iPhone 15 Pro may get an action button — here's what it could do

an image of an iPhone 15 Pro render and claimed solid-state buttons
(Image credit: MacRumors)

Previous iPhone 15 Pro rumors have tipped Apple's high-end models to gain a new action button when they arrive later this year. And one leaker has given us a better sense of what such a button could do.

The action button is rumored to be a part of a redesigned frame for the iPhone 15 Pro that could also include solid-state buttons plus a single, elongated volume rocker. In this rumor, the action button would replace the mute switch found on current iPhones.

The iPhone 15 Pro's action button would be customizable and draw its inspiration from a similar action button on the Apple Watch Ultra. That button can start workouts, serve as a stopwatch button, activate the watch's Wayport and Backtrack functions, serve as a shortcut to the Dive feature, turn on the watch's flashlight or perform other customizable shortcuts.

In addition to triggering features like those for the iPhone 15 Pro, the action button could pick up some other features, according to new tweets from leaker analyst941 on Twitter. For starters, you'd use the action button in a combination for powering off the phone.

Currently, you power off iPhone by pressing and holding the side button and either one of the volume buttons. According to analyst941, iPhone 15 Pro users will power down or force-restart their devices by pressing the action and power buttons simultaneously.

In addition, the leaker tweeted that the action button could also take the volume up button's role as a shutter button for capturing photos with the iPhone 15 Pro when you're in the Camera app. Specifically, a light press of the action button in the camera app would focus the iPhone 15 Pro's camera, while a hard press would capture a photo and a press and hold would record video.

iPhone 15 Pro renders by Technizo

(Image credit: Technizo)

However, as noted by MacRumors which spotted the tweets, that assumes the action button would be a solid-state button. That's a claim that's much in dispute at the moment. Analysts Ming Chi Kuo and Jeff Pu have both said that Apple is tabling plans to include solid-state buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, as the process of adding the necessary sensors will be too complex to work out this year. For their part, analyst941 still says the Pro models will get capacitive buttons enabling features like the ones described above.

While we're talking about disputed rumors, we should also note that some Apple watchers no longer believe the iPhone 15 Pro will feature a single volume control. However, that doesn't necessarily discount the possibility of solid-state buttons elsewhere on the Pro phones.

A dedicated action button would certainly help the iPhone 15 Pro stand out from the standard iPhone 15 models. But it's not the only feature apparently coming to Apple's Pro devices in the fall. The new Pro models are tipped to feature titanium sides, which should be more durable but lighter than the stainless steel Apple currently uses. In addition, the phones should feature a faster A17 Bionic chip, and rumor mongers are tipping the iPhone 15 Pro Max to get a periscope-style telephoto lens for better zooming.

You can find out more about potential differences between the different iPhone 15 models in our iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro comparison. Expect more details about the possibility of an action button as well as other iPhone 15 features as we get closer to the iPhone 15 release date.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.