Apple starts Theater Mode and SiriKit beta testing in watchOS 3.2 dev preview
Still waiting for that game-changing, industry-lifting, Android Wear-killing Apple Watch enhancement allowing the intelligent timepiece to completely break free from iPhones, and truly become practical on its own?
Theater Mode and SiriKit are probably not it, and it doesn’t sound like the Series 3 hardware revision expected out in the fall will set the wearable world on fire either. But Cupertino’s watchOS is (very) slowly growing into a self-sufficient, pragmatic, sophisticated software platform for your wrist.
Developers have just got their hands on the operating system’s version 3.2, working hard behind the scenes now to make the most of third-party Siri integration built directly into the Apple Watch, as well as stabilize and refine the long-awaited Theater Mode.
That latter feature “lets users quickly mute the sound on their Apple Watch and avoid waking the screen on wrist raise”, which feels particularly useful in a crowded theater while attending a play or film screening, but may also come in handy in other situations and dark environments requiring full discretion.
Keep in mind that notifications will still flow in, including vibrations, with a simple tap on the screen or Digital Crown press re-activating the lights. Meanwhile, SiriKit in watchOS supports a variety of messaging, payments, ride booking, workouts, calling and photo searching services, enabling devs to vastly improve the Apple Watch’s voice controls.
Sadly, we don’t know when this meaningful watchOS 3.2 update might reach the masses, as 3.1 is now more than three months old, with a maintenance 3.1.3 release kicked off just last week.