If you own an iPhone 15 Pro and make use of the Action Button, you're probably already aware of how easy it can be to accidentally activate it when your phone is your pocket. Apple seems to agree, because it's already come up with a solution — you just can't use it yet.
That solution is already available to those who have the iOS 17.1 beta 3 update installed on their iPhones, however. With that update installed the iPhone 15 Pro no longer activates specific actions when the iPhone is in a pocket, although other actions will continue to run regardless of where the iPhone happens to be.
The activities that won't run include opening the camera or the flashlight, starting a new voice memo, changing Focus mode, or opening the Magnifier app. However, other actions — including running a shortcut — will continue to work.
A fix, coming soon
The change was first reported by MacRumors and does go some way to fixing the issue for people who find that they pull their iPhone out of their pocket only to find its flashlight turned on. However, for those who have complex and sometimes powerful shortcuts configured, the danger still remains — accidental Action button presses could potentially cause chaos.
The only real fix here would be to prevent the Action button from working at all when inside a pocket. It's possible the Action button could still be allowed to enable silent mode like the old mute switch did, too. But all other actions seem like they could be disabled without too much trouble.
Apple's best iPhone does require that you long-press the Action button in order to use it, but some people still report accidental activations when the iPhone is in their pocket or a bag so it's clear a tweak is needed. The iOS 17.1 beta 3 change is a welcome one, but whether or not it goes far enough is a matter for debate.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.