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'Theater Mode' Coming to Apple Watch

apple-watch-series-2Apple hasn't released the first watchOS 3.2 beta to developers as of yet, but the company has shared release notes highlighting the new features that will be introduced in the update.

The most important new feature is a "Theater Mode" that's designed to let customers quickly mute the sound on their Apple Watch and disable raise to wake, preventing the screen from lighting up with arm movement.

With Theater Mode enabled, customers will still receive haptic feedback for each incoming notification, and information can be viewed by tapping the screen or pressing down on the Digital Crown.

According to Apple, Theater Mode was included in watchOS 3.1.3, but it does not yet appear to be available to consumers as an option, suggesting it will be activated when watchOS 3.2 is installed.

Rumors originally suggested a theater mode would be included in iOS 10.3, but it appears the mode was actually designed for the Apple Watch, where it arguably makes a lot more sense. That rumor said theater mode would be activated through a popcorn-shaped icon, so we may see that icon on the Apple Watch.

watchOS 3.2 also brings SiriKit to the Apple Watch, allowing customers to ask Siri to do things like send messages, send payments, book a ride, log a workout, make a call, or search through photos. SiriKit has been available on iOS devices since the release of iOS 10, but is new to the Apple Watch.

WatchKit Framework Enhancements and the AVAudioPlayer API are other new features being added in watchOS 3.2. Given iOS 10.3, tvOS 10.2, and macOS Sierra 10.12.4 were released today, we could see a watchOS 3.2 beta soon, but Apple has given no indication of when it will launch.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)


Top Rated Comments

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8 weeks ago
How anyone translated "Theatre Mode" into "Dark Mode" is beyond me.
Rating: 15 Votes
8 weeks ago
Makes a lot of sense really. I already use a 'cinema face' which is just the modular face in red with no complications as a compromise, but this would be a better solution.
Rating: 8 Votes
8 weeks ago
Well that's definitely not dark mode for iOS 10. Bummer....

#ThanksSonnyDickson
Rating: 7 Votes
8 weeks ago
I am honestly more distracted by people smacking their lips and rustling with candy, slurping drinks and getting up to pee. Can we get an theater mode for human decency?
Rating: 7 Votes
8 weeks ago
All I want from my Apple Watch is for them to add the now playing functionality into control center. So I can swipe up to pause, play, skip etc, like Watch OS 2. After notifications, this was my number one use for the watch. I never use the apps, as they are still too slow. Now we have AirPods with no controls on them, being able to quickly access controls somewhere else is more important than ever.
Rating: 6 Votes
8 weeks ago
This makes perfect sense. I was watching La La Land the other day and my watch kept lighting up when I moved my wrist. The name definitely reflects what it would be used for. However....

Night mode seems long overdue. Really hoping for it in iOS 11.
Rating: 5 Votes
8 weeks ago
Cool.

Where's my Dark Mode
Rating: 5 Votes
8 weeks ago

Rumors originally suggested a theater mode would be included in iOS 10.3 ('//www.macrumors.com/2016/12/30/ios_10_3_theatre_mode/'), but it appears the mode was actually designed for the Apple Watch, where it arguably makes a lot more sense. That rumor said theater mode would be activated through a popcorn-shaped icon, so we may see that icon on the Apple Watch.


I just browsed the assets of the watchOS 3.2 SDK, and it turned out that the Theater Mode icon will actually be shaped like a comedy mask.

Rating: 4 Votes
8 weeks ago
Dark Mode = iPhone 8 exclusive. Will be interesting to see how they preview it at WWDC though. They might add it to the last two generations of iPhone.
Rating: 3 Votes
8 weeks ago

ice find. Thanks for sharing.

I guess this theatre mode / mask icon is going to be another icon added to the grid within control center (which already has 8). Feels like it's going to get a bit tedious with all these icons in there.


Theater mode is indeed available in Control Center.




Rating: 3 Votes

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