Next iPhone 15 Pro iOS update to get another useful Action Button feature

Translate in an instant

iPhone 15 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

There’s good news for all you iPhone 15 Pro Max and 15 Pro owners (and anyone currently deciding if either of these are the best iPhone to buy). The handsets may have only been out for – checks calendar – less than two months, but a new feature is already winging its way to the Action Button.

As 9to5Mac reports, Apple has released its iOS 17.2 beta software update to developers, and included in this latest feature drop is a function which will come in incredibly useful when you find yourself struggling with a language barrier.

When the iOS 17.2 update rolls out to all users – which we expect won’t be too far off – you’ll be able to set the Action button to immediately launch into a translation session in the Dynamic Island. You won’t have to wait for an app to open. 

That means you’ll be able to start having a real-time, translated conversation immediately, and with the language processing taking place on-device there’s no lag to wait for the cloud to respond. 

It also means you don’t require an internet connection for translations to take place, which is ideal when travelling abroad as no one wants to be stung by those excess data roaming charges.

What is the Action Button on iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max?

The Action Button has replaced the mute switch on the side of the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max – a feature which has been a mainstay since the very first iPhone in 2007, so the introduction of the new button is a big deal.

The iOS 17.2 update will bring Action Button choices up to ten, the full complement which Apple showed off at its event earlier this year – but this won’t be the last update for the button. 

Apple has opened the API to developers, so expect to see app-integrated action options coming in the near future to make the Action Button even more useful. Which is good to know, as we didn’t find it overly useful during our review time, but that’s due to the limited options currently available. 

We’re already looking forward to our next trip away when our GCSE French is likely to once again fail us.

Action button options (once iOS 17.2 rolls out)

  • Silent mode: toggles Silent mode on/off
  • Focus: turns a specific Focus mode on/off
  • Camera: opens camera app to quickly take a photo, selfie, video, portrait, or portrait selfie
  • Flashlight: turns flashlight on/off
  • Voice Memo: start/stop recording voice memo
  • Magnifier: opens the Magnifier app
  • Shortcut: opens an app or run your favourite shortcut
  • Accessibility: access your favourite accessibility feature
  • No Action: do nothing
  • Translate: launches a translation session in the Dynamic Island (coming with iOS 17.2)
John McCann

John has been a technology journalist for more than a decade, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He’s reported on pretty much every area of consumer technology, from laptops, tablets, smartwatches and smartphones to smart speakers, automotive, headphones and more. During his time in journalism, John has written for TechRadar, T3, Shortlist, What Laptop, Windows 8 magazine, Gizmodo UK, Saga Magazine and Saga Exceptional, and he’s appeared in the Evening Standard and Metro newspapers.

Outside of work, John is a passionate Watford FC and Green Bay Packers fan, enjoys a Sunday afternoon watching the F1, and is also a Guinness World Record Holder.