What Exactly Is The ‘Action Button’ On The New iPhone 15?
— 13 September 2023

What Exactly Is The ‘Action Button’ On The New iPhone 15?

— 13 September 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

When the iPhone 14 Pro was announced, most of the hype centred around the Dynamic Island notch for the two Pro models. This essentially turned the annoying notch at the top of the display into a functional part of the phone. It was cool enough; I liked it on paper, but I was massively underwhelmed when I finally got my hands on an iPhone 14 Pro.

I’ve had the iPhone 14 Pro for a year now and often forget that Dynamic Island is even a thing. So when Apple excitedly announced that all iPhone 15 models will have the Dynamic Island notch, as part of the traditional “this year’s base models get last year’s Pro models exclusives” value play, I just yawned. Dynamic Island is negligible.

So I was hoping for a more exciting Pro-exclusive this year. There were two. The first is that Apple has finally found a way to bring the best of both titanium (lightweight, sturdy) and aluminium (great temperature control) together for a more polished-looking, lighter smartphone. The second, and I’d argue more interesting, feature is the iPhone 15 Action Button.

And it’s Apple’s best reveal in years. Not in the sense that it’s a completely game-changing design refresh. But these new features are always fairly small, incremental steps forward. In that sense, this is much more meaningful than the Dynamic Island notch and it should go far in helping users individualise their iPhone.

What Is The iPhone 15 Action Button?

The Action button represents one of the most significant design changes to an iPhone since the original was launched in 2007. That’s because the traditional mute switch has been completely disregarded, replaced by said Action button that can be pressed and held for functionality. And it’s fully customisable.

By default, the Action button will act as the new mute switch. You press and hold until you feel a bit of haptic feedback (that is, vibration) to toggle between Ring and Silent. Go into Settings, however, and you can map the button to all sorts of features.

You can use the Action button to launch your camera faster. You can use it to open voice memos or launch any of Apple’s several accessibility features. I’m not sure about this, but you’ll probably be able to use it to quickly open an app like Instagram or Facebook.

The Dynamic Island comes into play here as well. Any time you use the Action button you’ll apparently see some visual feedback in the Dynamic Island notch, connecting the two features with what is probably a custom animation. Not a big deal, of course, but a nice bit of visual feedback.

What Else Should I Know About The iPhone 15?

For a more detailed recap of all the new iPhone 15 features, as well as the release date and price in Australia, head on over to our announcement piece.

But if you want a quick rundown then these are the significant changes announced at Apple’s Wonderlust event this morning.

  • There will be four iPhone 15 models: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
  • All four models will have the Dynamic Island notch and USB-C charging port.
  • The Pro models will have an Action button.
  • The Pro models will be made of both titanium and aluminium.
  • The Pro models feature a beastly 48 MP camera with three focal lengths.
  • The Pro models run on the new A17 Pro chip.
  • Pre-orders for all iPhone 15 models open on Friday 15th September.

Apple also used its Wonderlust event to announce the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 and a new version of the Apple AirPods 2 with a Magsafe charging case that uses USB-C.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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