According to a MacRumors source familiar with the development of the iPhone 16 line, Apple’s next smartphones will feature an additional, capacitive button, known internally as the "Capture” button. The source gives no hint as to the purpose of this new button, but its name suggests that it could somehow relate to the iPhone 16’s camera functionality.
Where the newly introduced Action button sits above the volume rocker on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, this new "Capture” button will reportedly be positioned just below the Power button on the right-hand side of the iPhone 16. Crucially, it’s expected to come to every model in the iPhone 16 lineup, too.
Unlike mechanical buttons, capacitive (or solid-state) buttons don’t move when pressed. Instead, they feature haptic engines that provide physical feedback (read: vibrations). The Home button on the iPhone SE (2022) is a capacitive button, as are the trackpads on newer MacBook models, so it’s safe to expect that this new "Capture” button will feel similar to the touch.
MacRumors’ source also notes that the iPhone 16’s "Capture” button will feature force sensor functionality – in other words, it’ll be able to detect variations in the amount of pressure applied to it when pressed.
This is a new rumor, but it’s one we’ve heard in another guise before. Early on in the iPhone 15 rumor cycle, the iPhone 15 Pro was tipped to be getting capacitive volume and power buttons. Then, in April 2023, reports emerged suggesting that Apple had u-turned on its decision to include capacitive buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro, with the company reportedly needing more time to develop the haptic engines required to power them.
At the time, analysts Jeff Pu and Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that these capacitive buttons would instead debut on the iPhone 16. And that prediction looks somewhat set to ring true, albeit in the form of an entirely new button, rather than redesigned volume and power buttons.
Of course, all iPhone 16 rumors should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt at this stage. After all, we’re pretty much an entire year away from the phone’s presumed release. Still, early rumblings about brightness improvements and display size changes have us excited to see what the next generation of Apple's best iPhones will bring to the table.
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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.