The Action button as seen on the Apple Watch Ultra is making its way to the iPhone 15 Pro models. As reported, the mute switch is going to be replaced with a new Action button. The source also stated that the new Action button for iPhone 15 is going to be user-programmable. Moreover, a new volume rocker switch might be also available and users might customize how it works as well as the Action button.
The volume buttons and mute switch have been present on iPhone models for over a decade. It functions to turn on and off sound mode on the iPhone. However, things seem to change in the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro models. There will be new capacitive buttons replacing the current volume buttons and mute switch. In detail, the volume buttons are going to be joined as one button only that users might press on each side to turn them on and off the volume. The mute switch, also, is going to be remade as a solid-state button. Capacitive buttons require power to operate. Therefore, the leaker also suggests Apple is working this out with a new super-low energy mode. This is the same leaker he got the details about the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro models, previously.
Apple is planning to introduce a new feature called Dynamic Island on the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro models. But one issue with this change is that the iPhone is currently powered on and reset by button presses, while capacitive buttons require power to operate. To solve this issue, Apple is reportedly addressing it through a new super-low energy mode. A leaker who got the Dynamic Island details right says that this new mode can perform small tasks like using Apple Pay when the phone is dead or using Bluetooth to connect to other iOS/Mac devices to constantly track your device with the Find My Network.
The new microprocessor in the iPhone 15 Pro models will not only handle these minor tasks, but will also detect capacitive button presses, and holds, and even detect their own version of 3D Touch with the new volume up/down button, action (currently ringer switch) button, and power button, even when the phone is turned off or powered down. The leaker claims that Apple is still debating whether or not to incorporate haptic feedback when the phone is turned off. Because this is a software swap, the corporation can make this option at any time before the launch.
The volume rocker may also support faster change as you press harder or slide-to-change functionality, which would be software-controlled, opening up the possibility for users to choose how it works. This new mode will also handle the features available in the current low-energy mode such as Find My, Bluetooth/ultrawideband, and Apple Pay Express Transit. It will be more efficient, enabling these features to last longer. Overall, these changes should make the iPhone 15 Pro models more user-friendly and efficient.
If the Action button is similar to the one of the Apple Watch Ultra, it might actually do other tasks than just turn on the ring mode. Obviously, many people always keep their phones on silent mode and receive alerts through vibrations. Therefore, they would like the button to do other tasks such as opening the Camera app or turning on the flashlight feature. It sounds convenient to some point.
The leaker shared on MacRumors forum, “It might be fun if apps had access to the button or if users could control what it did contextually. (I immediately began to imagine having it trigger a Shortcut, which could then decide what to do based on my current Focus status, the time of day, or some other variable.) But my best guess is that Apple will be conservative, at least at first, and have the new button mimic the ring/silent toggle–by default.”
Apple has a reputation for giving its users flexibility in interacting with its hardware and software. This has been demonstrated through its settings in the Accessibility section of the settings app. Therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising if Apple allowed users to customize the action of the new volume up/down button through an Accessibility setting. This could include options like toggling the flash or any other user-defined function.
By providing users with more control over how they interact with their devices, Apple ensures that its products can cater to a wider range of needs and preferences. It’s worth noting that this feature would likely require a software update after the launch, but it’s a possibility that’s worth considering.
It is not until the fall of 2023 that the new phones will roll out. However, obviously, these phones are already under development and with upgrades that are worth waiting for. The release of the new iPhone series always gets a lot of attention from the loyal iFans, the public, and the media. Let’s look forward to more updates in the future.