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Apple Debuts Action Button on iPhone 15 Pro, Transforming the Ring-Silent Switch

This feature is evolving into something new for the iPhone Pro models.

Nelson Aguilar
Nelson Aguilar is an LA-based tech how-to writer and graduate of UCLA. With more than a decade of experience, he covers Apple and Google and writes on iPhone and Android features, privacy and security settings and more.
Nelson Aguilar
2 min read
iphone 15 pro button

The new Action button will only be found on the iPhone 15 Pro models.

Apple/Screenshot by James Martin/CNET

One of the original design features of the Apple iPhone is getting an overhaul. At its "Wonderlust" event Tuesday, Apple announced that the new iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will replace the traditional ring-silent switch on the left side of the phone with a new Action button.

Read more: iPhone 15, USB-C and Apple Watch 9: Everything Apple Announced

By default, the Action button will still allow you to toggle between silent and ring mode. All you need to do is press and hold down the button, until you feel haptic feedback, to change between the two. However, you can go into your settings and customize what the Action button can do. Besides putting your phone into silent mode, you can launch your camera to take a photo, open your voice memos to record audio or launch an accessibility feature.

Any time you use the Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro, you'll see visual feedback in the Dynamic Island.

The Dynamic Island will give a little shimmy when you hit the Action button.

Apple/GIF by Arielle Burton/CNET

The button will work similarly to Back Tap, which allows you to tap the back of your iPhone to run actions like turning on your flashlight or running a Siri shortcut -- without having to go into your iPhone.

Watch this: iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max Add Apple's Customizable Action Button

The iPhone 15 Pro starts at $999 (£999, AU$1,849) -- the same price as last year. The iPhone 15 Pro Max, with the new 5x telephoto lens, costs $1,199 (£1,199, AU$2,199) with a new 256GB of storage for the base model.

All of the iPhone 15 models have the Dynamic Island (in the iPhone 14 series, this feature was exclusive to the Pro models) and USB-C charging. 

Apple also unveiled the the Apple Watch Series 9, with a new double tap gesture and upgraded optical heart sensor, and the second-gen Apple Watch Ultra, featuring an upgraded display and better battery life. You can preorder the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 now.

Go Inside the Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: See How the New iPhones Look and Work

See all photos