iPhone 15 Pro’s rumored capacitive buttons tipped to work with cases and gloves — here’s how

iPhone 15 Ultra render with rounded edges
(Image credit: @jonjuhan/Twitter)

New capacitive buttons rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max could have a setting to allow them to work fine with various accessories, a source from the MacRumors forums claims

It’s been touted before that Apple will fit capacitive, solid-state volume and power buttons to its new Pro iPhones. But the new claim explains that, thanks to customizable sensitivity within the Settings app, users won’t have to worry about the buttons’ functionality when adding a case or using the phone while wearing a pair of gloves 

This is the same source that claimed not too long ago that these new buttons would be driven by a new power-efficient chip that would ensure the buttons work even if the phone's off, or has 0% battery. 

Why capacitive buttons need a sensitivity option

Capacitive buttons, unlike typical buttons, don't actually move, which could mean that small changes, such as a user wearing gloves or using a case, could impact how easily the buttons interpret presses. But with this sensitivity setting, it sounds like Apple has already thought ahead to deal with these potential issues.

The volume buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max may also get another change. Rather than two separate buttons like Apple uses today, the two inputs could be controlled by a unified volume rocker-style switch. This would be like the switches many of the best Android phones use to control their volumes, except for the capacitive element we mentioned already.

The normal iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, the other two rumored models for later this year, should still use the familiar physical buttons of current iPhones, as well as a standard clickable mute switch. This switch is another thing that the iPhone 15 Pro models could be changing, with previous rumors claiming it'll be turned into a rebindable action button that can do things other than mute your phone should you wish.

Barring any shocking rumors, we're all expecting the iPhone 15 series to debut this September, as is Apple's habit. We continue keeping an eye on how the rumors for the regular and iPhone 15 Pro models could be upgraded, with features rumored so far including USB-C ports, improved camera sensors and a much more efficient chipset.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.