Code from the fourth developer beta of iOS 17 seemingly hints at an Action button in the iPhone 15 Pro models, providing support to some speculations and rumors.
A series of leaks and rumors have suggested Apple intends to revamp the buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro models. These changes are rumored to include a unified volume button and the replacement of the mute switch with a new button design.
According to on-again off-again reports about the iPhone 15 for the last six months, the mute switch may be transformed into an Action button, resembling the button found on the Apple Watch Ultra. The controller could call forth various iPhone-specific features and settings when pressed.
- Silent Mode
- Voice Memos
As per the code discovered in iOS 17 beta 4, the Action button is expected to offer users nine distinct options. Users can personalize the button, and associate it with various actions, according to MacRumors.
Other button rumors
The Action button may also take over the volume up button's duties in the Camera app. It could activate the autofocus when lightly pressed, while a firm press will take a photo, resembling conventional camera shutter buttons.
Moreover, performing a hard, prolonged press will initiate video recording. The capability to press the button lightly is attributed to the controls being force-sensitive.
A solid-state button, also known as a haptic touch button or force-sensitive button, is a type of button that doesn't physically depress like traditional mechanical buttons. Instead of having a movable part, a solid-state button uses haptic feedback to register a press, like the Home button of the iPhone 7.
However, while the Action button may be sensitive to force, Apple may still be testing haptic feedback on it, according to a rumor from March. A new microprocessor within the iPhone 15 Pro models could manage various types of finger presses on the button.
A series of linked images from June showed off smaller cutouts in cases claimed to be for the iPhone 15 Pro. The cutout for the button appears noticeably smaller than the one used for the old switch, as the reported Action button would only be pressed instead of moving back and forth with the mute button.
It also seems that the sleep/wake button and volume buttons will remain unchanged in size, but slightly repositioned further down the side of the chassis.
In April, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed that Apple had supposedly stopped its plan to introduce solid-state buttons in the iPhone 15 Pro models due to production challenges. Nonetheless, it's important to note that the decision to abandon solid-state buttons doesn't necessarily mean that the Action button has been canceled.
Apple will reveal the iPhone 15 lineup in the fall. It is expected at Apple's typically-timed keynote in early to mid-September.