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Apple is working on adding yet another new button to the iPhone 16 series

Pretty soon, the iPhone is going to be nothing but buttons.

Published onSeptember 25, 2023

Apple iPhone 14 logo
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • A rumor suggests the Apple iPhone 16 series could feature a new button.
  • Internally, this button is allegedly known as the “Capture Button” as part of “Project Nova.”
  • It is unknown what this new button actually does, but the name hints at something camera-related.

The iPhone 15 series launch just wrapped, but that doesn’t mean iPhone rumors will stop. We’ve already seen plenty of rumors come out related to the 2024 series of iPhones, and now we have a new one to throw on the pile.

It looks like the Apple iPhone 16 series could feature a new button (per MacRumors). Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “That’s the Action Button, silly,” hear me out. This would be a new additional button. In other words, the iPhone 16 series could have as many as five buttons around the rim: two volume buttons, a power button, an Action Button, and this new button.

According to a source speaking with MacRumors, this new button is internally referred to as the “Capture Button.” This theoretical button would live on the right side of the phone slightly underneath the power button. It’s all part of a secretive internal project known as “Project Nova.”

Outside of the button’s internal references and its placement, though, we don’t know much more about it. The fact that the developers are calling it a “Capture Button” does heavily suggest that it will have something to do with photos. Sony Xperia phones, for example, have a dedicated shutter button. This button, coincidentally, lives underneath the power button on the right side of the phone.

Another thing we know about this new button on the Apple iPhone 16 series is that it’s capacitive in nature. That means you don’t physically press a mechanical button. You press on it, and internal sensors track how much pressure that creates. A haptic response from the phone provides tactile feedback that the phone has registered your press.

Interestingly, there were many rumors throughout 2023 that the iPhone 15 series would only have capacitive buttons. This was part of “Project Bongo.” Obviously, this didn’t come to pass as all buttons on the iPhone 15 series — even the new Action Button — are mechanical. MacRumors’ source also claims Apple is working on making the Action Button capacitive for the iPhone 16 series as a part of “Project Atlas.”

Since we’re a full year out from the iPhone 16 launch, it’s far too early to say whether or not this new button will actually come with the new iPhones. The smartphones are still in the development phase, and many different factors could alter Apple’s plans. Still, it does seem the company is putting a ton of focus on buttons recently.

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