Oops! Apple may have just let slip a huge iPhone 15 Pro feature. In the iOS 17 developer beta 4 code, there is a reference to an Action button, which correlates with other rumors that the Pro and Pro Max will ditch the slider.
What features can we expect to activate or deactivate with this new button that replaces the silent switch? Let’s take a closer look.
What can it do?
While the code refers only to feature names when it comes to what the Action button can do, let’s make some educated guesses about what each of these customizable actions can mean:
- Accessibility: I can only assume this means you can hit that Action Button to activate a specific accessibility feature like Assistive Touch or Zoom — rather than the three finger tap.
- Camera: Pretty self explanatory in my mind. Just hit the Action button to access the camera from anywhere and use it as a shutter switch.
- Flashlight: Turn on the LED camera flash as a torch with a press of the Action button.
- Focus: Focus modes have taken over my life. With the Action button, I will be able to turn them on and off at will.
- Magnifier: Another handy accessibility feature for reading small text.
- Shortcuts: Much like the Apple Watch Ultra, you’ll be able to activate a custom shortcut with the press of the Action button.
- Silent Mode: Would you miss the silent switch? You can customize the Action button to have the same functionality.
- Translate: When travelling, the iPhone’s Translate app is a godsend. To be able to get at this far faster with a single press of the Action button is going to be massive.
- Voice Memos: As a journalist, one thing I’d love to have is faster access to recording voice memos, which is what I’m assuming this Action button function will do.
Of course, these are all just potentials. The code around it is purposefully vague, as to not give anything away. Add to that the additional wrinkle that an Apple supplier wrote a shareholder letter saying there have been “technical issues” that will stop the Action button being a thing in the iPhone 15 Pro, and the picture is a whole lot messier.
So personally, I’ll be crossing my fingers for this. I fell in love with the programmable button on my Apple Watch Ultra, so to get this functionality on the iPhone (maybe a potential expansion with a third party developer API) would be a game changer for power users.
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Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.