Another report, this time from The Information, claims that Apple is testing a new camera-focused button for inclusion on this year’s iPhone release, presumably called the iPhone 16. According to the publication’s sources, the button could be located on the lower right side of the device, placing it under your index finger when taking photos and videos in landscape.
Rumors of a new camera button have been around since at least September, when MacRumors reported on the in-development feature. But while MacRumors reported that the button would be capacitive, and therefore simulate a press with a vibration, The Information says it’ll be mechanical like a traditional button, but with extra capacitive features that make it both touch- and pressure-sensitive, allowing users to swipe left and right to control the camera’s zoom, or lightly pressed to set focus on a subject.
The second new iPhone button in as many years
Both The Information and MacRumors report the button is being tested for inclusion across the entire iPhone 16 lineup, including both regular and Pro models. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also reported on the possibility of a new camera button coming to the phones.
If the camera button makes it to release, it’ll be the second new button to come to the iPhone in as many years. Last year the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max shipped with a new (mechanical) Action Button, replacing the traditional mute switch that normally sits on the left side of the device. Although this button can also be programmed to take photographs, it’s meant as a general-purpose shortcut button and by default changes the ringer settings on the phone. MacRumors also reported that the action button could also transition to capacitive this year.
Apple wouldn’t be the first smartphone manufacturer to include a dedicated camera button on one of its phones. Sony has shipped them on its Xperia devices for years, for example. But it would be a significant inclusion for some of the most popular smartphones sold today. Last year Apple reportedly overtook Samsung to ship the most smartphones globally for the first time.
Even if Apple is currently testing the feature, its plans for the iPhone 16 lineup could change before they’re announced in September. Last year there were widespread reports that the company was considering replacing the iPhone’s mechanical power and volume buttons (as well as the then-rumored rumored action button) with capacitive alternatives, but the plans were reportedly scrapped after the feature didn’t meet Apple’s standards.