mode is on a phone.

Wi-Fi. If you have an iPad with a 3G or 4G data connection, it can sometimes be aggravating to receive a very poor Wi-Fi signal when your data connection would be much faster. This easy access to turn off Wi-Fi saves you from hunting through your iPad settings.

Bluetooth. Bluetooth is the type of service you frequently want to turn on and off. It's great to see Apple recognize this and give us a shortcut.

Do Not Disturb. Another feature more useful for phones, the Do Not Disturb can still be handy if you receive a lot of Facetime calls.

Lock Orientation. The iPad's ability to automatically orient itself is great unless you are holding it at just the right angle where it wants to flip orientation when you don't want the change. This button will solve that dilemma.

AirDrop Options. By default, AirDrop is set to "Contacts Only", which means only people in your contact list can send you AirDrop requests. You can turn off AirDrop completely or open it up to anyone with this option.

Timer/Clock. Have you ever wanted quick access to a timer or stopwatch?

This button opens the Clock app to the timer page.

Camera. If you sometimes fumble trying to remember where you moved the Camera icon on your home screen, you now have quick access to it on the Control Panel.

Brightness. Adjusting brightness is a great way to save battery life, but sometimes it can be adjusted too low to comfortably read.