It has only been months since the iPhone 15 but speculations about the iPhone 16 series are already making their way around town. The Apple action button has been the highlight of the iPhone 15 Pro models this year and many users have expressed their hope to see it reflected in all of Apple’s iPhone design. For a while, the addition seemed unlikely as reserving the feature for the Pro models added to the air of exclusivity around the higher-end models. That might be changing soon though, as many have speculated that the action button on iPhone 16 might feature in the entire lineup next year.

A More Prominent Role for the Action Button? iPhone 16 Series Rumors

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max feature the action button. (Image credit – Apple)

iPhone 16 Series—Love For the Action Button Abounds

The iPhone 15 Pro action button received a lot of love immediately on release but it wasn’t what Apple originally intended to highlight. Rumors from before the iPhone 15 Pro was released had discussed the possibility of a solid-state power and volume button for the Pro and Pro Max models, but technical issues had caused them to drop the idea. These solid-state buttons would have replaced the raised physical buttons you see on phones today, with a surface that would mimic the button function with haptic feedback. Reports suggested that the iPhone 16 series would feature these buttons instead but it is difficult to determine whether we should care about this possibility or bring our attention back to the Apple action button.

The dynamic island cutout that was the major highlight of the pro model in the iPhone 14 series was introduced throughout the iPhone 15 line so the assumptions might be correct that Apple will repeat the cycle and bring the most popular iPhone 15 Pro action button feature to the entire iPhone 16 series. MacRumors has reported that the action button has been a consistent part of the prototypes for the iPhone 16 series and that internal documents have revealed that Apple has been experimenting with the design and style considerably. 

The iPhone SE fourth-generation model, scheduled for release in 2025, should also feature the button, making it a more permanent feature in the iPhone series as a whole.

The Action Button on iPhone—What Does It Do?

A better question might be “What doesn’t the Apple action button do?” While it’s not a multipurpose button that can handle many tasks at once, the action button can be customized to perform a specific function from a variety of different options that might be important to you. It is likely that with more iOS updates, various additional shortcuts could be added and many are hopeful that future iterations of the Apple action button will be able to do more with different taps of the button itself. Currently, the button can be customized to perform a few different functions:

  • Activate/deactivate silent mode 
  • Turn a specific focus mode on/off
  • Open up the camera
  •  Turn the flashlight on/off
  • Record a voice memo 
  • Open the magnifier
  • Open a specific app assigned to the shortcut
  • Open up an accessibility feature
  • No noting

In addition to these settings, the iOS 17.2 beta update has already upgraded what the action button on Apple devices can do, allowing it to be set to a translate feature on the iPhone. According to reports, you should be able to use your settings to pick a language that you want to translate to and customize the action to bring up the tool when clicked. Once established you can speak into your phone and find audio output of a translation of your communicated content. 

Other iPhone 16 Rumors So Far

The iPhone 16 series has a lot of talk about the possible changes Apple might be making to the design. Apart from the action button on the iPhone, it is also said that there could be an additional “Capture button” in the iPhones, but it is still unclear what purpose it might serve. It is also reported that the Pro models of the iPhone 16 series could go up in size. According to MacRumors, the iPhone 16 Pro will have a 6.27-inch display while the iPhone 16 Pro Max will go up to a 6.85-inch display. 

There is a possibility of an iPhone 16 Ultra model release which would take the premium models one step further up the exclusivity chain. It’ll have to be something truly special to set it apart from the rest of the iPhone 16 series but there’s no indication of what that feature could be. With its notoriety regarding overheating, it may also include thermal design modifications through a graphene thermal system with a metal battery casing. If this works, the iPhone 16 would be a much more comfortable device to use compared to its predecessor, especially if the A17 chip receives some modifications.

The action button is only a small feature when you look at the bigger of everything the iPhone 16 series could potentially change, but considering the popularity of the iPhones overall, it could be enough to win over some users to finally upgrade their iPhones. There’s quite a bit of time until the iPhone 16’s fall release though, so the rumors will only keep us guessing until then.