Apple’s iOS 17.2 developer beta is out, and it adds one cool feature to the Action Button.
The Action Button, which replaced the mute switch on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, is a hardware button on the side of the phone that can be customized to perform various tasks, including firing up the Torch, opening the Camera app, recording a Voice Memo, and yes, muting the phone.
But the new option may be the most useful yet, especially while traveling: You can now set the Action Button to fire up Apple’s Translate app, and immediately translate your spoken words into another language.
This could be useful on my next trip.
Credit: Stan Schroeder/Mashable/Apple
It works as follows: Once you’ve selected the Translate option in the Action Button portion of the Settings, a long press of the Action Button will turn the Dynamic Island on top of the phone’s display into a larger bubble, prompting you to speak. Your words will be transposed into text and translated into a language that you’ve previously chosen (you can do that in the Translate app itself), and then read back to you aloud, translated.
Apple’s Translate app currently supports Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
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This is one of those features the Action Button was born to do: The fact that you can just press it and get a translation, no matter the context (the Action Button works the same regardless of what app you’re currently in), could be a life saver on a trip.
The feature is currently only available in the developer beta, but it should become available to all users soon.