Apple released the fourth beta of iOS 17 to developers yesterday, and among the changes in the latest beta are some new code snippets that potentially hint at functionality for the rumored Action button on the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The Action Button and its Potential Functions
The Action button, which could be similar to the Apple Watch Ultra’s Action button but with more phone-focused options, is expected to be a new physical button on the next-generation Pro iPhone models that replaces the Ring/Silent switch. The Action button would allow users to quickly access various functions and settings without necessarily unlocking the device or navigating to an app.
Possible Customizable Options
According to the code found in iOS 17 beta 4, the Action button could have nine different options that users can customize and assign to different actions. While the code only lists feature names related to the Action button, we can infer what most of them will be able to do:
This option would presumably let users access various accessibility features, such as VoiceOver, Zoom, AssistiveTouch, and more.
As on the Apple Watch Ultra, this option would let users run any shortcut they have created or downloaded from the Shortcuts app, such as sending a message, playing a playlist, or controlling smart home devices.
3. Silent Mode
Similar to how the switch works on current iPhone models, this option would let users toggle silent mode on or off, which would mute or unmute the ringer and alerts.
This option would likely let users launch the Camera app and/or take a photo or video with a single press of the Action button.
This option would let users turn on or off the flashlight on the back of the device.
This option should let users activate or deactivate a Focus mode.
This option would presumably let users activate the Magnifier app to use the iPhone’s camera as a magnifying glass to zoom in on small text or objects.
This option could let users launch the Translate app and start a conversation or text translation with a single press of the Action button.
9. Voice Memos
This option would let users start or stop recording a voice memo with the Voice Memos app.
Upcoming iPhone 15 Pro Launch
Apple has not yet unveiled the iPhone 15 Pro, but an announcement and launch are expected in the usual September timeframe. If the rumors are correct, the Action button could be one of the key new features that makes the iPhone 15 Pro stand out from its predecessors.