Solid State Volume Buttons and Mute Switch on iPhone 15 Pro Models

Chance Miller, writing for 9to5Mac:

Earlier this month, 9to5Mac exclusively reported that the upcoming iPhone 15 Pro will have new unified volume buttons and a new “pressing type” mute button. Now, freshly-leaked CAD files have corroborated our report and offered a closer look at the new design.

This year’s phones will adopt new solid-state buttons with haptic feedback, similar to the Home button introduced with iPhone 7. This means that the buttons will no longer have moving parts and will identify the pressure level to work.

I trust Apple on this, because they absolutely nailed it with the iPhone 7 home button. That button was better than the buttons that actually clicked. Same thing for Apple’s modern trackpads — their simulated haptics clicks are better than the old trackpads that actually clicked. But I’m damn curious about two things:

  • How will the mute switch work? It’s a real benefit that you can discern the current state of the mute switch by feel alone, while the iPhone remains in your pocket or purse. (And lo these many years later, I still remain baffled that among all the umpteen design elements that Android phones have copied from iPhones, no popular or even semi-popular Android phones have ever had hardware mute switches. Not even Nothing, whose first phone unapologetically apes the iPhone frame.)

  • How will these haptic buttons work with cases? And gloves? Is pressure sensitivity enough? Or will iPhone 15 cases need to have pass-through capacitive buttons?

Tuesday, 21 March 2023