10 awesome things you can do with the iPhone 15 Pro Action b…

Close-up of the action button on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Joe Maring/

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max feature a brand new titanium body, which is a standout feature from a design perspective. However, another hardware-related feature that’s even more notable for these models — and future iPhones over time — is the new Action button.

The Action button replaces the Ring/Silent switch on the left side of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. You can assign a shortcut to the button through the Settings app, such as activating and using the camera app or turning on the phone’s flashlight. To assign a button, go to the Settings app on your supported iPhone. From there, select the action button, then toggle to your selection. It’s that simple.

You might think that the action button on your device is only useful for basic functions. However, it’s also compatible with Apple Shortcuts and accessibility features, allowing a variety of possibilities you might not have considered.

Action button basics

iPhone 15 Pro action button setup for voice memos.
Christine Romero-Chan/

The iPhone 15 Pro’s Action button can be customized to perform six basic functions. In addition to opening the camera app and turning on the flashlight, the button can also be used to switch to silent mode, activate the focus setting, access the Voice Memos app, or use the magnifier. Additionally, if you have the official Translator app installed on your iPhone, you can assign action buttons to that app as well. It’s also possible to disable the action button, so it does nothing at all. Of course, this is no fun.

Camera equipment is probably the most valuable, but this is entirely subjective. When you assign an action button to the Camera app, you also choose which camera function is activated. You can have it automatically open photo camera, selfie, video, portrait or portrait selfie.

Let’s discuss some of the more advanced features that can be performed using the Shortcuts app or the accessibility tools on your phone. If you choose to use the Shortcuts app, you’ll be asked to choose a shortcut. You can link it to an existing shortcut, create a new shortcut, or choose from pre-existing shortcuts available in the shortcut gallery. It’s worth noting that shortcuts contain web addresses, which you can access from your iPhone and follow installation instructions. Meanwhile, when you choose Accessibility within the Action Button settings, you have to select a specific action from the list.

action button menu

Action button shortcuts for iPhone 15 Pro action buttons.
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It’s disappointing that you can only assign one function to an action button. Thankfully, a shortcut was shared on X (formerly known as Twitter) realappledefenderWhich removes this limitation.

The Action Button Menu shortcut lets you bring up a menu when you press the button. This menu offers six functions: camera, flashlight, mute toggle, set focus, rotation lock, and the ability to open the Home app. This means that pressing the action button once gives you six possible shortcuts, and as you’d expect, it’s a big upgrade over the default options Apple gives you.

Give your camera superpowers

Double Tap action shortcut for iPhone 15 Pro action button.
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Who doesn’t love a faster way to switch between photo and video modes on your phone’s camera app? Jordan Zeleny has created a shortcut called Double Tap Action and it’s perfect for this.

With this shortcut, tapping once on the action button opens the photo camera, while tapping twice automatically switches to the video camera. It’s a simple yet powerful feature that can save time and make your photography experience more efficient.

Launch Shazam app

Shazam shortcuts for iPhone 15 Pro action buttons.
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If you’re not familiar with the Shazam app, it’s a great tool that can help you identify songs. Open Shazam, press the button, and you can recognize whatever song is playing.

with Shazam and Save shortcut, you can activate the music recognition function through the action button and add the recognized song directly to your Apple Music library. Have you heard a song is playing and want to know its name or artist? Just enable this shortcut, press the action button, and that’s it.

turn on background sounds

Choosing accessibility background sounds for use with the action buttons on iPhone 15 Pro.
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Do you ever have difficulty concentrating? Did you know that your iPhone offers soothing background sounds that you can play through your compatible headphones? These background sounds can come to life automatically by using action buttons.

To get started, select simple use Under Action button settings. tap from there choose To view the list of available options. Next, scroll down to the Hearing section and tap background sounds,

Now, when you click the action button, you will hear background sounds designed to mask unwanted environmental noise. Click the action button again to turn off the sound.

Give two shortcuts to your action buttons

MacStories Multibutton Shortcuts for iPhone 15 Pro Action Button.

Well-known MacStories author Federico Vitisi has created a variety of Apple shortcuts over the years. one of these, Multibuttons are a handy option when paired with action buttons. With multibutton, you can assign two different shortcuts to your action button, one of which is activated by pressing the button once and the other by pressing it twice.

To start, you need to download the app and then tap on set shortcut Option. However, things can get a little tricky from here. You need to enter the exact names of the two shortcuts you want to run. However, once it’s all configured, it can be really powerful.

Activate VoiceOver

VoiceOver accessibility tool for use with the Action Button on iPhone 15 Pro.
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Another accessibility feature with action buttons is the ability to activate VoiceOver. With VoiceOver, you’ll hear a voice speaking about the item on the screen.

To assign it, select simple use Under Action button settings. tap from there choose To view the list of available options. Next, scroll down to the Vision section and tap voice over, Although this is technically an accessibility feature, anyone can use it and benefit from it.

Open any app you want

Open App Shortcuts for iPhone 15 Pro Action Button.
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Assigning an action button to open an app may seem repetitive. After all, you can do the same thing by searching for it or clicking on its icon from your home screen. However, it is still a good option. For example, you can use the Open App shortcut to open an alternative camera app like Camera+, check the weather, etc.

To get started with this tool, select short cut From the Action button menu, then tap the selection below, which will open the shortcut menu. choose from there open app Follow the additional instructions under the Getting Started section.

orientation-based activities

Orientation action mode for the iPhone 15 Pro's action buttons.
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youtuber Dan Vittorini has created an interesting shortcut called Orientation Action Mode. Once installed, Shortcuts allows you to assign different actions depending on the orientation of your phone.

For example, if you’re watching a movie in landscape mode, you can use the action button to activate silent mode. On the other hand, if you are in portrait mode, you can change the action button to launch the camera app or any other app of your choice. You can get quite creative with this, and it’s absolutely worth checking out.

Get creative with Apple Music

Apple One shortcuts for iPhone 15 Pro action buttons.
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There are many Apple Music shortcuts available that can help you find your favorite songs, albums, radio stations, and more. You can access this content even faster by combining these shortcuts with action buttons.

For example, I’m fond of Apple Music 1, and I’ve set up an Apple shortcut to start the radio station whenever I click the action button. this is easy.

As you can see, there are many possibilities with the iPhone 15 Pro’s action buttons. You can use it with any of its native options or opt for shortcuts or accessibility tools. the choice is yours.

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