Are you looking forward to new iPhone Action Button?

So rumor has it the iPhone 15 Pro series will get an Action Button to replace the ringer switch. And code in the iOS 17 beta reveals several actions that could be attached to that button. Among them launching the camera. That got me thinking if perhaps some folks aren’t aware you can already do that via back tap in Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap.

Anyway, initially I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of an Action Button at all. The ringer switch has this great property that you can feel what it’s set to so you can check your phone is silenced before a concert without even taking it out of your pocket. You can change its setting too, without ever removing the phone from your pocket or even glancing at switch or screen. And it looks like all that will go away if replaced by the Action Button. Now you’ll have to check the screen to see what the setting is, and perhaps hold and press the button? Or some other system to prevent accidental press?

But lately, the idea has started growing on me because I realize that my ringer switch is set to silent basically all the time, so what purpose does it really serve? Perhaps, having other functionality that can be quickly accessed through this Action Button would actually see more everyday use (turn on flashlight perhaps?).

So what do you guys think about this? Change for the sake of change? Will you miss the ringer switch? Or are you looking forward to an Action Button and what will you use it for?

Agreed. I’ve got the opposite scenario - I always leave the ringer enabled, but I keep the volume turned all the way down. So I can hear the phone ringing but apps are silent (unless I explicitly raise the volume to hear something.)

I used to use the ringer switch as a general mute function, but some apps (especially embedded ads in games) ignore it and blast audio when I want the phone to be silent.

When I want to actually mute the ringer, I usually use a “Do Not Disturb” Focus mode or something similar.

So likewise, it might be nice to do something else with that switch. Personally, I would like it to be usable as a rotation-lock switch, which you can configure on iPads but not on the pocket-size devices (iPhones and iPod Touches).

That Apple hasn’t succeeded in shutting this down is a real pitty.

My phone is always on silent (same for the watch) so the switch has been a waste of space for me.

I’m not sure, though, what I’d use an action button for on the phone. I do have the action button on the watch and it launches the workouts app (and also starts the workout when I am ready). Otherwise I haven’t given much thought to an action button on the phone. I’m likely getting an iPhone 15 family (Pro or regular) next spring, so I’ll think about it then.