A leaker using the Twitter handle @analyst941 has made a claim that the iPhone 15 Pro Action button is going ahead, and will be able to control the Camera app.
iPhone 15 Pro Action button
Apple first created a user-programmable Action button on the Apple Watch Ultra. A lot of us said at the time that we’d love to see one on the iPhone, and a report last month seemed to indicate that we’d be getting our wish.
The leaker also refers to the new mute button as an “action” button. This suggests that it will be user-programmable, like the Action button on the Apple Watch Ultra. Many people keep their iPhones muted at all times, relying on vibrations for alerts, so may wish to use the button for something else.
This went hand-in-hand with expectations that Apple was going to replace both the volume buttons and mute switch with capacitive buttons.
However, subsequent reports suggested that Apple ran into production issues with this, and has now decided to stick to mechanical buttons for now.
Haitong Tech analyst Jeff Pu has heard from sources familiar with Apple’s supply chain that the company may switch back to the classic volume button design on the iPhone 15 Pro since the new solution would have a much more complex design […]
Reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has just corroborated Jeff Pu’s report.
Uncertainty about the Action button
All of which left us wondering how this might affect the planned Action button. My view at the time was that if Apple had to backtrack on the capacitive buttons, then the most likely fallback was to stick to the existing setup for now.
If Apple does abandon the solid-state plans, what about the Action button? Does it mean that Apple would revert to the existing setup, including the mute switch? Or is there still the possibility of replacing it with a mechanical Action button?
That would be my hope – but not, sadly, my belief. While I can accept that we’re still early enough for Apple to postpone a decision on whether or not to go ahead with a planned change, I’d very much expect the fallback position to be “keep things as they are.”
Leaker claims it’s going ahead, with camera control
However, @analyst941 seems to think Apple is going ahead with the iPhone 15 Pro Action button, and has described how it can be used to control the camera.
Within the camera app, the action button (formally; mute switch) will replace the volume up button for taking a photo. Action button use in Camera:
- Light press: auto-focuses the camera
- Hard press: captures photo
- Hard, Long-hold press: captures/records video
However, they also say this:
If you missed it, or don’t understand how the capacitive button can be “light” or “hard” pressed: again, the capacitive buttons (incl. action) will be Force-sensitive.
Which suggests that, unlike Jeff Pu and Ming-Chi Kuo, they think Apple is still going ahead with the plans for capacitive buttons.
The leaker also says that an Action and Power button combo will replace Volume Up and Power for the power-off/restart menu.
First, I’d love this report to be true. I said at the time that if we did get a programmable Action button, then I would assign it to the camera.
This appealed to me because I’d love a dedicated button to switch on my iPhone and open the Camera app, so it’s immediately ready to take a photo. This would be a significant improvement on the long-press on the camera button on the lock screen.
What is described here would be perfect.
However, while no analyst or leaker has a perfect track-record, @analyst941 has a record of just one correct thing. If they were saying that Apple will replace the mute switch with a mechanical Action button, and it would offer this functionality, I’d be happy to believe it. But the fact that they still seem to think we’re getting capacitive buttons casts considerable doubt.
If I were betting on @analyst941 versus Pu and Kuo, my money would be on the latter.
To be clear, I do suspect the planned camera functionality for the Action button is true; I’m just skeptical about getting it this year. I would, though, be delighted to be proved wrong.
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