iPhones Could Soon Have A 'Theatre Mode' For The Cinema

We all know how annoying it is to be engrossed in a film, only to have our attention rudely diverted by some idiot checking their glowing smartphone a few rows in front.

Well, this problem might soon be a thing of the past, if rumours about the new iOS update are to be believed.

According to tweets by regular Apple leaker Sonny Dickson, the next iOS update, 10.3, will feature a "theatre mode" designed to be used in the cinema.

The update is due to start rolling out from 10th January and will include a new popcorn-shaped icon in the Apple control centre, Dickson said.

It's unclear what activating "theatre mode" will actually involve but reports suggested it could be linked to a patent that Apple already owns, intended to make it easier to check your phone in the cinema, according to The Independent.
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The patent, which was granted in 2012, described a mode designed to be used in cinemas that would disable call sounds, prevent notifications for incoming calls and messages, and dim the screen.

When the patent was granted it was thought the mode would be automatically activated by cinema owners, reported The Independent.

"While the user is in the movie theater, the mobile device deactivates its cellular communications interface and/or automatically sets the device to a silent mode," the patent read.

"When the user leaves the movie theater, the portable device enables phone communications and/or restores the ringer setting to the setting utilized prior to the device's deactivation.”

Apple has been thought to be developing a "dark mode" for iPhones and iPads, which would turn the menus black, for a while; and this could be linked to the introduction of OLED screens in upcoming devices, The Independent reported. These screens use less battery when showing blacks than previous handsets.

It might not be worth getting too excited about the update if you're an iPhone user though, as Apple analyst AppleInsider suggest "theater mode" will be “iPad-centric”.

But at least we'll soon know whether or not there'll be a way to stop smartphones from ruining our cinema experience. Fingers crossed!
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