Apple has now released public betas for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, tvOS 15 and macOS Monterey. We’ve covered how to get the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 betas here – if you’re interested in testing the latest Apple Watch software as well, follow along below.
WatchOS 8 is expected to receive a full stable release this fall. The Fitness app brings more exercise types, a new Mindfulness app, a watch face that works with Portrait Mode photos taken on iPhone, and a host of new features like improved weather and smart home apps, among other things. Compatible with Series 3, Series 4, Series 5, Series 6 and SE Apple Watch models.
Before we move on to how to install the beta, there are some important things you should know:
- Beta software is often problematic and you may have issues with third-party apps. Some bugs can include poor performance and poor battery life, an area where the Apple Watch isn’t perfect even with stable software. If available, it’s best to try it in a second hour (which, admittedly, most people don’t).
- Unlike the iOS and iPadOS betas, there is no way to revert to the stable version of watchOS 7 if you install the watchOS 8 beta. If it’s buggy and doesn’t work well for you, you’re stuck with it until Apple releases the stable version in the fall. That’s probably reason enough to stay away from it, especially if you rely on your Apple Watch.
If that doesn’t scare you, here’s how to install the watchOS 8 beta on an Apple Watch:
- Before you can install the watchOS 8 beta, you must have the iOS 15 beta installed on your iPhone. Go follow these instructions and come back here when you’re done.
- go Apple’s beta software page In Safari on your iPhone.
- Sign in with your Apple ID.
- Scroll down and tap the “Get started” link.
- Tap the watchOS 8 tab at the top of the page.
- In the Getting Started section of the watchOS 8 tab, select “Register your Apple Watch”.
- Scroll down and tap on the “Download Profile” button and then select “allow” on the popup.
- Upload the beta profile to the Watch app on your iPhone, which should open automatically after the profile is downloaded.
- You will be asked to restart your Apple Watch. Tap the button to allow this.
- When Apple Watch restarts, go to Watch app, tap “General”, “Software Update”.
- You should see the watchOS 8 beta ready to be installed on your watch. Tap “Install” to continue.
- The software update will be downloaded to your phone and then transferred to the watch. To complete setup, the watch must be on a charger, within range of your iPhone, connected to Wi-Fi, and charged to 50 percent or more. If all these criteria are not met, the clock will pause the installation until it is ready.
After the beta software is installed the watch will reboot itself and you are ready to use it. In our experience, some complications and third-party apps didn’t work until the watch was manually turned on or the watch was restarted a second time.