iPhone 15 Pro buttons will work with gloves; adjustable sensitivity

The iPhone 15 Pro buttons, which will be capacitive rather than mechanical, will still work with gloves, according to a reliable leaker.

The leaker, who got details right about the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro, has expanded on a previous report about the iPhone 15 Pro mute switch being replaced by an Action button …

Capacitive buttons

Earlier this month, new CAD drawings led our 3D render artist Ian Zelbo to conclude that the two iPhone 15 Pro models will replace the existing volume buttons and mute switch with new capacitive buttons.

New CAD drawings point to the iPhone 15 Pro volume control being a single rocker-style button, rather than two separate ones for up and down.

Additionally, the moving mute switch may be replaced by a button, as Apple makes a switch from mechanical controls to solid-state ones.

Super-low energy mode & Action button

Earlier this week, a leaker shared how Apple will address one problem with the switch: the fact that the buttons require power to operate, but the buttons are needed to power on the phone. He says this will be addressed through a new super-low energy mode, building on the one that already allows use of Find My when the phone is powered off.

He also said that the replacement for the mute switch will be a user-programmable Action button, similar to the one on the Apple Watch Ultra.

iPhone 15 Pro buttons will work with gloves

Another question raised by the switch to capacitive buttons is how they will work with gloves and cases, as capacitive sensors usually require direct skin contact.

To understand the problem, we need to know how capacitive buttons work. They continually charge and discharge the sensor with a tiny electrical current. When anything with a stored electrical charge touches the button, that changes its capacitance, triggering the sensor.

The reason this works is because the human body also acts as a capacitor; that is, it can store and discharge an electric charge. That’s why direct skin contact is usually required. This could pose a problem not just when wearing gloves, but also when using iPhone cases.

However, the leaker answered a question on the MacRumors forum to say that the sensitivity of the iPhone 15 Pro buttons is adjustable, allowing them to work through cases and while wearing gloves.

Forgot to mention he does know those capacitive buttons will work very well with gloves and cases if designed correctly, as there’s a sensitivity toggle

Photo: Gijs Coolen/Unsplash

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