Mario Tama/Getty Images
The iPhone 15 series is officially out, and one of the features it introduced is specific to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models. That’s the Action Button, a button placed above the volume controls that replaces the ringer mute switch that had been on every iPhone throughout the product line’s history since its launch in 2007. Out of the box, it defaults to being a new version of the mute switch, one that uses a long press to toggle which mode it’s in and a short press to get an on-screen confirmation of what mode it’s in.
What’s available to you becomes clearer if you go to the Action Button menu of the Settings app. There, you’ll find a toggle to switch the functionality from the mute switch to toggling a focus mode like Do Not Disturb on and off, launching the camera app in the mode of your choice, turning the flashlight on and off, recording a voice memo, activating the magnifier, a custom shortcut, toggling one of several accessibility options, and No Action. That Shortcut option is where things get particularly interesting.
For the uninitiated, the Shortcuts app on the iPhone allows you to chain various functions together, including across different apps, all using a single command. And now, with the Action Button? Its power can be unleashed by a single hardware button press. So, how do you set it up?
Setting up Shortcuts to tie to the Action Button
To be able to use the Action Button to launch a shortcut on your phone, you need to create the desired chain of events in the Shortcuts app first. To do this;
- Download and install Shortcuts from the App Store if it’s not already on your phone.
- Launch the Shortcuts app.
- Tap the (+) sign button in the top-right corner of the screen.
- When prompted to Add an Action, which will be the first step in the chain of events triggered by the Shortcut, either pick one from the pre-generated Action Suggestions list or choose to create a new one.
- From there, select Second Action and Beyond to add steps as needed.
- After you’ve sufficiently laid out what you want the Shortcut to do, tap Done.
- If you’d like to change the name of your new Shortcut, tap and hold the Shortcut’s icon and then select Rename.
To tie the new Shortcut to the Action Button, it’s pretty simple:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap the Action Button in the Settings menu.
- Select Shortcuts from the Action Button sub-menu.
- Tap Choose a Shortcut, then pick the new Shortcut that you just saved.
Once you’ve got this down, the options for what you can map to the Action Button are practically unlimited.