The Action button is one of the best new features on the iPhone 15 Pro, but it’s far from perfect. So it’s good to hear that Apple will be using iOS 17.1 to update the Action button, and changing the way it behaves while your phone is in your pocket.
9to5Mac uncovered code related to this in the iOS 17.1 beta 3, which has just been released to developers. Part of the update means that your iPhone 15 Pro will be able to detect when it’s in your pocket using the built-in proximity sensors. In these situations the Action button will need to be pressed for longer before the assigned action is triggered.
The point here is to make sure the Action button isn’t being triggered accidentally. Because the last thing you need is to be Shazaming your entire life, or having the flashlight try and burn a hole into your leg. At the very least iOS 17.1 should help preserve your battery life for the times you actually need it.
The best part about this is that the feature works completely independently, and without any action from the user. That means you don’t need to go diving into the settings to turn this feature on.
Of course, this doesn’t fix the Action button’s main problem, which is that you can only assign one action at any given time. Which means there’s no option to have a second or third action that can be activated with a double tap, for example.
But the fact Apple can update the Action button via software updates gives me some hope that more tweaks and upgrades are coming. Considering the Action button is just a way of inputting commands, just like any other button, Apple should be able to change how iOS 17 interprets that input, and hopefully fix some other Action button mistakes in the process.
In the meantime, you can tinker around with the Action button and find a command that works best for you. You can do everything from opening the camera and activating the flashlight to customizing an app shortcut. So be sure to check out our guide on how to use the Action button on our iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.