It looks like Apple could have plans to build on the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max’s ‘Action button’ with the iPhone 16 line next year.
According to MacRumors, the tech giant will reportedly add a capacitive touch button below the sleep/wake button on the iPhone 16/iPhone 16 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro/iPhone 15 Pro Max. Given that the button is capacitive, it won’t physically move and instead will react to the user’s touch. Some iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max rumours indicated the smartphones could feature capacitive power and volume buttons, but those didn’t turn out to be accurate.
The report doesn’t mention the rest of the iPhone 16’s physical buttons changing over to capacitive. That said, it does indicate Apple is creating a version of the iPhone 16 that doesn’t include the button, leaving its options open if it decides to ditch the project.
Internally at Apple, the mysterious ‘Capture Button’ is codenamed ‘Project Nova,’ according to MacRumors’ sources. The report says the button is located under the power switch and says the U.S-only mmWave panel could shift down to accommodate it (Canadian versions of the iPhone 15 don’t support mmWave).
What’s most interesting about the Capture Button rumour is that the report doesn’t indicate what it might even do — that said, I have a few ideas.
It’s possible Apple plans to add another programmable button to the iPhone 16 line, similar to how the Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro currently works. On the other hand, this could be an example of information being misconstrued, and Apple plans to bring the Action button to all iPhone models with the iPhone 16 instead of just the ‘Pro’ devices. There’s also a possibility this button could be related to a capacitive gesture, similar to the Pixel 2’s ‘Active Edge.’
9to5Mac points out that the button is in the same location as a discontinued SmartBattery Case for the iPhone 11 that featured a dedicated camera button, so perhaps the rumoured Capture Button could be used as a dedicated camera shutter?
Since the iPhone 15 series just launched, we’ll have to wait several months before we know for sure if this report surrounding an extra button coming to the iPhone 16 line is accurate.