New solid-state buttons: iPhone 15 Pro can also be used with gloves and a case

Apple is redesigning the operation of the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max – the rumor mill is largely in agreement. Instead of mechanical buttons for volume, mute and sleep/wake, there are said to be immovable solid-state components that simulate the taptic engine’s vibration motor being pressed. But how does capacitive technology work when using an iPhone case or gloves? Apple has allegedly taken precautions here, according to a fresh leak.

Accordingly, there should be the possibility to adjust the sensitivity of the buttons. As a leaker at MacRumors in the past rightly claimed, this can be adjusted to also detect indirect pressure via a case or gloved finger. However, the leaker inserts that the cases and gloves must be “properly designed”. What is meant by this remains unclear. With gloves, it could be about the fact that they are also suitable for touch operation – which current models should always be. How a case for the new switches would be “correctly designed” – for example with additional capacitive elements – cannot yet be foreseen.

It had previously been leaked that Apple would keep the fixed keys operable even when the battery is (almost) empty – thanks to a low-level chip. The new microprocessor is intended to supplement the current mode in the iPhone, which enables an iPhone to be called “Where is?” even when it is switched off. to locate. In addition to the existing functions for Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) and Ultra-Wideband (UWB), the system should also supply the solid-state keys with power if necessary, so that they react as desired.

It was also said that Apple wants to expand the mute button – which is now supposedly no longer a switch but a small button – into an action button. This principle is known from the Apple Watch Ultra and could allow a wide range of possible applications – including replacing the missing home button on current iPhones. (However, you can already use tapping on the back of the screen as a “button” via an accessibility feature.)

The new solid-state buttons will probably only be available on the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, possibly also in an as yet unknown third high-end model called the iPhone 15 Ultra. Apple could see many advantages here. Less mechanics means less wear and tear, the iPhone skin is sealed even better because it can remain closed and the components are less complicated to manufacture. The fact that solid-state technology works well is known from the trackpad of all current Macs in recent years. This no longer moves, if you press it down at any point, only a vibration motor reacts here too. It feels like a mechanical variant.

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