We’ve long suspected that Apple’s next Pro-level iPhones will feature an all-new Action button in place of the traditional Mute switch, and a supposed case leak for the iPhone 15 Pro Max has added further credence to that rumor.
A series of X tweets (or posts?) from seasoned Apple leaker @MajinBuOfficial show photos of what appear to be replica Apple-branded iPhone 15 Pro Max cases, with three button bumps visible on the left-hand side of each case.
On each model, the uppermost button bump is smaller than the bottom two bumps – which will presumably house Apple’s familiar volume rocker – suggesting that a new Action button will indeed be present on the iPhone 15 Pro Max (and, potentially, the smaller iPhone 15 Pro).
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 first of @MajinBuOfficial’s posts (above) mentions the iPhone 15 Ultra by name, but since analysts now predict that we’ll be waiting until the iPhone 16 for Apple’s first Ultra model, we suspect that the case images detailed here refer to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, instead.
Of course, being replicas, there’s a chance that these images aren’t representative of what Apple actually has in store for expectant iPhone fans, but given that recent iPhone 15 Pro CAD renders – obtained by 9to5Mac – detail similar button arrangements, we’re inclined to vouch for their accuracy.
So, what is the Action button? Well, if Apple remains consistent with its existing naming scheme, the Action button will be a configurable, multi-function button like its namesake button on the Apple Watch Ultra (which can be used to start runs, activate workouts, turn on the flashlight, and so on).
Code snippets spotted by MacRumors in the fourth iOS 17 developer beta allude to nine different functions that this iPhone-based Action button might be capable of activating, which bodes well for the versatility of Apple’s next Pro-level smartphones. These functions are described in the beta code as accessibility, shortcuts, silent mode, camera, flashlight, focus, magnifier, translate, and voice memos.
We’re extremely confident, then, that the iPhone 15 Pro Max – if not also its smaller sibling – will arrive bearing an Action button in place of the traditional Mute switch, which has been a feature of every iPhone released, well, ever.
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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.