The iPhone 15 action button is one of the most highly anticipated rumored new features for the next-generation phone line. It's reportedly replacing the mute switch. I don't think anyone will be playing Taps for the forgettable slider, so we're elated that Apple is reportedly swapping it out with something more serviceable.
However, what, exactly, is an action button anyway? Well, it's expected to work similarly to the action button featured on the Apple Watch Ultra, which can launch the stopwatch, initiate workouts, turn on the flashlight, double as a shortcut for the Dive feature and other functions.
In the same way, the iPhone 15 action button will likely serve as a shortcut to many different tasks and apps, allowing you to quickly access your favorite functions.
Despite Apple's attempt to keep everything under wraps, details about the rumored iPhone 15 action button have been spilling out from several different sources. That being said, here's every single thing we know about the iPhone 15 action button.
iPhone 15 action button latest news
- iPhone 15 Pro Action Button seemingly leaked in iOS 17 code — 9 things it can do
- iPhone 15 Pro may ditch the mute switch — here's the new button it's getting
- iPhone 15 Pro set to steal a killer feature from the Apple Watch Ultra — but the mute switch is probably dead
iPhone 15 action button design
To Apple's dismay, popular leaker Majin Bu got his hands on alleged iPhone 15 Pro cases and showed them off on X (formerly Twitter). They reveal the iPhone 15 Pro's new Apple Watch-inspired action button.
Details pic.twitter.com/RTWSfYH3UzAugust 6, 2023
Unlike the Ring/Silent switch, the new action feature appears to be a flat, traditional button design. As Forbes pointed out, this design will increase the iPhone 15 Pro models' durability and water resistance.
At one point, there was a lot of chatter about Apple using solid-state buttons (unmoving buttons with capacitive touch sensors) for the iPhone 15 Pro models, but in April, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed that the company dropped its solid-state buttons plans after experiencing "unresolved technical issues before mass production." In a shareholder letter in May, Apple supplier Cirrus Logic appeared to confirm Kuo's report.
Another well-known leaker, @UniverseIce, posted dummy models of the iPhone 15 Pro, which also shows off a small, flat button that mirrors the design language of the longer volume up-and-down buttons
This is said to be the real iPhone 15 Pro (unconfirmed) pic.twitter.com/Cs6go7Fcl4August 6, 2023
9to5Mac is another outlet that claims to have a pretty good picture of the new action button's design. Stating that it snagged CADs from "an extremely reputable source," you can see the new action button in all of it's glory.
Keep in mind that the new action button is not expected to be featured on the entry-level iPhone 15 nor the iPhone 15 Plus.
What can the iPhone 15 action button do?
What, exactly, can the action button do? Well, this time we have a leak from Apple itself. In late July, we reported that the iOS 17 developer beta 4 code references the iPhone 15 action button and all of its capabilities.
As a result of this leak, we now know that the iPhone 15 Pro's action button is programmable with the following features:
- Magnifier - a handy tool for reading small text
- Focus Modes - you can toggle Focus Modes on and off depending on your workflow
- Flashlight - turn on the LED camera flash to see in low-light areas
- Camera - access the camera app quickly
- Customized shortcuts - activate a shortcut you programmed with a quick press of a button
- Voice Memos - conveniently access iPhone's built-in sound recorder
- Translation - launch the Translate app with ease
Although the mute switch will no longer be a thing, the action button should also allow users to turn on silent mode, too.
Interestingly, embattled leaker @analyst941 claimed they have the scoop on how specific combo presses activate certain functions:
- Light press - Camera app
- Hard press - Capture photo
- Hard, long-hold press - Captures and records video
However, this assumes that the action button has solid-state buttons (haptic feedback), which Kuo and other leakers have shut down.
The tipster also claimed that the action button can be used to power down one's device. (Currently, iPhone 14 Pro models require you to press the side button and volume up or down to shut down the device.)
Keep in mind, however, that Apple busted @analyst941. Long story short, Apple was feeding false information about upcoming products to various Apple employees, and after spotting @analyst941 regurgitating the inaccurate details it planted during its investigation, @analyst941and their source (an Apple employee who is @analyst941's sister) got caught red handed.
As such, it's difficult to discern whether this action button leak is fact or fiction, but we're leaning toward the latter.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!