A report from last week hinted that an upcoming watchOS update will add the long-requested Theater Mode to the Apple Watch, in addition to embedding SiriKit into the smartwatch.
The changes coming to the Apple Watch were seen in the release notes that Apple published for the developer beta of watchOS 3.2. The software update is now here, and it does indeed come with these additional features for Apple's wearable device.
Apple Releases First watchOS 3.2 Developer Beta
When the release notes for the watchOS 3.2 developer beta were published last week, there was no indication on when the wearable operating system update will be released.
Apple has now launched the first developer beta for watchOS 3.2, just a week after the release notes were published, allowing developers to take a first look at the upcoming software update for the Apple Watch.
It is not clear how long it would take before watchOS 3.2 sees a wider rollout, but Apple Watch users are already looking forward to what it would bring to the wearable device.
The Value Of Theater Mode For The Apple Watch
As can be assumed from its name, Theater Mode for the Apple Watch, which will be different from the Do Not Disturb options, is primarily designed to be used while the wearer is in theaters. When the Do Not Disturb option is activated, notifications do not appear on the Apple Watch, but the display of the device will still light up when wearers move their arm. In Theater Mode, notifications will also be prevented from activating the screen, in addition to the display not lighting up unless the user physically presses on the Apple Watch screen.
In addition to allowing Apple Watch users to practice proper theater etiquette, Theater Mode will improve the smartwatch's capabilities as a sleep tracker. With the display lighting up whenever the wearer moves while sleeping, the Apple Watch might disturb and wake up the sleeping wearer. Theater Mode will make sure that its display will be off for the entire time, allowing for apps on the smartwatch to track the wearer's uninterrupted sleep.
SiriKit Coming To The Apple Watch
Another important addition to the Apple Watch through watchOS 3.2 is SiriKit, which will allow third-party apps to work with Apple's digital assistant Siri on the Apple Watch.
SiriKit was first made available in September 2016 for the iPhone and iPad, alongside the release of iOS 10. Currently on the Apple Watch, users can open third-party apps using Siri but not issue commands within them through the digital assistant.
With SiriKit to come to the Apple Watch, users will soon be allowed to perform certain tasks on third-party apps through voice commands issued to Siri. There is a wide range of applications for this, including workout apps and communication tools, though it will be up to developers to integrate Siri into their Apple Watch apps.
Apple Watch Outlook
Apple is hoping that once watchOS 3.2 is released, it will not encounter the same problems that users experienced with watchOS 3.1.1, as it bricked units of the wearable device.
Such events will certainly not help the overall wearables market, which was previously said to be losing steam.