Last year’s iPhone 15 Pro models saw the replacement of the Ring/Silent switch with the Action Button. With this button, users have various functionalities under their control. The feature controlled by the Action Button can be changed at any time and includes:
Silent mode – like the button it replaces, the Action Button can turn the silent mode on or off.
Focus – turns a particular Focus on or off.
Camera – opens the camera app instantly to snap a photo, record a video, take a selfie, portrait, or portrait selfie.
Flashlight – turns the flashlight on or off.
Voice Memo – starts and stops recording a voice memo.
Magnifier – opens the magnifier app.
Translate – translates text from one language to another.
Shortcut – opens an app or runs your favorite shortcut.
Accessibility – opens an accessibility feature.
No Action – no action is taken.
It has been reported that the Action Button will be found on all four iPhone 16 models later this year and the new prototypes suggested that the Action Button would be solid-state; rather than a physical, mechanical button, it would respond to the user’s touch. Apple has also been experimenting with the size of the new Action Button with one version being as large as the volume buttons on the iPhone 16 Pro.
Changes have been taking place as Apple goes into the “Proto2” design stage for the iPhone 16 Pro. According to MacRumors, four button configurations have been tested including a unified volume button with a small Action Button, a unified volume button with a large Action Button and a Capture Button, and separate volume buttons with a large Action Button and a Capture Button flush with the frame.
The fourth configuration currently being tested on the iPhone 16 Pro prototype has separate volume buttons with a small Action Button (the same size as the Action Button on the iPhone 15 Pro) and a Capture Button flush with the frame.
The Capture Button is expected to start video recordings with a tap of the button and earlier prototypes showed that button on the right side of all iPhone 16 models under the power button. Since U.S. 5G iPhone models have the mmWave 5G antenna on that side of the phone, iPhone 16 models in the States will have to move the 5G mmWave antenna to the left side if that setup is used. However, the latest render seen on MacRumors has the Capture Button on the left side under the volume buttons.
The Capture Button will be capacitive which means it will respond to the touch of the user’s finger and will not be mechanical.
With eight months before Apple unveils the iPhone 16 line, the design of the buttons for the phones is still in flux. If your favorite button configuration isn’t the latest one being tested, don’t fear. Changes can still be made.