With the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the mute switch is officially dead. In its place, you now get an Action button, similar to the one on the Apple Watch Ultra. Thankfully, this button still works as a mute switch. If you press and hold the button, you’ll switch between ringer and silent modes. iOS will even tell you if you aren’t holding the button down long enough. Neat!
So, the physical mute button isn’t going anywhere; it’s just different. But it’s not solely meant for muting or non-muting: You can choose what it does when you press it, and Apple has created a good system for easily customizing what the button can do.
The Action button on the Pro iPhones (the iPhone 15 still gets the old mute switch) serves as a quick launch button for many of iPhone’s standard features. You can go to Settings > Action Button to customize this action at any time.
You can use the Action button to quickly open the camera without fumbling with on-screen controls. Similarly, you can use it to toggle your flashlight on and off, so you don’t need to rely on the Home Screen shortcut or Control Center tile. It can also start a recording using Voice Memos, open the Magnifier app, trigger a Focus, or open the Translate app (although this won’t be available until later this year). You can also activate any accessibility shortcut using the Action button, so you can toggle actions like VoiceOver, AssistiveTouch, and more.
Speaking of shortcuts, the Action button supports Shortcuts as well, so you can easily create and assign a shortcut automation to the Action button. You can do something simple—like open Spotify, choose to play a specific playlist, or run a complex automation—just by pressing the Action button. If you can build it in Shortcuts, you can trigger it with your 15 Pro’s new button.