'Theater Mode' Coming to Apple Watch
Apple 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.