Rumor: “iPhone 15 Pro gets programmable action button”


Apple would have plans to replace the mute button on the iPhone 15 with an action button that you can program. This button is no longer mechanical, but capacitive. We already know such a button from the Apple Watch Ultra. Gonny van der Zwaag | – 29 March 2023, 17:11 whatsappfacebooktwittertelegramlinkedinmailprint

Programmable action button on iPhone 15 Pro

CAD drawings previously showed that the iPhone 15 Pro models will no longer have normal volume buttons, but an elongated volume button that can tilt. Also, the buttons become capacitive; so they are no longer physically pressable buttons. So far nothing new, but a fairly reliable source (who previously correctly predicted the Dynamic Island) now indicates that the mute button will have an extra function. It becomes an action button that you can program as a user. In addition, it is possible that you can also choose what happens when you press short or long for other buttons, such as the new volume button.

Separate microprocessor for buttons

With such a capacitive button, the disadvantage is that power is always required to be able to press the button, for example to switch on and reset the iPhone with the on/off button. This will not work if the iPhone is completely off. Apple has solved this with a separate microprocessor, which is still active thanks to a new super-low energy mode.

Super low energy mode

The iPhone already has a special mode when the battery is low. You can still perform certain tasks, such as using Apple Pay or tracking through the Find My network. The new microprocessor controls these tasks, but can also detect whether you hold down the buttons for a short or long time. The rumor talks about an action button and gives the impression that the button is programmable, so that you can link actions to it yourself. Now it is still the case that people sometimes have their iPhone continuously on mute and therefore do not need the button at all. It would be useful to be able to use the current mute button for something else, for example to launch the Camera app or the flashlight.

A new version of 3D Touch would even have been developed to detect long presses on the various buttons. This then applies to the new volume button, action button and on/off button and also works when the device is empty or switched off. The super low-energy mode can ensure that you can continue to use functions such as Bluetooth, Ultra-wideband and Apple Pay Express Transit for longer after the device itself has gone black.

Apple could treat that button like the Apple Watch Ultra treats its button: as a trigger for a single, global shortcut that would be executed no matter where you were in the iPhone interface. Imagine mapping it to the Camera app or the flashlight feature, for instance.

He also raises the biggest complaint about the Action button on the Apple Watch Ultra: It can only do two things (single press and double-press), no matter which app you are using. Many have asked for it to be contextual, so that different functions can be assigned to it in different apps.

versions of the rumored new unified volume button in testing, including one where the volume goes up/down faster depending on the amount of force used when pressed, and another where the volume can be adjusted by swiping up and down on the button with a finger . They do not know which method will be adopted for the final release, but these features are enabled by software, so this functionality may well be user-customizable.

The anonymous tipster claims that their inside source is on the Apple development team, so they do not have additional information about the design of the new models unless the physical features require software development to complement them.

As per previous rumors, solid-state capacitive buttons are expected to be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro models, with the standard iPhone 15 models retaining the same traditional button mechanism as on the iPhone 14 series. The iPhone 15 Pro is also rumored to be gaining a software-customizable button in lieu of the mute switch, with a unified volume button or “rocker” replacing the separate up/down volume buttons. For everything else we know about the new iPhone 15 series, check out our dedicated roundups using the links below.