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Jan 02, 2017 08:00 AM EST

Apple iOS 10.3.1 Beta Features, Latest News & Release Date: How Theater Mode Will Work

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Apple unveils iPhone 8, iPhone X and 4k-streaming Apple TV

Recent reports are claiming that Apple is preparing to release iOS 10.3.1 beta to some users. Speculations are rife about the upcoming software update and the most notable one is a feature called Theater mode.

The claim came from Apple leaker Sonny Dickson on Friday, Dec. 30. Without citing any source, Dickson said that the iOS 10.3.1 beta would seed to developers on Tuesday, Jan. 10. He claimed that the Theater mode would be accessed with a new Control Center icon that resembles a popcorn's shape.

Of course, it's still unknown how iOS 10.3.1 beta's Theater mode would work in Apple's devices but it definitely hints of device settings that complement a movie theater experience. According to Apple Insider, iOS 10.3.1 beta's Theater mode could allow users to quickly deactivate haptic feedback and system sounds. The feature could also allow blocking of incoming calls and messages, and lessen initial brightness while watching a movie or a TV show.

Apple already got their hands on patents that allow the system settings described above. Those are called "enforcement policies," which involves a location-aware solution that automatically activates customized phone settings depending on a phone's GPS location and cellular triangulation. This certainly applies to how Theater mode is expected to function.

The early 2017 release date of the iOS 10.3.1 beta is in line with January 2016's iOS 9.3 beta launch, which introduced the extremely helpful Night Shift mode. It appears that Apple treats the first month of the year as the time to roll out game-changer features to users.

There are expectations that the iOS 10.3 update would bring the iPad Pro 2 into the mix in March or April. Last year, the iPad Pro 9.7 was released mere months after the final iOS 9.3 update rolled out, TechRadar noted.

The iPad Pro 2 would reportedly have a slimmer and lighter build, as well as a water resistance feature and no 3.5mm headphone port accompanying it, according to a separate report from TechRadar. Some reports, however, are claiming that the iPad Pro 2 10.9 would be thicker at 7.5mm just like the iPad Pro 9.7. The iPad Pro 2 12.9 would be 9.9mm thick. It remains to be seen which of these claims are true.

The Home button would be removed in iPad Pro 2, while the fingerprint scanner would be embedded directly into the tablet's screen. The device could have a True Tone display, which changes the screen's color temperature depending on the environment the user is in.

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