Apple reportedly plans to introduce a new capacitive button on next year’s iPhone 16 lineup. Known as the “Capture Button” internally, the button is currently in the testing phase.
With the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple replaced the mute switch with the Action button. It enables additional functionality that was previously not possible.
iPhone 16 might feature a new dedicated button
A MacRumors report details Apple’s plan to add a new capacitive button to the 2024 iPhone 16 lineup. It apparently will sit on the same side as the side (power) key but slightly lower, where the mmWave antenna cutout currently sits on U.S. iPhone models. The latter has been moved to the opposite side in internal test units, code-named “Project Nova.”
“Capacitive buttons, unlike mechanical buttons, do not move when pressed down,” MacRumors wrote. “Instead, the button detects pressure and touch, providing haptic feedback through the use of haptic engines… According to our sources, the capacitive buttons will feature force sensor functionality. Force sensors detect applied force, and convert the magnitude of force into electrical signals.”
The exact purpose of the new capacitive button remains unclear. Apple could use the button as a shutter button in the Camera app, as its placement would make it much more accessible than the iPhone 15 Pro’s Action Button. And since it would be capacitive, Apple could map it to multiple actions based on the pressure applied.
Interestingly, Apple apparently intends to bring the Capture Button to the entire iPhone 16 lineup and not just limit it to the Pro models.
Capacitive Action button coming to 2024 iPhones
Previous rumors suggest Apple planned to use capacitive volume keys and a side button on the iPhone 15 Pro. However, the company had to drop the plan due to hardware problems. It’s likely that Apple engineers are relying on the same idea with the new Capture Button for the iPhone 16 series.
Apple seemingly also plans to turn the Action button into a capacitive one on the iPhone 16 series. Internally known as “Project Atlas,” the capacitive key will have the same design as the Capture Button.
Note that these buttons are still in the testing stage. So, there’s always a possibility of Apple ditching the idea altogether after running into challenges.