Apple’s Wonderlust event saw the unveiling of many things, but a new iPhone feature received all the applause when it was introduced to members of the press in Steve Jobs Theater. No, I’m not talking about USB-C. I’m talking about the Action Button, which serves as a programmable hotkey to open a desired application, function, or Shortcut and replaces the aging alert slider above the iPhone’s volume buttons.
If “Action Button” rings a bell, it’s probably because Apple introduced a similar feature with the Watch Ultra last year. Only this time, the one on the iPhone is much more customizable and comes with a settings UI that’s way ahead of its time. You’ll understand in a minute.
While the new Action Button is only available for the latest iPhone 15 Pro models, and you’ll have to wait until September 22 to get a taste of it, here’s a breakdown of how the feature works and its most practical use cases.
How to use the Action Button on the iPhone 15 Pro
What you’ll need: iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max
What iPhone models have the Action Button?
Only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have the new Action Button. Older models instead have a physical alert slider that switches between sound and silent modes. Naturally, cases and covers made for previous iPhone models won’t fit on the iPhone 15 Pro series.
Can I map a third-party app to the Action Button?
You can, thanks to the Shortcut option in the Action Button menu. You first need to create a Shortcut with the desired app. Then, select it as the sequence to open when the Action Button is triggered. Due to how versatile Shortcuts can be, the possibilities for what the Action Button can do are endless.