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iOS 17 beta might have spoiled a few new iPhone 15 Pro features

Published Jul 26th, 2023 5:22PM EDT
iPhone 15 Ultra concept based on Apple Watch Ultra
Image: Jonas Daehnert

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With iOS 17 beta 4 now available to registered developers, some iPhone owners noticed a few interesting changes. The iMessage menu has new app icons, AirDrop has been updated, and there are new animations when logging one’s State of Mind.

MacRumors went a little bit deeper and discovered a few code snippets that could potentially hint at the rumored Action Button of the iPhone 15 Pro models. Rumors about this Action Button started spreading early this year thanks to leaked CAD files of the upcoming phones.

While the Action Button was first rumored to be coming alongside unified volume buttons with haptic feedback, those features reportedly got scrapped while the Action Button remained. Now that we are approaching the release of iOS 17 and the announcement of the iPhone 15 series, it looks like Apple let these code snippets slip through the cracks.

According to the publication, iOS 17 beta 4 revealed nine different features the Action Button will support on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max:

  1. Accessibility: Presumably, users can access various accessibility features with one tap;
  2. Camera: Launch the Camera app and/or take a photo or video;
  3. Flashlight: Turn on or off the flashlight;
  4. Focus: Activate or deactivate a Focus Mode;
  5. Magnifier: Activate the Magnifier app to use the iPhone’s camera as a magnifying glass to zoom in on small texts;
  6. Shortcuts: Pressing the Action Button would let users run any shortcut they have created. The same already happens with the Apple Watch Ultra;
  7. Silent Mode: Toggle silent mode on or off;
  8. Translate: Launches the Translate app and start a conversation or the text translation with a single tap;
  9. Voice Memos: Start or stop recording a voice memo with the Voice Memos app.

From the data MacRumors uncovered, it doesn’t look like Apple will let third-party apps take advantage of the iPhone 15 Pro Action Button. That said, users could use shortcuts to bypass this limitation to open up WhatsApp, play a game, or call someone.

Personally, I’m most excited to try recording voice memos and launching the camera with the Action Button once I get my hands on an iPhone 15 Pro.

If more iPhone 15 features appear in iOS 17 beta builds, we’ll be sure to let you know.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.