iOS 11 Control Center Needs a VPN Button

1 minute read
| Editorial

You can take photos, turn on the iPhone flash light, control your Apple TV, and turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth from iOS 11’s Control Center, but you can’t enable your VPN. How is that still not an option?

iPhone X Control Center with a VPN button

Control Center in iOS 11 could be even more useful if there was a VPN button

Control Center is a feature that groups together commonly used settings and features for quick access. It’s customizable so you can see what you want, assuming they’re available options in the Control Center settings.

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, creates an encrypted tunnel to protect you web browsing, email, and other online activity from prying eyes. I always use a VPN service when I’m on public Wi-Fi so no one can eavesdrop on my activity and potentially steal personal data.

Picking out a VPN service isn’t as simple as finding the cheapest price. You’ll need to do a little research to decide which is best for you, and you can check out the services the TMO staff uses to get an idea of where to start.

Once I join a Wi-Fi network on my iPhone or iPad I have to make a trip to Settings and enable my VPN. If it’s a network I previously joined, that typically involves leaving Safari, jumping back to the first page of my Home screen, and then launching Settings so I can tap the VPN toggle.

I’m on public networks a lot, so those taps and swipes add up. I’d much prefer to swipe down on my iPhone X screen and tap a VPN button. That’s simple, convenient, and still surprisingly missing from Control Center on our iPhones and iPads.

As long as I’m asking for new features, I’d also love the option to remember my VPN setting when I rejoin a network. I always use my VPN at the coffee shop, so auto-enabling it when I join their network would be awesome. Sure, I can sort of do that in my VPN service’s app settings, but it would be great to have that as a system-level option, too.

It seems too late to see a Control Center VPN button in iOS 11, so maybe iOS 12? I’ll keep dreaming.

8 Comments Add a comment

  1. LewInVT

    Hey Jeff… Everything you’re looking for in a VPN is already available in the app for iOS and MacOS. Check it out!


    • BlackCorvid is the modern incarnation of Cloak as recommended by Melissa Holt in the above mentioned TMO article.

  2. geoduck

    Nice idea. IT would go well with an Apple VPN service. If you have an iCloud Account, your VPN would be one swipe away, and integrated into everything. With Apple’s clout, they could have dozens of VPN sites around the world to choose from.

  3. wj45

    I gotta say, before Apple implements something new like that, they should fix what they broke, and give us wi-fi and cellular toggles behave as most people think they do, and as they did under iOS 10 and earlier.

    I fear, however, that I’ll be dreaming just as much as you.

  4. gGrant

    I have a list of current Settings I’d like to see in Control Centre, starting with Location Services for my paranoid self.

    Frankly, I stripped a lot of useful buttons out of Control Centre because they pushed my most frequently accessed buttons (Play) too far up the screen on a Plus device for easy use. There’s s lot that needs to happen to Control Centre (arrange the icons to suit), for one.

    A VPN (although I don’t use it) would be a welcome addition.

  5. John Kheit

    How about a top level button for a hotspot. VPN would be great. While I’m dreaming, they should release a new Airport that includes local VPN abilities (like Synology routers), and then automagically tie the iPhone VPN button to connect through your router’s VPN a bit like ‘back to my back’ with the important caveat that it actually work.

    • Jeff Gamet

      Sounds great to me. I’d also like to tap and hold the Wi-Fi button to see and choose from available networks.

Add a Comment

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter, Facebook) or Register for a TMO Account