iOS 17.2 beta brings the Action button's most impressive use-case to iPhone 15 Pro

An iPhone 15 Pro Max against an abstract blur swirling background.
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max users have a new, very useful way of using their Action buttons — turning it into a one-press language-translation tool.

Apple confirmed that a Translate option was coming to the Action button back at the iPhone 15 event in September, but it’s taken until the arrival of the iOS 17.2 beta on October 26 for it to finally be included.

The Translate app has been available since iOS 14 in 2020, and it’s a great way to transform phrases and words into other languages. So having the button to now act as a way to translate conversations will, could be fantastic for those who need to quickly chat with someone in another language.

Granted, you could technically launch the app itself before as a Shortcut. Yet this new option in iOS 17.2 goes even further, by making it even faster to translate some conversations.

The Action button can be customized in many ways. From launching the Camera app to triggering Accessibility options, there’s plenty to make that side button much more useful for you.

Translate from the press of a button

This new option works similarly to the Camera toggle. Hold down the Action button, and the Dynamic Island transforms into a small version of the Translate app. As the above post shows, once the result appears, you can also press the ‘play’ icon to hear how it’s said.

You can translate between 17 languages, which include:

  • English
  • Chinese
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Korean
  • Japanese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese

It’s going to be useful for those who may be going on vacation to countries that may struggle with a language barrier. Or it could be a helpful study aid.

There’s no date yet on when iOS 17.2 will arrive for everyone beyond beta testers. But it’s a safe bet to assume that it’ll arrive before the Christmas holidays in December, similar to the debut of iOS 16.2 back in December 2022.

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Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.