It was originally rumored that Apple was planning to introduce a new “Theater Mode” with iOS 10.3, but the company today released the first beta of that operating system with Theater Mode nowhere to be found.
According to a change log document on Apple’s developer website, however, Theatre Mode may be coming in a future update to watchOS.
While Apple has yet to release watchOS 3.2 to developers, the company did today publish the release notes for the update. Interestingly, Apple states that Theater Mode was introduced with watchOS 3.1.3, which was actually released yesterday without the feature visible
At this point, it seems likely that Apple will introduce Theater Mode to Apple Watch with watchOS 3.2, which will presumably be released soon as it missed today’s release cycle.
While Theater Mode on iOS was expected to be a new Control Center icon that some believed would make an iPhone useable in a theater environment, the watchOS implementation is actually slightly different.
According to Apple’s description, Theater Mode on Apple Watch allows users to quickly mute their device and disables the raise-to-wake functionality.
Apple explains that users will still receive haptic notifications for alerts, but in order to wake the screen, you must tap the screen or press the Digital Crown.
Introduced in watchOS 3.1.3, Theater Mode lets users quickly mute the sound on their Apple Watch and avoid waking the screen on wrist raise. Users still receive notifications (including haptics) while in Theater Mode, which they can view by tapping the screen or pressing the Digital Crown.
It’s unclear as to what the fate is of Theater Mode on iOS, but for now it seems likely for the next release of watchOS. The rumored toggle on iOS could potentially appear when an iPhone is paired with an Apple Watch.
From experience, the Apple Watch can get annoying during a movie, specifically when you accidentally activate raise-to-wake and the display lights up. In a dark environment, that can be rather distracting, even with a screen as small as the Apple Watch’s.
What do you think, does Theater Mode make more sense on watchOS than on iOS? Let us know down in the comments.