Published Nov 1st, 2023 6:50AM EDT

iPhone 16 to feature an extra button, and I think we probably need it

Image: Jonathan Geller, BGR

The “dream” iPhone might be a few years away: a perfect all-screen device with no ports and no buttons. Apple needs a few additional innovations to make such a device happen. Like reliable under-display camera and Face ID tech and fast wireless charging and data transfer. As for the buttons part, it looks like we’re getting more buttons in the near future rather than fewer. And it might start with the iPhone 16 models next year.

The extra hardware button appeared in rumors that followed the iPhone 15 launch event. Supposedly called the “Capture” button internally, its purpose is still mysterious. But the more I think about it, the more I realize we probably need it.

I’m still on the iPhone 14 Pro, which means I don’t have access to the Action button on the iPhone 15 Pros. That’s one thing I envy, especially the ability to pair several shortcuts to the iPhone 15’s Action button. That’s also one reason why the Capture button rumor is so exciting.

Even if it’s unclear what the extra button will do, I’d guess it could be customizable just like the Action button. But it could be useful even if Apple assigns specific functions to it.

That’s because the Capture button should sit lower on the right side of the iPhone than the standby/power button. That would make the new button a lot easier to reach when operating the iPhone with one hand.

iPhone 15 Pro Action button shortcut assigns a menu to the button.
iPhone 15 Pro Action button shortcut assigns a menu to the button. Image source: YouTube

Currently, the standby/power button brings up the Apple Wallet app, which I use all the time for Apple Pay payments. It can also invoke Siri. But it’s not always comfortable to press.

Also, because of its placement, I still take accidental screenshots when pressing the standby/power button. A user-customizable Capture button that sits lower on the right side could fix a lot of issues.

As for that Capture name, I could see Apple mapping the button to the camera. It could also be the button you press when taking screenshots. But I’m just bouncing ideas at this point.

A new report from a Chinese leaker who goes by the name of Instant Digital on Weibo says there’s a “great chance” Apple will introduce the new button. Per MacRumors, the leaker has shared accurate Apple details in the past.

The insider says Apple plans to move the mmWave antenna to the left of the iPhone 16 to make room for the new button. The leaker doesn’t give the button a name. The iPhone 16’s Capture button moniker comes from a previous MacRumors report based on the blog’s sources.

In addition to the new button, Apple will keep in place the Action button. But it’ll change its design, as the Action button will sit flush with the device on iPhone 16 models. Apple will be transitioning to solid-state technology for the button. The volume keys and standby/power button will not change, however.

MacRumors says that its sources say the new button will be available on all four iPhone 16 models. The Action button should also be available on all 2024 iPhones.

iPhone 16 to feature an extra button, and I think we probably need it

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it’s available.

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