Even though 2023 isn’t over yet, rumors are already strongly discussing the iPhone 16. Specifically, they’re focusing on a key component: the home button. This button had already sparked many assumptions and deductions before the launch of the current iPhone 15, and now it seems poised to generate a lot of conversation.
In all iPhones and with a new technology
The action button, internally known as “Atlas,” debuted in the iPhone 15 models with the Pro designation, replacing the traditional silent switch. However, its functionality goes far beyond a simple mute switch. This configurable little button allows us to perform a variety of actions, such as activating silent mode, turning on the flashlight, opening the camera in different modes, running shortcuts, recording voice notes, activating focus modes, and more. It’s even expected to have a translation function in the upcoming iOS update.
With the iPhone 16, according to MacRumors, Apple has some intriguing plans for this button. The main innovation lies in its transformation from a mechanical button to a capacitive one, similar to the Touch ID home button in previous iPhone models or the Force Touch trackpad on MacBooks. This new version of the button will include a force sensor that detects changes in pressure, enhancing its use and expanding the possibilities of our interaction.
According to MacRumors, sources indicate that even in the earliest stages of design and prototypes for the base model of the iPhone 16, the action button has been a constant feature. This suggests that all models of next year’s iPhone will come with this button. Furthermore, Apple has experimented with different sizes for this button, with some hardware configurations displaying a larger action button, similar in size to the volume buttons.
Most interestingly, it appears that this action button is also expected in the upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE, anticipated for 2025. This would imply the removal of the silent switch across all developing iPhone models.
That’s an important point to keep in mind—we’re still in a pre-production stage. Plans at Apple could change, so what’s rumored today might not necessarily reflect what ends up in the units that hit the market. Nonetheless, these developments signal an intriguing future for the iPhone and the flexibility that comes with the simple act of pressing a button to do practically anything.