An iOS Update Could Change The Way Moviegoers Use Their Phones, For Better Or Worse

Senior Contributor


We as a society can tolerate a lot, but pulling out your phone during a movie immediately makes you the scum of the Earth to at least a fair percentage of the people trapped in the theater with you and your bright-as-hell beacon. AMC proposed allowing the use of cell phones during films last year only to walk the idea back once audiences fell upon them like the wrath of a vengeful deity. And now it’s Apple’s turn in the barrel, as a rumored new iOS update will offer a new mode for movie theaters that will likely encourage bad behavior.

The Guardian is reporting that Apple is adding a “theater mode” with the next update to iOS 10. Supposedly, when activated, this mode will mute the phone, shut off any haptic feedback, reduce screen brightness, and block incoming calls and texts. Or, you know, you could just put your phone into airplane mode or turn it off, since that appears to more or less be what you’d be doing anyway.

The problem, of course, is the phone is still on, and thus the temptation is there to take it out and look at it. And, no, it doesn’t matter if the screen is dimmed, since it’s still a light source in a dark field. The human eye is uniquely designed to pick out contrasts, so unless this phone user is in the back, it’ll still be noticeable, and distracting.

We’ve talked elsewhere about poor work boundaries and constant smartphone access making people feel chained to their jobs, and this might be the perfect example. If people can’t take two hours out of their lives to stop looking at work emails and enjoy a movie (well, all right, “enjoy” in some cases), then they don’t need an iPhone mode to cater to their needs. They need to start telling their boss not to bother them after five.

(Via The Guardian)

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