What IS Theater Mode?

Recently, rumors leaked that the new iPhone will have a feature called Theater Mode.

Everything about it is pure speculation, even whether it exists or not. It’s even less certain what it actually does.

That didn’t stop some people from speculating that it’s a one-push system for quieting your phone while you’re at the theater.

Maybe. I have no idea, and my spies inside Apple aren’t talking to me.

But what if Theater Mode wasn’t about shutting up and sitting quietly in a dark room?

At Christmas, I went to a “panto” here in Pasadena. Panto is an English tradition. It’s nominally for kids, but it’s serious theater. The production value, including the ones produced here in Pasadena, is excellent, and the shows are great experiences. (You can watch a video with panto producers, Lythgoe Family Productions, here.)

But they’re loud. You get involved. You boo the bad guys, you warn the good guys, you can go totally bananas as you get caught up in the live theater moment.

What if Theater Mode, not on our iPhones but in our minds, was active, engaged, noisy, participating, over-the-top caught up in the moment?

Like anybody, I can get annoyed when people are chitchatting over important dialogue, but if they were in Theater Mode, they wouldn’t be chitchatting! They’d be too caught up in what they were seeing.

I don’t know what the boys and girls in Cupertino have in store for us when the new iPhone comes out later this year. Will they release Theater Mode? Not a clue.

But what about the boys and girls who make the theater itself? What could be more fun than chances to be in Theater Mode the way I described it?

That’s a feature I’d upgrade for!

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