Apple is reportedly gearing up to release iOS 10.3.1 beta in January and it could include an intriguing "Theater" mode, according to a new leak.

The beta update could be focused on improving the iPad experience, but it remains unclear just what that Theater mode would entail.

Before we dive any deeper, keep in mind that this information is not official and it may well turn out to be fake. In fact, Apple-centric publication AppleInsider says this rumor is "highly questionable" and it's best to take it with a hefty grain of salt.

With that out of the way, here's the deal. Tipster Sonny Dickson, who has leaked Apple-related info on several occasions in the past, has now taken to Twitter to reveal that Apple will start seeding iOS 10.3 beta 1 on Jan. 10 and the update will include this so-called Theater mode.

iOS 10.3 Theater: What Could It Be?

The tipster doesn't offer any additional details as to what this Theater mode will bring to the table, so it remains unclear for now just how it will work. The purported name, however, suggests some special controls or settings for when users want to enjoy a movie without distractions.

For instance, Theater mode could be a quick-access mode to disable system sounds, enable haptic feedback, reduce screen brightness and block incoming calls and messages when watching a movie. This mode would be suitable for going to a movie theater.

At the same time, it could also refer to a set of settings for watching a movie on an iOS device, such as lowering the volume of system sounds or muting them without affecting the audio of the movie.

iOS 10.3 Beta Release

The purported Jan. 10 release date for the first iOS 10.3 beta would fall in line with AppleInsider's site analytics, which registered an increase in visits from Apple devices running iOS 10.3. The publication notes that it started seeing hits a few months ago, but there has been a significant spike in the past week. This could suggest that the beta is getting closer to release and a Jan. 10 rollout date doesn't seem too far-fetched.

Aside from adding this rumored Theater mode, iOS 10.3 should also include some fixes to patch up the issues marring the iOS experience, which only got worse with the iOS 10.2 update. Battery drain is among the most persistent issues that Apple has yet to fix, but iOS 10.2.1 beta testers might have found a potential solution.

It remains to be seen if the latest leak is accurate and, if so, just what iOS 10.3 will entail exactly. Until formal confirmation, however, retain a healthy dose of skepticism.

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