The iPhone 16’s rumored Capture button now sounds way more interesting

iPhone 15 Pro review Action button macro handheld
The iPhone 15 Pro (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The addition of a ‘Capture button’ is one of the more intriguing iPhone 16 rumors, but with earlier reports suggesting you’d simply tap it to record videos, it didn’t actually sound all that interesting, especially not compared to the customizable Action button that Apple put on the iPhone 15 Pro. Now though, we’ve heard more about the Capture button, and it sounds far more promising than before.

According to a report in The Information (via 9to5Mac) citing “two people with direct knowledge of the situation”, the Capture button will be for both photos and videos, which immediately makes it more versatile than if it was just for recording videos.

Not only that, but it will also apparently be more than just a button you press. According to this report, you’ll be able to swipe across the surface of the Capture button to zoom the camera in and out, while a light press will focus the camera and a harder press will take a photo (or presumably start recording a video if you’re on video mode).

So this would give you quite a few hardware camera controls, allowing you to operate the camera without interacting with the touchscreen.

Mechanical movement

Interestingly, the Capture button is being described as mechanical (meaning it would actually press in) rather than capacitive (meaning it wouldn’t move but would provide feedback through vibrations). Previous leaks had said the Capture button would be capacitive, so as this is a change from that we’d take these latest claims with a pinch of salt.

Still, the Capture button makes a lot more sense if it does have all the functionality described here. Were it just a shortcut to the video camera it would seem an odd addition, when Apple could surely add a second Action button instead – which would let users decide what to have it as a shortcut for.

The report also added that aside from this button there are “no other planned cosmetic changes that would distinguish the iPhone 16 from the previous model.” Though the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max might be larger than their predecessors according to previous leaks.

In any case, with the iPhone 16 line not expected to land until September, we wouldn’t put too much faith in any of the leaks just yet, but we’re now far more excited about the potential of the Capture button than we were before.

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James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.