Apple needs to fix this annoying iPhone problem

June Wan/ZDNET

It is no secret that the iPhone It’s one of my favorite gadgets. It’s, without a doubt, the device I use the most. My iPhone is in use all the time, and if it’s not in my hand or pocket, it’s never more than an arm’s length away.

Overall, I have very few complaints about my iPhone 15Even my old bane with Apple devices, battery life, has improved to the point where I rarely have to think about it. So much so that to preserve the longevity of my battery, I only Charge my iPhone to 80% every dayEven with that reduced charge I can use it for a full day.

Also: Why I limit my iPhone 15’s charging capacity to 80% (and you should too)

But I hate one feature that Apple introduced with the iPhone 15: the Action button On the side. I don’t understand the logic behind this button. At a time when Apple is removing buttons and ports from devices to simplify them (and simplify the production line, which in turn increases profits), it’s strange that users have gained a new button.

The origin of this button is quite easy to trace and dates back to the Apple Watch UltraAt first glance, a button that can be configured to perform a specific action seems like a good idea. On the Apple Watch, this button is a reasonable idea because it’s a device with limited screen space for buttons.

Also: 5 Rumored iOS 18 Features I’m Most Excited About (And AI Is Just the Beginning)

But on the iPhone, this button seems oddly superfluous. At first, I thought it would be a good idea to set up the button to activate the flashlight. Yes, a button on the screen allows you to turn on the flashlight even if the phone is locked, but I thought I’d like a physical button.

Well, I’ve lost count of the number of times the flashlight has been accidentally activated while the phone is in my pocket or bag. Even though it requires a double press, it’s easy to activate.

While it’s frustrating to walk around with a flashlight on in your pocket, it’s even more annoying to accidentally activate the camera and take hundreds of photos of the inside of your pocket. When I set the action button to do something less demonstrative (activate silent or do not disturb mode, for example), my phone regularly goes silent or sets itself to do not disturb mode due to accidental activation.

Also: iPhone 16 Reports: Space Video and Ultra-Slim Bezels Coming to All Models

As much as I try to love the action button, I just can’t get my head around it. The more I talk to other iPhone users, the more I hear the same thing. It’s a nice idea, but it’s been implemented poorly.

I gave up, set the button to do nothing, and like the human appendix, it’s now a vestigial organ. But at least it can’t wreak havoc.

iPhone 15 Pro action button

You can change the function of the button and fortunately you can also disable it.

June Wan/ZDNET

So why did the action button even need to exist in the first place? I’ve spoken to several people, inside and outside of Apple, and I’m not clear. Was the button a genuine attempt to add a useful feature to the iPhone, one of those features that lost its meaning as the iPhone 15 project progressed? Or was it simply a cheap and easy way to make the new iPhone visually different from the previous device?

While Apple has been pushing all the cool stuff artificial intelligence features that you plan to implement in the iPhone 16Along with the inevitable processor and camera improvements we expect every year, I hope Apple’s engineers have figured out a way to make this feature easier to use.

Also: How Apple’s AI advances could make or break the iPhone 16

Of course, they could remove it entirely, because I’m not sure why, in an age where we’re used to touchscreens, voice activation, and all that good stuff, we need to have yet another button.

Just make Siri better and the argument for an extra button becomes moot.

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