Apple Releases watchOS Beta with Theater Mode, SiriKit

Released to developers yesterday, the beta version of the latest software for the Apple Watch adds new features such as the ability for theater-goers to keep their devices silent and the devices’ screens dim. The new release also expands the ability of users to use Siri, Apple’s intelligent digital assistant, on their watches.

The first version of watchOS 3 was released in September with the launch of Apple Watch Series 2. The beta version of watchOS 3.2 introduces new dimming and mute capabilities through Theater Mode. That mode not only makes it easier for users to quickly mute the sound of their Apple Watches to avoid disturbing fellow theater-goers, but also prevents the screens of their devices from automatically waking and brightening when they raise their wrists.

Apple’s latest software update also adds SiriKit to allow developers to provide more Siri-based capabilities through third-party apps built for the Apple Watch. The addition of SiriKit also makes it possible for watch owners to use the digital assistant to book rides, send messages, make payments and handle other tasks.

Haptic Notifications in Theater Mode

The developer documentation for watchOS 3.2 was first published by Apple last week. While the beta software is now available to developers, it’s unclear when the update will be released to the general public.

With the new Theater Mode, users will be able to “quickly mute the sound on their Apple Watch and avoid waking the screen on wrist raise,” Apple said in its software documentation.

While the device remains dim and quiet in Theater Mode, users can continue to receive updates via haptic notifications, i.e., vibrating alerts. To check on a notification while the watch is in Theater Mode, users can either tap the screen or press the device’s Digital Crown navigation tool.

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Source: Mobile Tech Today

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