Theater Mode is coming to Apple Watch with watchOS 3.2 firmware, Apple has confirmed. Here are the details.
Apple’s watchOS 3.2 hasn’t yet been released to developers, but the company has already shared the release notes for the software that outlines the changes and additional features it will bring to the wearable. Top of the list, and a name we have become familiar with recently, is Theater Mode.
If the feature sounds familiar, it’s because it had been rumored to be on the way to iOS with the first iOS 10.3 beta, which was released today. The feature hasn’t made its debut as part of iOS 10.3 beta 1 as had previously been anticipated, but it does appear that the next Apple Watch software beta will bring the feature to prominence. So what exactly does it offer to us, the users?
If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that the name is certainly a good indication of what the feature does. Theater Mode allows Apple Watch wearers to tell the watch that they are in a theater, at which point, the Apple Watch’s raise to wake feature will be disabled, preventing it from waking the screen when they move around.
Those who still want to see the time will be able to tap their watch in order to wake it, and they will continue to receive taptic alerts of incoming notifications, but their watch’s screen will not light up unless asked to.
Apple has confirmed that Theater Mode was included in watchOS 3.1.3, but it was clearly not active, which suggests the release of watchOS 3.2 will be the first time users will get a look at the feature. When it will come to the iPhone is anyone’s guess at this point, or indeed if it ever will.
Rumors previously had the feature designed for iOS and the iPhone, but it would appear that the Apple Watch was always Apple’s destination for the feature. Whether that’s the end of it though, we’ll have to see. What we do know is that there is no Theater Mode in the new iOS 10.3 beta, at least not yet.