iOS 10, released in September of last year, was one of the most highly-anticipated iOS releases yet. With a host of new features, including “rich notifications”, a more intelligent Siri, revamped Photos, Maps, Apple Music, and News apps, and the addition of lots of great new functionality into the Messages app, the release of iOS 10 was an exciting one. And since its release, iOS 10 has seen a higher frequency of updates than any iOS version previous to it. iOS 10.0.2 was released only ten days after the initial iOS 10 release, and iOS 10.0.3, 10.1, and 10.1.1 came shortly thereafter. IOS 10.2, which featured a new “TV” app that unifies users’ streaming content into one app, new emojis, and several more features was released in December of 2016. If rumors are to be believed, it looks like Apple will continue this “quick update” trend with an iOS 10.3 beta release within the next seven days.
According to a pair of tweets from noted Australian leaker Sonny Dickson, Apple will begin seeding the first beta version of iOS 10.3 on January 10th. The beta update will, according to Dickson, feature a new “Theatre Mode” complete with a “popcorn-shaped Control Center icon.”
iOS 10.3 to feature a new Theatre mode – will include a new popcorn-shaped Control Center icon.
In his tweets, however, Dickson failed to disclose what exactly “Theatre Mode” would entail. While some speculate that it would optimize video and sound on an iPhone or iPad for viewing movies, the popcorn-shaped icon indicates that it would likely optimize the phone’s settings for use in a movie theater.
9to5Mac contacted Dickson for clarification of the function of Theatre Mode, and he replied that Theatre Mode “very well might be [an] enhanced version of” the highly-rumored system-wide Dark Mode, which would turn white backgrounds black and likely darken other areas of the operating system for reduced eye strain in low-light areas, as well as low-profile screen viewing so as not to disturb others. Many speculate that Theatre Mode would also disable all sounds, vibrations, and haptic feedback, and may even extend so far as to block incoming calls and messages while enabled.
The January 10th beta release of iOS 10.3, along with Theatre Mode, have yet to be verified by anyone but Dickson – and although his track record is strong, the beta release and Theatre Mode are simple rumors at this point. However, if true, it’s certainly exciting to see Apple adding new features this quickly after a major OS update. However, there are a few problems with iOS 10.2 that they may want to rectify first.