08/27 Update below. This post was originally published on August 24
Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are going to divide opinion thanks to a combination of price increases and moderate design changes. And now we know more about the most controversial of them — thanks to Apple.
Spotted by 9to5Mac, code in the newly released iOS 17 beta 7 points to the so-called ‘Action Button,’ which will replace the beloved mute switch on both iPhone 15 Pro models.
The code reveals enhanced haptic feedback patterns, specifically for toggling Silent Mode off as well as on. Historically, iOS had a simple haptic notification when users activated Silent Mode, but there was no such feedback when deactivating it. After all, such feedback was unnecessary, given users were using a physical switch to silence their phones.
This all changes with a solid-state Action button that has no physical movement, and the phone will need to notify users when turning mute both on and off. Moreover, 9to5Mac states that the new haptic pattern for toggling silent mode feels like “feels like a single firm tap” — it all adds up.
While it’s good to see Apple thinking about the usability of the Action Button, the discovery of additional haptic feedback will only strengthen the conviction of users who feel its inclusion is unnecessary. The mute switch has become muscle memory for millions of iPhone owners around the world.
But there are upsides. Earlier iOS 17 beta code revealed the Action Button will be customizable with a wide variety of potential functions: Accessibility, Shortcuts, Silent Mode, Camera, Flashlight, Focus, Magnifier, Translate and Voice Memos. Whether multiple functions can be assigned to different press combinations, pressures, or gestures remains to be seen.
Moreover, a solid-state button should be more durable than the mute switch, collect less dirt and grime and increase water resistance. Done right, the change should be a win-win for buyers, and I’d expect Apple to introduce it across all iPhone 16 models if customer feedback is positive.
In addition to this leak, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max (possibly renamed Ultra) will move to a titanium chassis, have record breaking thin bezels, super-fast USB-C ports, and a next-gen 3nm A17 chip, while the Pro Max will exclusively get Apple’s first 10x optical zoom lens.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will get an iPhone 14 Pro-inspired upgrade with a Dynamic Island design, A16 chip and matching 48-megapixel primary camera, but they are likely to avoid the big price hikes headed for Pro models.
08/26 Update: The full lineup of iPhone 15 Pro colors has been revealed courtesy of a new leak from 9to5Mac.
Subject to endless rumors in recent months, the site states that Apple will shake up the Pro range finishes by offering the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in new dark blue and “Titan Gray” finishes (the latter a natural titanium look) along with stalwarts silver and space black.
The surprise is this means Apple will scrap the gold finish it has sold for five years, starting with the iPhone XS in 2018. Gold has proved to be hugely popular in that time, particularly in China, and was considered one of the untouchable options in the iPhone lineup.
The news also lays to bed long-running confusion over a supposed dark red finish that was heavily tipped to debut on the new Pro models. This was repeatedly dismissed by reliable insider Unknownz21, who insisted dark blue would be the new hero color, and is another feather in their cap.
08/27 Update: Another iPhone 15 color mystery has been solved. In a new post, leaker Majin Bu has revealed that “there will be an iPhone 15 and an iPhone 15 Plus (Product) RED, they will be perfectly matched to the red case.”
A mystery surrounding (Product) RED has been ongoing for several months, with doubts about the charity’s involvement from leakers and question marks about whether the tie-in color would be ready for launch or even launch at all.
In addition, the leaker also shared images of the upcoming color-matched cases for the full iPhone 15 range, which comprises black, brown, dark blue, baby blue, green, pinkish-white, orange and red finishes.
Not all these colors will align with iPhone 15 finishes, though the dark blue is highly likely to match the recently leaked dark blue hero color long championed by insider Unknownz21 and confirmed this week by 9to5Mac.
Needless to say, for some, iPhone color options hold little interest, but with smartphones ever more of a fashion item, there is great anticipation with each new generation to see what Apple will deliver.
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