The iPhone 16 is some eight months away. But I already think we have a pretty good picture of what’s to come from Apple this year. We’re still looking at four iPhone models part of the 2024 family. But we’ll see a few big design changes this year.
First of all, the iPhone 16 Pros are going to be slightly larger than before. Apple wants to add the tetraprism lens it introduced with the iPhone 15 Pro Max to both Pro versions this year.
On top of that, all iPhone 16 variants will supposedly feature a brand new Capture button. It’ll be placed on the right side, under the power button. Rumors say the Capture button will be tied to the camera. I already explained why it might be a bigger iPhone upgrade than USB-C for me.
A new leak offers us insight into Apple’s design plans for the iPhone, as various iPhone 16 Pro prototypes have apparently leaked. Apple is toying with various button shapes and sizes, but one thing seems to be clear. The Capture button is very much in the picture.
Most iPhone 16 Capture button details have leaked from MacRumors earlier this year. The blog has obtained information about the Proto 2 stage of the iPhone 16 Pro development cycle, detailing four different design ideas for the iPhone 16 series.
Apple has tested small and large Action buttons, a unified volume button, and different types of Action and Capture buttons. The current iPhone 16 design reportedly features separate volume buttons with a small Action button and a Capture button flush with the frame.
Here are Apple’s various iPhone 16 Pro design iterations:
Unified volume button with small Action button
Unified volume button with large Action button and new Capture button
Separate volume buttons with large Action button and Capture button flush with frame (mockup below)
Separate volume buttons with small Action button and Capture button flush with frame (current)
According to MacRumors, Apple has explored the idea of making the Action and Capture buttons capacitive. Such a design would mean both buttons would be flush with the frame of the iPhone. They’d feature force sensor technology.
Apple’s latest iPhone 16 Pro design features an Action button that’s about as big as the iPhone 15 Pro. The Capture button might continue to be capacitive, sitting flush with the frame.
While the information MacRumors obtained might be accurate, Apple still has time to finalize the design of the iPhone 16 buttons. It’s not guaranteed that any of the implementations above will make it into the final design.
I’ll also point out that all iPhone 16 models should feature Action and Capture buttons. That’s what previous leaks have said. Unfortunately, we don’t have photos showing the design prototypes mentioned above.
But it looks like the Capture button plays an important part in Apple’s future iPhone experience. It’s likely that Apple is also developing software features for the button, but that’s just speculation. These are features we won’t learn sooner than mid-September, when Apple will hold its iPhone 16 launch event.