iPhone 15 Pro: this is how the new solid state buttons work

The iPhone 15 Pro will no longer have physical buttons, but so-called solid state buttons that you can no longer press. It was not yet known how these will work – but we do have some ideas.

iPhone 15 Pro buttons can no longer be pressed

You’d almost think Apple hates buttons. First the home button turned into a ‘virtual’ button that only gave haptic feedback, then it disappeared completely shortly afterwards. Now it’s the turn of the other buttons (side button and volume buttons).

Apple’s strategy for these buttons is the same as with the home button. Buttons remain visible (for now?), but they can no longer be pressed and only respond to touches. That raised some questions regarding how those buttons will work in practice. Based on information from a leaker and our own insights, we have listed how the buttons will work.

This is how the buttons of the iPhone 15 Pro work

Anyone who has ever touched the home button on a disabled iPhone 7 knows how strange that feels. The button you once thought you were pressing now feels as immobile as the back. But the buttons of the iPhone 15 Pro will not suffer from that. Thanks to a particularly energy-efficient chip, the iPhone 15 Pro buttons always remain active. Even if your phone is off (or completely empty), you will always receive feedback and the buttons will continue to register touches.

In addition, it is possible to set the sensitivity of the buttons in a new option in Settings. Note that this is different from the home button setting on older iPhones. There you set how intense the vibration is that you feel, but with the buttons on the 15 Pro it’s about when they become active. Increasing that sensitivity is useful, for example, if you often use your iPhone with gloves.

iPhone 15 buttons

Additional functions for the buttons

So much for the active use of the buttons. In addition, we can also imagine that Apple will add some special functions to these new buttons. How about, for example, that you can adjust the volume with swipes – just like on the AirPods Pro 2? You may even get haptic feedback there that mimics the rotation of a gear. In this way, Apple even adds a new dimension to the use of the buttons.

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