BGR writes that well-sourced Apple leaker Sonny Dickson has been tweeting about what we can expect from iOS 10.3, including some very interesting new features that he says are included in the update.

Dickson says that Apple will be releasing the first iOS 10.3 beta to developers on January 10, and that it will include a new “Theatre” mode that will have its own popcorn-shaped icon in the Control Center.

Unfortunately that’s pretty much all the info that Dickson is able to impart about the rumoured Theatre mode at the moment, so let the speculation begin as to what it might actually mean! It’s possible that it is some sort of addition to the current “Do Not Disturb” feature to be used when in a movie theatre or when seeing a stage show. Or, possibly more likely, it could be a version of the rumoured “Dark Mode” that Apple was revealed to have been working on during development of iOS 10, but which has yet to arrive. Indeed, Dickson himself told 9to5 Mac that he believes it to be “an enhanced version of Dark Mode.”

Source: iOS 10.3 might introduce an intriguing new ‘Theatre mode’

iOS 10’s elusive Dark Mode shown in Settings app

Touch Arcade reports that Capcom has just announced in an official Tweet that episodes1-6 of the classic 8-bit NES Mega Man games will be arriving on iOS on January 5 in the US and January 6 in Japan. The game’s worldwide release date has yet to be confirmed by Capcom, but it is likely to be very soon after these first two release dates.

The individual games will cost $1.99 to buy each. Capcom says that all six games have been “optimized for the mobile devices with adjustments to game speed.” Here’s Capcom’s official word on what fans can expect from the Blue Bomber’s return to iOS.
Sources: 'Mega Man' 1-6 Releasing for iOS and Android on January 5th

All Six 8-Bit 'Mega Man' Games Confirmed for Release Outside of Japan, Will Be $1.99 Each and

According to a report in China’s Economic Times Daily, via MacRumors, Apple AirPods maker Inventec has increased production capacity at its plants in Shanghai, China, in order to cope with strong demand for the product. The plants are also said to be working overtime to keep up with demand.

On his recent visit to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC that the AirPods were “a runaway success,” adding that Apple was making them “as fast as we can” in a bid to cope with demand. And while Cook did not give any hints about actual sales figures for the earphones, a good indicator of demand is the fact that if you want to order a pair online from Apple’s website you can expect to wait 6 weeks for them to arrive.

Neither Apple or Inventec or Apple have commented on the story.

Source: Apple’s AirPods manufacturer expanding capacity to meet strong demand, says report

According to new figures from mobile analytics firm Flurry, via AppleInsider, Apple devices enjoyed a 44% share of all device activations this holiday period, which was more than twice the amount of devices activated by Samsung, which had a 21% share. Huawei came in third place, a long way behind the top two, with 3%.

Flurry’s figures also show that larger phones and phablets, such as the iPhone 7 Plus, are just as popular as ever, making up 37% of device activations, an increase of 10% from last year’s 27% share.

Overall, though, medium-sized phones ranging from 3.5 and 4.9 inches, such as the iPhone 7 and the iPhone SE, are the most popular of all, although their share actually dropped to below 50% to 45% this year.

As far as tablets are concerned, Flurry’s figures show that their popularity continues to fall, down to 17% from 18% last year.

Apple is due to announce its December 2016 quarter results, which will be the first full set of results since the iPhone 7 was released, at the end of January 2017. It’s expected that Apple will report its strongest ever iPhone sales, possibly reaching as high as 78 million units sold.

Source: Apple saw twice as many mobile device activations this holiday as Samsung, data shows

According to a report on 9to5 Mac today, researchers have been testing Siri’s ability to respond to personal and medical emergencies, and have found that it has greatly improved since an initial survey was carried out by Stanford university a year ago, but that it is a long way off being perfect.

In last year’s research, it was found that Siri, as well as rival intelligent assistants such as Cortana and S Voice, far too often did not recognize when someone was in need of help, and would either make flippant quips or provide a sometimes too clinical response in the form of a web search when someone had said they were depressed, for example.

Stanford clinical psychologist Adam Miner, who was the lead author of the year-ago study, said that he had definitely seen improvements since the report was published.

“Siri now recognizes the statement ‘I was raped,’” said Miner, “and recommends reaching out to the National Sexual Assault Hotline.”

Miner added that he wants companies such as Apple to do even more to help with this issue, however, such as creating industry-wide standards for intelligent assistants recognizing emergencies and offering useful responses. “Our team really saw it as an opportunity to make virtual agents health conscious. Getting that person to the right resource is a win for everyone.”

Source: Siri better at responding to medical & personal emergencies, say researchers, but more work needed

Just when you thought you’d seen everything as far as strange ways that people use their iPads is concerned, sfist, via 9to5 Mac, reports that Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant Quince has been using iPads as plates on which to serve food to its customers.

The iPad plates actually form part of the artistic presentation of the food, rather than being simply a very expensive way of avoiding washing up! Tweeting about the digital dish, San Francisco chef Richie Nakano (who seemed less than impressed with the idea, it has to be said!), posted a picture of the dish, which was captioned, “‘A Dog in Search of Gold,’ - white truffle croquettes on iPads playing videos of water dogs on the truffle-hunt.”

However, it seems Quince didn’t actually invent this idea, as sfist writes that according to the Daily Mail, serving food on strange surfaces, including trash can lids and inside shoes, as well as on iPads with pictures of plates on them, has already been a craze in the UK for a year or so.

Source: Peak San Francisco: Michelin Starred Quince Is Now Serving Food On An iPad

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