On Thursday, Apple released the first iOS 17.2 beta for developers, and it adds a new option to what many say is the best new feature for the iPhone 15 Pro series, the Action Button. For those unfamiliar with this new feature, Apple replaced the mute switch above the volume buttons on the left side of the device with this customizable Action Button that allows users to set the button to quickly handle certain tasks when pressed.
- Silent mode: Turn Silent mode on or off.
- Focus: Turn a specific Focus on or off.
- Camera: Open the Camera app to quickly take a photo, selfie, video, portrait, or portrait selfie.
- Flashlight: Turn the flashlight on or off.
- Voice Memo: Start or stop recording a voice memo.
- Magnifier: Open the Magnifier app.
- Shortcut: Open an app or run your favorite shortcut.
- Accessibility: Quickly access your favorite accessibility feature.
- No Action: Do nothing.
The new option that will come to the Action Button in iOS 17.2 is Translate. Instead of opening the Translate app, all you need to do, if you’ve set the Action Button on Translate, is press the button to start translating content that is in a foreign language. Because translation is done on-device, iPhone users will be able to “Translate phrases or have a conversation with someone in another language” via the Dynamic Island.
The iOS 17.2 update will help Apple Store employees update iPhone units still sealed in their boxes
To set up which task you want your Action Button to do when pressed, go to Settings > Action Button and swipe until you see the icon of the action you want the button to control. For my job, setting the Action Button to Translate would be perfect.
Apple’s new Action Button on the iPhone 15 series has a new option
As it turns out, iOS 17.2 confirms a special feature that Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman alerted us to a few weeks back. To save those who purchase a new iPhone from the Apple Store from having to update to a new version of iOS as soon as they turn the phone on for the first time, the phones can be updated even when they remain sealed in their boxes. The boxes are placed on a proprietary pad that will wirelessly turn on the iPhone units stacked on top of it, update to the latest version of iOS, and power down the phones all without disturbing the packaging.
Here’s a good real-life example of why this is important. This year, a bug was causing new iPhone 15 series models to freeze when transferring data from older iPhone units. Apple rushed out iOS 17.0.2 to exterminate the bug. But let us assume that you bought a new iPhone 15 model and didn’t know about iOS 17.0.2 and when you started to transfer data from, say, an iPhone 11, your new phone froze.
But if the phone was already updated to iOS 17.0.2 before you unboxed it, transferring data from that older iPhone wouldn’t have caused your new phone to freeze. Three new internal frameworks named FactoryOTALogger, FactoryOTANetworkUtils, and FactoryOTAWifiUtils found on the Xcode 15.1 beta in the iOS 17.2 beta allow for the use of an external device to complete an OTA firmware update.
Apple iPhone users will finally get the new Journal app in iOS 17.2
The iOS 17.2 update will also include a feature that adds songs you’ve marked as favorites to an automatic “Favorites” playlist in Apple Music. A new feature in iOS 17.0.2 will allow users to share their playlist with others and invite them to add to your list. You can choose to allow anyone with the link to add to your list, or require that those who want to collaborate on your playlist get manually approved by you first.
And the update will also add the new Journal app. Apple says, “Journal is a new way to reflect on and relive special moments. Capture your thoughts on life’s big events or everyday activities. Add details to any entry with photos, music, audio recordings, and more. Mark important moments and revisit them later to find new insights or set new goals.”