iPhone 15 to possibly feature Apple Watch Ultra-like ‘Action’ button

The leak also says the iPhone 15 will have a new microprocessor to handle capacitive buttons when the device is off

Yellow iPhone and Apple logo

Rumours have swirled about the upcoming iPhone 15 series and changes Apple intends to make to the buttons on the device, namely making them capacitive buttons instead of physical buttons, like how the iPhone 7 changed from a physical home button to a capacitive one. Now, new details indicate Apple is working on a low-energy mode to power the capacitive buttons and that one of the buttons will be a user-programmable ‘Action’ button.

The Action button rumour is quite interesting as it builds on a previous rumour that Apple wants to replace the mute switch with a mute button. The details come from a leaker who previously revealed Apple’s Dynamic Island plans ahead of the iPhone 14 Pro launch, via a post on the MacRumors forum.

The leaker refers to the “action (currently ringer switch) button” in the post, which is about all we’ve got to go on. Admittedly, it’s not much — and you should definitely take it with a grain of salt — but the idea is an exciting one. Like the Apple Watch Ultra’s Action button, this new button for the iPhone could let users map certain actions to a single- or double-press. Some posit potential contextual features, such as different actions depending on the app you’re using.

However it ends up working (if it even ends up on the iPhone 15), an Action button could be a major improvement for iPhone users. On my iPhone, I set it to silent and never touched the switch again — I’d love to have some alternate functionality rather than a mostly useless switch.

Capacitive buttons might use new low-energy microprocessor

The other part of the leak and, arguably, the primary focus (though, in my opinion, not the most interesting part) discusses a potential new low-energy microprocessor to handle various tasks, including the rumoured capacitive buttons.

The key thing to understand is that capacitive buttons require power to function, which is a problem if the buttons will handle turning the iPhone on or off.

According to the leaker, the microprocessor will replace the existing low-energy mode that can handle things like Apple Pay or tracking devices via Find My when your iPhone is dead. Along with those features, the new microprocessor will supposedly allow the iPhone 15 series to sense capacitive button presses when the phone is dead or powered down.

The leaker also suggested the capacitive buttons would offer a 3D Touch-like functionality where the pressure applied would change the result. For example, pressing harder on the volume button would increase or decrease the volume faster.

However, the leaker does acknowledge that the 3D Touch-like features may not make it into the final device. They did claim the microprocessor was a “definite.” But as always, you should take this information with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Source: MacRumors forum Via: 9to5Mac