iPhone 16 to Include an Additional Capacitive 'Capture' Button
The iPhone 16 series is expected to gain an additional capacitive button, known internally as the "Capture Button." Codenamed "Project Nova," the button is likely to be one of the main selling points of the iPhone 16 lineup, assuming it gets past the initial testing phase. The Capture Button is located on the same side as the Power button, only positioned slightly lower - where the mmWave cutout can be found on more recent iPhone models. The mmWave cutout has been moved to the opposite side, located under the volume buttons. It is currently unknown what the new capacitive button will be used for.
The Capture Button is expected to be a capacitive button rather than a standard mechanical one. Capacitive buttons, unlike mechanical buttons, do not move when pressed down. Instead, the button detects pressure and touch, providing haptic feedback through the use of haptic engines. The buttons are expected to work similarly to the Home Button on the iPhone SE, which mimics the press of a physical button through the built-in Taptic Engine. According to our sources, the capacitive buttons will feature force sensor functionality. Force sensors detect applied force, and convert the magnitude of force into electrical signals.
Early in the development of the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple experimented with capacitive buttons on the iPhone in the form of the since-canceled Bongo project. The Bongo module, unlike the Capture Button, consisted of capacitive Power and Volume buttons, and didn’t bring any additional buttons into the mix. Based on what we’ve heard from our sources, the Bongo module was canceled during the EVT stage of development, after unsatisfactory test results and a significant number of hardware issues. The cancelation left Apple engineers with ample room to reimagine the capacitive buttons for the iPhone 16 series, with an entirely new twist this time around.
Unlike the Bongo project, the Capture Button is set to make its debut across the entire iPhone 16 lineup, including the base model iPhone 16 and 16 Plus. It is worth noting, though, that Apple also created a hardware configuration without the Capture Button button, possibly as a fallback variant in the event of continued hardware failure rates. The Capture Button has appeared on both eSIM-only units and devices with support for physical SIM card slots.
Along with the new Capture Button, the iPhone 16 lineup is expected to gain a capacitive Action Button. Known as "Project Atlas," the haptic Action Button uses a design similar to the Capture Button, using strain gauges and reluctance motor to provide the necessary haptic feedback.
In addition to the Capture Button and upgraded Action Button, the base model iPhone 16 is expected to feature a redesigned camera bump, with vertical camera arrangement akin to the iPhone 12. The Pro models are also set to feature an increase in screen size, from 6.1" and 6.7" to 6.3" and 6.9", respectively.
It is important to consider that the information presented here is pre-production information. The iPhone 16 lineup is still in the early stages of development, and the design has not been finalized. Because of this, there is always a chance that we may not see the Capture Button on the final product.
For more details on what to expect, check out our rumor roundup page for iPhone 16.