Rumor Mill: iPhone 16 Lineup to Introduce Redesigned Action Button with Force Sensor

Rumor Mill: iPhone 16 Lineup to Introduce Redesigned Action Button with Force Sensor

The Action button—which debuted with the iPhone 15 Pro—may become more potent and appear on additional devices. According to a recent rumor, the Action button will be present on all four iPhone 16 models. Additionally, it has been reported that Apple intends to upgrade the Action button’s functionality and replace its mechanical design with a capacitive one.

Rumors of an enhanced Action button on the iPhone 16

For the iPhone 15 Pro, a solid-state button swap was allegedly in the works, but Apple reportedly abandoned those plans at the last minute. It appears that the long-running story of the iPhone 16 lineup next year will see the return of capacitive solid-state buttons after a brief hiatus.

This report was posted on MacRumors today by a person connected to a fairly well-known leaker account from the iPhone 15 rumor mill. The article makes clear that Apple’s plans are subject to change and that the new information is based on pre-production data. Once more, that is exactly what transpired the previous year.

The Action button will replace the physical mute switch on the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max, according to the report. The Action button is currently exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. The traditional mute switch is still in use with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.

Apple is apparently planning to increase the Action button’s power in addition to making it larger and incorporating a capacitive design into future iPhone models. According to the report, the new Action button will “work similarly to the Force Touch trackpad found on more recent MacBooks, or the Touch ID Home button on older iPhone models.”

A new force sensor is supposed to enable the new Action button to sense “changes in pressure.” A “tact-switching functionality” is also mentioned in the report, though its definition is “currently unclear.”

Furthermore, it’s unclear what extra features the new capacitive design might enable. At the moment, the Action button has only one possible use. A redesigned button might have several uses, connected to things like long-press, double-press, and single-press triggers.

Additionally, it is said that Apple “experimented with different sizes for the Action button.” Some iPhone 16 models are reported to have had an Action button added during pre-production testing that is larger than the iPhone 15 Pro’s and “more closely resembles the volume buttons in size.”

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