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Apple’s new iPhone 16 Capture button is way more exciting than you think

Published Mar 27th, 2024 6:50AM EDT
iPhone 15 Pro Max Screen
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Most iPhone 16 rumors this year have offered the same design story. The handsets will be almost identical to their predecessors, with a few important tweaks. The iPhone 16 Pros are going to feature slightly larger displays and housing. The Action button the iPhone 15 Pros introduced is coming to all models. And, finally, all iPhone 16 variants will feature a Capture button on the same side as the power button. 

I never knew I needed a Capture button on the iPhone in my life. But now that I know the button is coming, I can’t stop thinking about it. Every time I take the iPhone out for a photo, I wish I had that button ready. 

There’s usually no point getting excited about a rumored iPhone feature that Apple is far from confirming. I know that. But I’m convinced the button is coming, and this week’s new series of leaks further confirm it.

We first saw iPhone 16 dummy units pop up on Weibo. They seemed to corroborate the design rumor I mentioned above. The iPhone 16 Pros are getting bigger. All iPhone 16 units are getting Action buttons. And, most importantly for me, the Capture button is coming to all models. 

Then Sonny Dickson posted a purported iPhone 16 case on X that shows a cutout for the Capture button. Accessory makers are already mass-producing cases that will fit the button.

Why do I want a Capture button on the iPhone?

We want new devices to be better and faster at doing what they do than the previous versions. That’s why we upgrade our iPhone or Android handset ever few years. That speed isn’t always about a faster processor. It might be about the Action button performing a specific task on the iPhone. Or long-pressing an app icon to get to a specific task. 

The Capture button will do the same thing for the camera. It’ll speed up the process of taking photos if rumors are accurate. And I found myself craving that feature more and more in recent weeks.

I started having these iPhone 16 Capture button cravings in late February while at MWC in Barcelona. I used my iPhone to take photos of everything, and I did it the same way. Every time, I started the Camera app from the Lock Screen shortcut. That’s when I realized how useful a Capture button will be, if it can get me faster in camera mode than touching the screen. 

Also, the Capture button could have me snapping pics and recording videos faster than ever. I hope that the rumors are correct and the Capture button supports gestures. Think swiping on it for zooming in or light-pressing it to focus. I’d get my photos even faster.

iPhone 15 Pro profile shows the Action button.
iPhone 15 Pro profile shows the Action button. Image source: Jonathan Geller, BGR

I know it’s not a big deal, and MWC is long done. I hardly need to take as many photos as I do during a show. But I still think about the Capture button. Like when I’m on my runs training for a marathon and I have to fumble for the camera to capture something I liked along the way. Trust me, it takes a while and breaks my rhythm, even on easy runs. And easy runs make the most of that mileage. 

On the same note, I will want to snap pics during race days. And I absolutely don’t want to stop running while I do it. 

I also happen to snap a lot of pics of things around me that I need to keep track of. Or products I consider buying. I’ll get pics of price tags. And I’ll take photos of myself when trying clothes. 

All of this could be so much faster if I could start the camera with the press of a button and then press it again to capture the shot I need.

If the rumors are all wrong, and we’re not getting a Capture button on the iPhone 16, I’ll be terribly disappointed. But I’m sure they’re correct. And I can’t wait to take the Capture button for granted, just like I do with the Mute switch. 

Chris Smith Senior Writer

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.