Now that iOS 11 is out for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and users who have already jumped onto the latest mobile operating system version from Apple will have found tons of new features to play around with. The most noticeable and talked about features among them is the new customisable Control Centre that brings all quick controls under a single swipe up menu. While the option to toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth from the Control Centre has always been there, the latest OS apparently doesn’t let you turn them off completely – even if you think they’ve been turned off.
As observed by users, and discussed in our iOS 11 podcast, turning off the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth from the new Control Centre don’t in fact turn them off completely. While they indeed disconnect from connected devices, users have noticed that the Wi-Fi and and Bluetooth radios are still active in the background. So while you may see the blue lights turn off when you toggle the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth buttons, the wireless radios are still on.
Notably, this is not an iOS 11 bug. Apple has consciously chosen to leave the radios running in the background, a move evinced by an Apple support document and highlighted on Wednesday by Motherboard. The company explains that both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will remain available so that users can continue to connect their iPhone or iPad for AirDrop, AirPlay, Apple Pencil, Apple Watch, Hotspot, and Location Services. Prior to iOS 11, the Control Centre would turn the radios off completely, making it simpler than having to go into Settings every time.
This can be concerning as many users can unknowingly leave their Wi-Fi and Bluetooth active in the background, even when they feel they have turned it off, though Apple says battery drain in such situations is negligible as iOS is well-optimised. Users can now completely turn off the radios only via the Settings option, which may be a bit more annoying. Apple, however, sees the new feature as a helpful addition so that there aren’t any accidental disconnections. One will have to wait and see if Apple responds to these concerns and whether it decides to revert back to the old ways in a future update.