iOS 17 beta just hinted at a major iPhone 15 Pro upgrade

iPhone 15 Pro
(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

Apple has just released iOS 17 beta 7 to developers, alongside iOS 17 public beta 5, and like the previous beta it’s mostly comprised of tweaks and enhancements rather than new features. But there is one particularly noteworthy change, and it seems to corroborate rumors that an “action button” will be coming to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.

As spotted by 9to5Mac, iOS 17 beta 7 adds haptic feedback patterns that activates when a user enables or disables silent mode. The idea being that switching between those modes makes the phone vibrate more than usual.

As the site notes, this feature may be intended to account for the fact that solid state buttons don’t let you check status by touch alone. The iPhone’s mute switch, while simple in its design, physically moves between modes — meaning you can check silent mode is on or off without looking. 

Though this would only work if the haptics are noticeably different when you switch silent mode on and off. If it’s a simple buzz, indistinguishable from any other, then all you’ll know for sure is that the mode has changed — but not what the current status actually is. 

9to5Mac claims to have been able to replicate the haptic response to turning off silent mode, which the site says feels like a single firm tap. If that’s the case, then I would hope two firm taps, or a longer buzz, would indicate silent mode being switched on. Or alternatively Apple could let users set their own haptic pattern from a list of pre-set options. Though we likely won’t know for sure until the iPhone 15 Pro launches later this year.

It's also been suggested that the action button won’t be limited to turning silent mode on or off. Previous deep dives into iOS 17 beta code discovered snippets relating to a bunch of programmable features. They include activating Shortcuts, turning the flashlight on or off, opening the camera, triggering Focus mode and recording Voice Memos. No doubt there will be other options in addition to this, whether they launch with the iPhone 15 Pro or at some point in the future.

Everything else of note in iOS 17 beta 7

iOS 17 logo on iPhone

(Image credit: Future)

There are few other changes of note in iOS 17 beta 7 and public beta 5, though none of them are really that exciting. The first is related to the action button in a way, since this new version restores the haptic response when users toggle the mute switch on or off. A bug in previous versions of the beta had disabled this, and now Apple has finally got round to bringing it back. 

Apple has also tweaked the location of the End Call button again, but this time it only affects the positioning when you have the keypad screen open. Previously Apple moved the button to the bottom right in beta 5, only to switch to a central location in beta 6. However the beta 6 change didn’t affect the button’s position when you had the keypad open. Beta 7 apparently fixes this, and moves the end call button to the lower center of the screen. 

Mood tracking animations in the Health app have also been tweaked for a second time, with the speed of the rings around each mood speeding up slightly.

It’s unclear how many more iOS 17 beta releases are scheduled before the wider launch. But given Apple’s previous release history, it’s fair to say that we’re rapidly approaching the big day. We’re expecting it to happen sometime just prior to the iPhone 15 launch, which is currently expected to happen on September 12.

You can read more about the changes coming to iOS 17 in our central hub, and if you’re too impatient to wait for the public release we have a guide on how to install the iOS 17 public beta. The iPhone 15 rumors are also coming in pretty fast, and you can read all about the upcoming phones in our hubs for the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.