Forget iPhone 15 Pro's Action button, next year's model could add a 'Capture Button' to the mix

iPhone 15 Pro Action Button
(Image credit: Apple)

We might only be a few days into the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lifecycle, but the rumor mill waits for no one and we're already heading into iPhone 16 season. And things have started with a bang.

Hot on the heels of the iPhone 15 Pro's new Action button, it appears that the company has gotten a taste for adding buttons to its phones. That's because we're now told that next year's iPhone 16 family devices will gain an extra one in the form of a so-called Capture Button.

Except, the new button won't be a button at all. It'll be capacitive, which means that it won't physically move and will instead use the iPhone's Taptic Engine to simulate a click when pressed. Stop us if you've heard that before.

Apple tries to Capture the moment

With everyone currently enjoying their Action buttons, it seems Apple wants to continue the trend of adding buttons to its devices. Now, MacRumors reports that Project Nova will do just that by adding the Capture Button.

Finding a place for that button might require moving another component around, however. The mmWave 5G antenna lives beneath the power button on the iPhone's side right now, and that's where we're told to expect the Capture Button to appear. To make space, the mmWave antenna will reportedly switch sides and line up below the volume buttons.

The capacitive nature of the button could also see the iPhone 16 lineup gain a new capacitive Action button, we're told. Developed under the Project Atlas name, the button will presumably stay where it is, right above the volume buttons.

Apple was of course expected to use capacitive buttons on the iPhone 15 Pro only for it to change course. But design and engineering issues with the project, codenamed Project Bongo, apparently led to the change, with Apple now coming up with a new approach.

The new Capture Button is expected to ship on all iPhone 16 models, but the kicker is that nobody seems to know what it will do. " It is currently unknown what the new capacitive button will be used for," the report says.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.