Apple Leaker Reports iOS 10.3 Beta To Arrive This Month With Popcorn Shaped ‘Theater Mode’ Icon


It seems that Apple is working on a new "Theater" mode for iOS devices that iPhone owners can enable when watching a movie at the local cinema. That is our assumption, anyway, following a pair of Twitter posts by Sonny Dickson, a well known leaker of Apple products. In one of Dickson's tweets he describes a new popcorn-shaped icon that he says will be accessible through the Control Center.

What exactly the Theater mode will do is not clear, though if it really is geared towards settings appropriate for watching a movie in public, we imagine it would block or otherwise silence incoming calls and texts, reduce screen brightness, and turn off vibration feedback so that users are not tempted to whip out their iPhone when a message comes through. Not that we're optimistic of rude moviegoers keeping their phones in their pockets throughout an entire movie, but if a Theater setting can at least reduce how often that happens, we're all for it.
It is also not clear how this would interact with Apple Watch devices. Even when silencing a smartphone and having those settings synchronized with an Apple Watch, a flip of the wrist can result in an annoying glow as the Apple Watch face lights up to show the time. A workaround is to create a Modular face with a black background and red text that is not overly distracting, but having to switch watch faces during a movie and then switch back after it is over is not the most elegant solution.

According to Dickson, the iOS 10.3 beta will be available to developers starting January 10, 2017. The current version is iOS 10.2, which launched earlier this month. There is also a second beta of iOS 10.2.1 floating around to public testers that Apple released a week ago.

For some users, this will be the more sought after release as Apple has been working to fix a battery bug issue that cropped up in iOS 10.2. Those affected by the bug report unusually fast battery drain with incorrect battery percentage readings plaguing their handsets after upgrading to iOS 10.1.1 and again in iOS 10.2.