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August 6, 2018

Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of New watchOS 5 Operating System to Developers

by John_A

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5 update to developers, one week after releasing the fifth beta and two months after introducing the software at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

To install the beta, you’ll need the proper configuration profile, which can be obtained through the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the watchOS 5 beta can be downloaded using the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update.

To install the update, an Apple Watch needs to have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on an Apple Watch charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone. It’s best to install the beta on a secondary device instead of a primary device as betas have bugs to be worked out.

watchOS 5 is a major update to the watchOS operating system, introducing Activity Competitions so you can compete on workouts with friends, Walkie-Talkie with push-to-talk functionality for quickly communicating with the people you talk to most, and auto workout detection to make it easier to start and stop workouts if you forget.

Other new features include an improved Siri watch face with support for third-party apps through Siri Shortcuts, a dedicated Apple Podcasts app, new Workout types that include Yoga and Hiking, new features for runners, WebKit support for viewing some web content on Apple Watch, and enhanced notifications, which will make notifications on the Apple Watch interactive.

watchOS 5 is only available to developers and will not be provided to public beta testers (because there’s no way to downgrade Apple Watch software), so non-developers will need to wait until the software is officially released in the fall to try it out.

The watchOS 5 update runs on all Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 Apple Watch models, but it is not available for the first-generation “Series 0” Apple Watch models.

What’s new in watchOS 5 beta 6: Apple says that today’s beta makes the status of Walkie-Talkie invitations clearer. Once you’ve sent an invite, you’ll be notified if it’s accepted. As a result of this change, you may need to remove your Walkie-Talkie contacts and re-add them so they “reflect the correct invitation state.”

Apple also says that pairing with an iPhone can take up to five minutes, and Voice Shortcuts will not be immediately available. The Apple Watch Series 1 will also not show reminders to start a Walking Workout in this beta.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4, watchOS 5Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
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