Apple releases watchOS 3.2 with Theatre Mode and SiriKit for developers

Your Apple Watch can soon go dark, and Siri is about to gain new capabilities.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

Siri is about to get a lot smarter on your Apple Watch.

Apple on Monday released watchOS 3.2 to developers.

Included in the update is a new Theatre Mode and access to SiriKit, Apple's API that allows third-party developers to interact with Siri on the Apple Watch.

Theatre Mode on the Apple Watch prevents the screen from lighting up unless a user touches the screen or scrolls the Digital Crown. Users will still receive alerts when the watch is in Theatre Mode.

Normally, the Apple Watch lights up whenever a user raises his or her wrist, which can be distracting.

Despite its name, Theatre Mode will be useful in various situations such as meetings or even when a user wears the Apple Watch to bed.

As for SiriKit, Apple is limiting the types of apps on Apple Watch that can use Siri. The list according to the Apple developer site is:

  • Messaging
  • Payments
  • Ride booking
  • Workouts
  • Calling
  • Searching photos

With the new API, Facebook could update its Messenger app for Apple Watch so that users could activate Siri and say "Facebook Message Jared I'm running late."

In September, iOS apps received the same Siri functionality with the release of iOS 10.

Monday's release of watchOS 3.2 to developers follows last week's release of iOS 10.3, which featured a Find My AirPods feature to track down missing earbuds. Apple typically tests future operating systems through developer and public betas for several weeks before an official public release.

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