I was chatting with a friend yesterday, and he asked what I thought of the new Action Button settings screen. I hadn’t seen it as I didn’t buy a new phone, but after a quick demo, I liked it. 👍

Since then, I’ve seen the criticism of this screen being “too much” and some people questioning why it couldn’t be grouped cells in a table view, just like all the other settings.

So why did I like it? First, it’s doing more than it initially appears. It’s not simply a “pick an option from a list” screen. It has some complexity. If you want it to run a shortcut, which one? If set to open the camera, is it for photo or video? Do you want it to activate a focus mode? Which mode? Yes, that UI would be entirely possible with a series of “regular” settings controls, but from what I see in the video, this is much clearer than that would have been.

Is the UI too flashy? I’m not convinced about that, either. To a user who wouldn’t necessarily have remembered that “the new button that replaced mute” is named the Action Button, the visuals immediately explain what’s going on and what effect the setting will have.

But what I liked most of all is that Apple is experimenting inside the Settings app. There are so many settings, and with search sometimes being somewhat temperamental, it all starts to look very samey, and if I get lost navigating it, you can bet many others do, too.

I’m not saying every setting deserves an animation or video or a full-screen experience to replace a toggle or a list, but I am curious to see if we might see more variation in the Settings app in years to come. I hope we do, and if this is a first step towards it, I’m happy!

Dave Verwer  




Business and Marketing



Senior iOS Developer @ Linearity GmbH – We’re an award-winning design software suite that simplifies the asset creation process. Linearity Curve creates precision vector assets & Linearity Move is an animation software that crafts breathtaking animations in seconds. We’re crafting together a new iOS team, reach out if you're Interested! – Remote (within European timezones)

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