To leave Lightning behind, you either have to be Jackson Storm from Pixar’s Cars 3, or Apple’s new iPhone 15 series which finally sport a USB Type-C port. Well, we’re here to talk about the latter, especially the new Pro iPhones, which also leave behind another signature Apple feature – the mute switch.
The mute switch has been a part of iPhones since the very beginning in 2007. To give you some context, it’s been a part of the Apple experience for longer than FaceTime, AirDrop, Siri, the App Store, and even iOS itself. So why did Apple replace the handy physical toggle with another button? What is the new Action button and what is it actually capable of? Let’s take a deeper look.
Why Apple (likely) replaced the mute switch
More capabilities, less resources. That was the mantra behind the very first Action button, which actually debuted on the Apple Watch Ultra. An additional button to replace the usual rotatable crown and side button, the new Action button allowed for a lot of possibilities from one single area on the body of the otherwise compact device.
It seems Apple has brought the same logic over to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. With the new Action button, an area on the left edge of the smartphones can now be used for silencing the device conveniently, as well as other tasks.
What can the Action button do?
For starters, the button acts like the mute switch by default. This lets users press the button to quickly switch between ringer and silent profiles. Ringer and silent profiles will also both have their own unique haptic feedback to help you distinguish between the two modes when you want to switch without looking at your phone. Yes, this means you can use it from your pocket.
But, it doesn’t end there. The button can also be configured to open shortcuts like the camera, flashlight, voice memo, magnifier, and translate. Using Apple’s Shortcuts feature, users will also be able to use the button to open third-party applications and their custom shortcuts.
The Action button works closely with Dynamic Island on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Every time you switch between ringer and silent modes, or trigger an app or shortcut, Dynamic Island will contextually pop-up and show relevant quick actions. For instance, if you use the Action button to bring up voice memo for quick recording, a quick Dynamic Island widget will instantly show up allowing you to dive straight into the action.
ALSO READ: Apple Watch Series 9, Watch Ultra 2 launched
Does the Action Button retain the same convenience of flipping a simple mute switch to silence your phone? We’ll have to wait until September 22 to find out. But for power users who always wished for a dedicated button to open their most used apps and services, the Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max can be a dream come true. With future iOS updates, the button could even gain additional functionality.
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