I can travel anywhere thanks to this iOS 17.2 Action Button update

An iPhone 15 Pro Max against an abstract multi-colored retro background.
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

Did you buy an iPhone 15 Pro on release and have already found yourself forgetting about the Action Button? You’re not the only one. Though it’s an excellent idea, it has taken a little while for users to see the worth in the Action Button, but using it for on-the-fly translation may be the very best we’ve seen so far. 

The point of the Action Button is to be able to access features and apps that you may need in just a few seconds, and nothing is quite as pressing as speaking a language you don’t understand. If you want to use live translation on your iPhone 15 Action Button, here’s how to do it. 

How to set up Translate on the iPhone 15 Pro Action Button

How to set up translate Apple

(Image credit: Future)

Before doing anything, you need to make sure your iPhone is running iOS 17.2 (currently in beta). You can download the iOS 17.2 beta straight from your iPhone's Settings. Once you’re running 17.2, you can set up the translate button:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click on Action Button
  3. Swipe across until you find “Translate
  4. Set Translate languages

From here, you can simply hold down the Action Button and speak. Your iPhone will speak back in the translated language.

One More Thing…. Unlimited Potential

This is one of the most brilliant uses of the Action Button I have seen so far. Like my previous favorite use, Voice Memos, you can use the primary function of the app without losing any functionality. 

I have found that uses of the Action Button that open up another app aren’t quite as snappy as they need to be when opening up a dedicated app rather than using that clever Dynamic Island. When the use of the Action Button takes me to another app, I can’t help but feel like I’ve lost some of the utility of the button in the first place. This is why assigning tools like the flashlight and Shazam to that button is where they (pardon the pun) shine.

The Action Button is a great little tool in need of a bit of love, and this is a good step. The Translate button is one of those functions that will be excellent every now and then but likely won’t be your full-time choice. For me, the voice memo is the best as I’m quite a musical person and this allows me to record little ideas without having to unlock my phone and scroll through my apps list. However, I’d love to see even more than this come to the Action Button. It still feels a little limited a month after launch. Maybe iOS 17.2 will really deliver what we’re looking for. 

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.