Of all the new features in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, the one I'm using most is the new Action button. It's a genuine time-saver and an excellent way to customise your iPhone – and a new report says it's coming to every single iPhone 16, not just the Pro models.
The report comes from MacRumors, which says it's seen "extensive evidence confirming Apple is planning to include the Action button on the entire iPhone 16 range." That's not a huge surprise, because Apple has been planning changes to the iPhone's side buttons for several years now – although most of those changes, which involved replacing the existing volume controls with solid state buttons instead, haven't happened yet.
Apple is apparently considering adding more features to the button too; MacRumors says it too is going to be a solid state button, and that it'll work more like the Touch ID button on older iPhones along with pressure sensing and some kind of app switching functionality.
The Action button is definitely worth having. Here's why.
What does the Action button bring to the iPhone 16?
In a word, customisation. The Action button replaces the mute switch, and you can then customise what it does in your iPhone's Settings menu. Here you can change the button's functions as follows:
- Silent mode on/off – just like the mute switch used to do
- Focus – turns a specific focus mode on or off
- Camera - no prizes for guessing what this one does. This is the option I use.
- Flashlight on/off
- Voice memo recording
- Shortcut - either run a specific shortcut or just open Shortcuts
- Accessibility - get fast access to your favourite accessibility feature
It doesn't sound like a big deal, I know. But to take my camera option as an example, it does mean I can open the camera app more quickly than I can by opening it from the Lock Screen icon, and when it comes to capturing a moment even that slight improvement in speed can make a big difference. And for other features it's just handy to have quick access to things you use a lot, whether that's silent mode or your favourite focus.
As ever, we're talking about a phone that's still some months away from production so Apple's plans may change. I hope they don't: the Action button may be little, but it's really useful.