has its hands full with the ongoing iPhone ‘30% Bug’ which I exclusively revealed last month, especially with iOS 10.2 making it worse. But it looks like the company has still had time to focus on making iOS 10.3 a major release…
In a pair of tweets my good friend and famed Apple leaker Sonny Dickson revealed once again he has his finger on the pulse as he revealed iOS 10.3 will begin testing on January 10th. He also said the release will centre around the introduction of a new feature called ‘Theatre Mode’.
Theatre Mode will be added to the Control Center on iPhones and iPads and, appropriately enough, its icon will be popcorn shaped. Little is known at this stage how Theatre Mode will work. The name suggests it could be related to movie playback (perhaps an optimised video viewing mode), but instead Dickson believes it is going to be a form of enhanced Dark Mode.
If Dickson is correct, the assumption is it will be a one button option to both dim the screen and mute audio and notifications thereby making a device acceptable for use in the theatre. A personal aside here: whatever Theatre Mode delivers, NO use of smartphones or tablets is EVER acceptable in a theatre – your life can be put on hold for a few hours!
Dickson also offered up one more small titbit: iOS 10.3 is being developed under the codename of ‘Erie’.
Theatre Mode And The Big Picture
iOS 10.3 looks set to continue Apple’s pattern of using major point releases (iOS 10.x) for new features and minor point releases (iOS 10.x.x) for bug and security fixes. But, for a growing number users, there is likely to be more widespread interest in iOS 10.2.1 than iOS 10.3.
The former is expected during early January and, while Apple has not released a single detail of what the update contains despite several beta releases, it is assumed to contain a fix for the 30% bug which has outraged affected iPhone 5 to iPhone 6S Plus owners. In fact even the Chinese government is complaining.
Remarkably Apple has still not publicly acknowledged the problem to be wider than a small batch of iPhone 6S models – despite even Tony ‘Father of the iPod’ Fadell tweeting about the issue:
Then again, if iOS 10.2.1 can successfully fix the issue, Apple may well get away with its stony silence. But if not there could be a heavy price to pay, so it’s a gamble.
Despite this one thing remains clear: Apple is clearly intent on delivering iOS 10 updates at a breakneck pace and iOS 10.3 will be the eighth iOS 10 update in four months. A release rate which is faster than any iOS generation in history and would put Apple on course for 24 iOS 10 updates before iOS 11 debuts in September 2017.
Consequently I think a good New Year’s resolution of “more care, less haste” should be adopted at Cupertino, but it doesn’t look like we’re going to get it…
More On Forbes