Overcome communication barriers with the new custom Translation option for the iPhone's Action button in iOS 17.2. Keep reading to learn how to use it.

ios 17 translate
If you have an ‌iPhone‌ with an Action button, such as the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple's iOS 17.2 software update brings a new translation option for the button that allows you to translate live conversations into multiple languages.

According to Apple, the translation is not just accurate but also context-aware, ensuring that nuances and colloquialisms are captured effectively. The feature should be a boon for travelers, students, and anyone learning a language.

Before you use the Translate function, it's important to choose which language you want to translate. You can do this via Apple's built-in Translate app. On the app's main screen, use the chevrons next to the languages to make your selection.
translate choose language

Assign Translate to Action Button

Once you have chosen your languages, you are ready to select the Translate option for the Action button.

  1. Open the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌.
  2. Tap Action Button.
  3. Swipe to the Translate option to enable it.


Using the Translate Function

To Translate your speech to your chosen language, simply press and hold the Action button on your ‌iPhone‌ and begin speaking. Keep holding down the button for as long as you want to capture speech.

iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate
Your ‌iPhone‌ will transcribe what you said and display it in the Dynamic Island, and it will also provide a translation in the chosen language just beneath the transcription. Your ‌iPhone‌ will automatically read aloud the translation, and you can replay it by pressing the play button to the right of it.

Top Rated Comments

Attirex Avatar
11 weeks ago
Ah, yes, now obnoxious US tourists can shove their phones in locals' faces the world over!

Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CausticSoda Avatar
11 weeks ago
This is woefully inadequate. As an expat and a frequent traveller, I was really looking forward to it. However:
* It only translates one way and does not listen for a reply.
* You cannot even press it again to reverse the translation direction. You have to enter the app.
* About 1/3 of the time it simply fails to work (it "listens" but does not respond). That is not due to the internet because I have the languages downloaded as well.
* The autoplay of the translation to sound never works the first time. After it "plays" it automatically, you then have to press repeat play manually, and only then you can hear it.
* There is no locked screen override, so if you press it on a locked screen it turns itself off after a few seconds, so you have to unlock the screen before use which is ridiculous.
* If you want to speak again after the first translation you have to enter the app or long press it off and then long press it back on again.

I am astounded this is the best they can do... If you devote an actual button to it, it should have more functionality and simply work better. I cannot believe whoever was responsible for this thinks it is good enough. Was it actually tested by people who have experience of needing/using translation aids in real life rather than a quick test be someone clueless in Cupertino? If they could make it work properly it would be great and an example of a really good use of the button. If you are in a stressful situation with live conversation, you don't want to be finding and opening the app. You want to be "on it" immediately. Doing it all from one button would be superb. Come on Apple - sort it out please!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dirty Mac Avatar
11 weeks ago

Ah, yes, now obnoxious US tourists can shove their phones in locals' faces the world over!

Maybe Apple will also add a "shouting mode" to the speech output for Americans? ;-)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleFan91 Avatar
11 weeks ago
But most importantly…. Can I get that wallpaper lol
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kobs Avatar
11 weeks ago
Is there a shortcut to use it with other customised shortcuts?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
currentinterest Avatar
11 weeks ago
Will it listen and translate a reply?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...