Although it might not be as prominent as Touch ID, the notch, or the more recent Dynamic Island, the physical mute switch has become one of the most loved features of the iPhone right from day one. It is one of those small features that proved just how attentive Apple was to the little details that significantly improved the lives of their customers. After more than a decade in service, that switch was eventually replaced by the Action button in the iPhone 15 Pro models this year, but of course, that isn’t the end of the story. According to sources, next year’s iPhones will have an even more talented Action Button and best of all, it will be available on all models right off the bat.
Designer: Apple (via MacRumors)
The physical mute switch delivered peace of mind by letting iPhone users switch from ring to silent mode and vice-versa with a literal flick of a switch, saving you from stress and embarrassment in times when your phone shouldn’t be audible. Presuming you know what the current sound mode is, you don’t even need to look at the switch’s position to push it. You can do it while your iPhone is still in your pocket, and no one will be the wiser.
There might be some fans who are sad to it go, but that switch has ascended to become a button. It can now do more than just switch to silent mode since it can be mapped to some actions, hence its name. Apple had some ambitious plans for the Action Button, but the lack of time meant it had to make do with a simple physical button and limit it to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. But now that the cat is out of the bag, it is free to push forward with its original plans.
Although nothing’s set in stone yet, Apple might change the Action Button from a mechanical button to a capacitive one with force sensitivity. This is similar to the technology used in the previous Touch ID home button as well as the Force Touch trackpad on MacBooks. This revamped Action Button would be able to distinguish between a simple press, a long press, and a hard press, so you’d be able to assign at least two actions to the same button (long press is set to switching between ring and silent by default).
The exact implementation details are, of course, still up in the air, but it would be a very big improvement over the current basic implementation. Even better, those same sources claim that this new Action Button will make its way to all iPhone 16 models, both the standard and Pro models, so there wouldn’t be a need for envious buyers. Again, all of these are still unofficial, so Apple could still pull the plug from the plan if it doesn’t deem the feature to be ready by the time it locks down the iPhone 16 features next year.