iOS 17.1 stops iPhone’s Action button from triggering in a pocket

iOS 17.1 tweaks the Action button on the iPhone 15 Pros to prevent it from triggering the camera, flashlight and other actions in your pocket.

Closeup of the iPhone's Action button with the "Hold for silent" message
Silent mode remains available in the pocket | Image: Samuel Angor/Unsplash

Don’t worry; if you prefer to use the Action button like the old silent-ringer switch, pressing it in your pocket will still turn the Silent Mode on or off as it should. Other actions that make no sense in your pocket also won’t be triggered.

Activating the action assigned to the Action button requires a long press. However, some folks complained about accidentally pressing the Action button while slipping an iPhone into their pocket or purse and taking it out.

Action button changes in iOS 17.1

To stop that, Apple has introduced a helpful Action button tweak in iOS 17.1 designed to prevent most system functions from triggering unintentionally if iOS detects the device is in your pocket.

Triggers unavailable in the pocket:

  • Camera: The Camera action won’t execute if you press the Action button while the device is tucked away in your pocket.
  • Flashlight: You will never embarrass yourself by flipping on the flashlight in your pocket.
  • Voice Memo: You’ll need to take your iPhone out of your pocket to start recording voice memos with a quick press of the Action button.
  • Focus: No more accidental triggers of DND or another Focus mode.
  • Magnifier: This is yet another feature that won’t be triggered if you press the Action Button while the phone is in your pocket.

This may even result in a bit longer battery life for those people who frequently press an Action button in their pocket.

There’s no harm done if you, say, accidentally press the Action button and trigger the camera. However, battery life may suffer unless you realize the camera has been shooting video in your pocket while you were happily strolling down the street.

When will iOS 17.1 launch?

iOS 17.1 is in the testing phase along with iPadOS 17.1 and macOS Sonoma 14.1. The operating systems will be released to the public in a few weeks.

iOS 17.1 packs other improvements. For example, Discover cardholders can view their balance and transaction history in the Wallet app.

There are also new StandBy display options to keep the screen awake at all times, native support for the Nintendo Switch N64 controller, cellular AirDrop and a new favorites system for Apple Music, to mention but a few.

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