Rumination on the Action Button

The rumors surrounding the iPhone 16 get more accurate as we get further into the year. One prevalent idea is that an additional button, dubbed the capture button, will be added to the iPhone 16 on all models. The idea of this seems simple enough: You hold up your phone, point at someone, and capture a picture. It’s unclear whether this will be addressable, like the Action button, that you can set to trigger an automation or other actions. But if I had to bet a nickel, I’d say you will not be able to do that. I think the idea is for Apple to have a button on the phone that will always take a picture.

It’s intriguing to witness the emergence of this button at this particular time. The iPhone has been around for a long time now, and the concept of a capture button isn’t novel. In fact, Apple introduced one on its battery case a few years back. I can’t help but speculate if the timing of this addition is Apple simply seeking to introduce something new.

Either way, I expect the capture button is aimed at the general market and not just us geeks. (I’d argue that the Action button, in contrast, is aimed at the geekier customers.)

Many people would appreciate the ability to quickly take a picture with their iPhone without any other manipulation but pushing a single button. It’s still early, and this capture button is not confirmed, but there is a lot of smoke around this idea, and I hope it comes true.