iOS 11’s Control Center Doesn’t Fully Disable Bluetooth and WiFi

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Upgrading from iOS 10 to iOS 11 brought a lot of great features for users. Revamped Control Center is one of them. It makes it easy to access different apps and also lets you toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on or off. Still, several users noticed that iOS 11’s Control Center new function doesn’t fully disable Bluetooth and WiFi, despite the efforts to toggle switches off. Moreover, it is not a bug but feature that proved to be true.

Turning off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth once we no longer use it has become a commonplace. Not only it preserves the battery, but it was proved that having them more off than on protects your phone from exposure to cyber- attacks.

Like mentioned above, when you toggle the switch for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off in your device’s control center, they remain somewhat on still. Apple, however, confirmed that this is not a bug or an issue with the operating system. Instead, it is how it should be.

In Apple’s detailed documentation, it is clearly stated that iOS 11’s Control Center doesn’t let you turn off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth completely so that users can take advantage of iOS 11’s other important functions. Those functions include AirDrop, AirPlay, Apple Pencil, Apple Watch, Instant Hotspot, Location Services, and more. Still, your device will disconnect from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth accessories.

As much as innovative these features are, they don’t appeal to security researchers. According to them, not everyone is aware of this and will use Control Center to disconnect from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, not realizing they left them on.

Andrea Barisani is one of the security researchers who was first to notice this weird change. She shared her opinion in a Twitter direct message saying that this method of turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth makes experience “uncomfortable.”

She proceeded to tell Motherboard that turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not used is a “good practice” and secures the users from potential cyber-attacks. She also said that many security researchers stated that there are a lot of bugs in the Bluetooth implementation on different operating systems. These unnoticeable bugs can encourage the hackers to penetrate into victim’s systems thanks to the Bluetooth being on. This is much easier, as in this case, hackers don’t have to lure their victim to click on a malicious link as long as Bluetooth is on.

Turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth has other, more known, benefits. It extends battery life and improves cellular connection. Those are already good reasons to turn them off, if not used.

A new and less understandable interface wasn’t expected from Apple, that strived to deliver simplicity and comfort to their users. Fortunately, there is still a way to turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth altogether.

To do that, you have to go to settings and enter each menu separately to toggle the switch off. It takes a little more time than it would take from Control Center, but at least you don’t have to worry about Wi-Fi or Bluetooth running in the background.


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