Every movie theater screening we attend today contains multiple messages about silencing your cell phone. However, a new rumor indicates that the new Apple OS update may allow you do do that, and still use it. According to a report, the next operating system for Apple devices will include a popcorn-shaped icon designed to put your phone in a "theater mode." This mode will disable any noise that your phone can make as well as prevent the phone from making or receiving calls or other messages as well as dim the screen. However, the phone would be otherwise fully functional.
According to iPhone leak source Sonny Dickson, the update will be part of iOS 10.3, set to be released on January 10. Another report from Apple Insider suggests, according to The Guardian, that the update will be "iPad-centric" but otherwise seems to confirm Dickson's report. Either way, it appears that Apple is looking to add new functionality to their devices that potentially be designed to allow their use during movies by making it work in a way that, at least potentially, wouldn't annoy other patrons at the theater.
We are, of course, completely sure that this idea will go off without a hitch and nobody will have a problem with it at all. Either that or people are already picking up their pitchforks and torches. While dealing with a phone's noise and brightness would certainly curtail some of the annoyance caused by cell phones in dark rooms where people are supposed to be quiet, it's not like reducing that would remove the problem entirely. Theaters are dark, so any light would be a problem, and certainly these devices would produce some light. This would also cause people to move around in their seats a lot more, which could be a problem if you're the poor soul sitting next to one of these people.
There's also the problem that just because Apple is creating this mode, it doesn't mean theater owners will want to allow its use. Preventing customers from being irritated by other customers is only part of the reason that cell phones are not allowed in theaters. The other reason is to prevent piracy, and allowing customers to use iPad's during movies would make piracy a lot easier, not to mention make it more difficult to catch. How do you stop the one guy recording the movie on his iPad when two dozen others are using the device at the same time in perfectly legal, if utterly infuriating, ways?
January 10 is only a few days away so we'll know shortly just how true any of this talk is. If accurate, we'd guess the idea will go over about as well as the time that AMC theaters briefly considering "texting friendly" screenings.