We’re now at that late stage in the iPhone 15 rumor cycle where predictions are beginning to morph into cold, hard facts, and the latest rumor-turned-reality report concerns the Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
As first spotted by 9to5Mac, the latest iOS 17 beta contains a series of new haptic feedback patterns that can be used to identify when silent mode is switched on or off on iPhone. The traditional mute switch on all current iPhones makes it easy to know when silent mode is enabled (or disabled), so these new patterns are presumably intended to help future iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max owners identify which mode their switch-less iPhone is in.
This discovery comes just a few weeks after nine different Action button functions were identified in a previous version of the iOS 17 beta. These functions included accessibility, shortcuts, camera, flashlight, focus, magnifier and translate, which bodes well for the versatility of Apple’s next Pro-level smartphones.
At this point, then, we’re all but certain that Apple will be swapping the traditional mute switch for an Apple Watch Ultra-style Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. On the company’s best smartwatch, this button can be configured to perform functions like starting runs, activating workouts and turning on the flashlight feature, so we’re expecting Apple to bring comparable functions to its first iPhone-specific Action button.
Apparently the cases of the iPhone 15 Ultra models show a third button that should replace the old mute switcher pic.twitter.com/6XIKgBMJVNAugust 6, 2023
The above photos show three button bumps visible on the left-hand side of each case, with the uppermost bump smaller than the bottom two bumps. The latter bumps will presumably house Apple’s familiar volume rocker, meaning the uppermost bump will likely play host to the new Action button.
Of course, this mute switch replacement isn’t the only design upgrade expected to come to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max – here are three reasons to buy the iPhone 15 if you already own one of the best iPhones.
In any case, the iPhone 15 release date is just around the corner, so we don’t have too long to wait to see these rumored upgrades in action. That said, if you want to get a taste of what iOS 17 – and therefore the iPhone 15 – might be capable of ahead of time, read our guide on how to download the iOS 17 public beta on your iPhone.
More iPhone 15 stories
- iPhone 15: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 Plus: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 Pro: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 Pro Max: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 pre-orders: here's what to expect
- iPhone 15 deals: here's what to expect
- 3 reasons not to buy the iPhone 15 if you already own an iPhone
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.