iPhone 15 Pro Action Button options revealed in iOS 17 beta code

Jul 27, 2023

Apple released the fourth beta of iOS 17 yesterday to developers. The code in the new version of the operating system contains options for nine different options that the Action Button could be used for.

The current mute switch on iPhones can do one thing, it toggles silent mode on and off. As we have reported previously, rumors have indicated that Apple will remove the Ring/Silent switch from the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Instead, these two high-end mobile devices will come with an Action Button, not unlike the one on the Apple Watch Ultra.

(iPhone 14 Pro image used as a reference)

This will allow users to assign various actions to the button. According to Macrumors, the iOS 17 beta code adds support for nine options for the Action Button, as follows.

iPhone 15 Pro Action Button options

  • Accessibility
  • Shortcuts
  • Silent Mode
  • Camera
  • Flashlight
  • Focus
  • Magnifier
  • Translate
  • Voice Memos

The Accessibility option could be useful for enabling various accessibility features, such as AssistiveTouch. Shortcuts appears to be the only truly customizable option in the list, as you could create a shortcut for practically any action and assign it to the button, just like you can on the Apple Watch Ultra. For example, you could use it to play music.

The Silent Mode option is likely identical to the current implementation of the Ring/Slider Switch, press it once to mute the ringer, and press it again to turn on the sound. This option will be appreciated by people who use the mute switch on their iPhone regularly.

Accessing the Camera could be the most popular way that the Action Button might be used on the iPhone 15 Pro. The current version of iOS offers two ways to access the camera quickly, either by swiping on the lock screen or by long pressing on the camera icon on the lock screen. A physical button would be much faster to access, and allow users to capture photos quickly. It may also function as a camera shutter button that is easier to access than tapping the on-screen button.

The Flashlight option can come in handy. iOS 16 does have a quick way to access it, which is similar to the camera shortcut on the lock screen, you can press and hold the torch icon to enable it. The Action Button could make this easier to use without fumbling about with the icon.

Focus as the name indicates will probably allow users to toggle a specific Focus mode of their choice. It's good to see Apple improving support for Focus across its platforms. Magnifier can be useful for people with vision impairments, as it turns your iPhone's screen into a magnifying glass, all have to do is point the device's camera at the objects or text that you want to zoom in on.

Pressing the Action Button when it is assigned to "Translate" will likely open the Translate app, which you can then use to translate text. This may come in useful if you are abroad and don't read/speak the local language. The Voice Memos action is an interesting one, as it could open the Voice Memos app that is baked into iOS, and start recording what you say aloud, and stop it when you are done.

Siri can be used for some of these actions, but let's be honest, the digital assistant's accuracy has been erratic. The new Action Button options will offer a more reliable way to use your favorite features. Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 15 series in Fall 2023.

Which one do you prefer? The Silent/Ring Switch or a customizable Action Button.

iPhone 15 Pro Action Button options revealed in iOS 17 beta code
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iPhone 15 Pro Action Button options revealed in iOS 17 beta code
The latest iOS 17 beta code has revealed the Action Button that will be available on the iPhone 15 Pro.
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