The Control Center is a quick access panel on iOS that houses frequently used settings. You can access it from anywhere; the lock screen, the home screen, and from inside any app. Control Center has toggles for airplane mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, et.,c and buttons for accessing the camera, calculator, compass, and flashlight. Up until iOS 9, it also housed music controls. If you were listening to music, you didn’t have to unlock your phone to manage the volume, skip a track, or play/pause it. With iOS 10, the music controls have moved or, more accurately, the Control Center has been redesigned. Here’s where you can access the music controls in Control Center.
Control Center in iOS 10 has tabs, three of them. You might not notice the tabs immediately. The only clue to their existence is two or three little dots below the Control Center slider. You might miss them if you have an overly dense wallpaper set on your home screen or lock screen.
In iOS 10, swipe left on the Control Center to go to the Music tab. If you have devices connected in Home Kit, your Control Center will have a third tab where you can control them. If not, Control Center will have two tabs; one for the quick access toggles and apps, and one for controlling music playback.
The music controls aren’t difficult to figure out. They’re the same ones you’ve always had but with larger buttons. The app you are playing music in appears at the top. If your phone is unlocked and you tap the music app in the music tab in Control Center, you will be switched to it.
Album art will appear in this tab and you can control the volume here. If you tap a song that’s currently playing, you will again switch to the app it is being played in.
On a side note, in iOS 9 I noticed that controlling the volume from the Control Center had lost its precision. Often, tapping the little knob on the volume slider resulted in music being paused. I chalked it up to having chubby fingers but have since observed a lot of people complaining of the same problem.
With music controls in a tab of their own, the problem has gone away. Perhaps Apple should have made it a bit more obvious that you can now swipe through to a new tab in Control Center. The dots at the bottom are consistent with the design in iOS just not very obvious to the unsuspecting user.