While Apple has for years allowed people to see its iOS and macOS updates before they are publicly available, 2020 is the first year it has made a public beta of watchOS 7. Thus, if you are willing to put up with software still with bugs, you can have some of the next most anticipated features for these devices in return.
What’s new in watchOS 7?
Unveiled during WWDC 2020, undoubtedly watchOS 7’s most notable improvement over watchOS 6 is incorporating sleep tracking. The update adds an app that will show you how long you slept the night before, although it does not yet include a breakdown of sleep cycles, which is expected to arrive in the next updates to this beta.
On the other hand, Apple has also updated the Activity application, now under the name Fitness, including improvements for calorie tracking, now more accurate for activities such as strength training and general training.
Other less important, but still welcome additions include new watch faces, as well as a feature that lets you share them with your friends, and of course, a feature focused on promoting personal hygiene against COVID-19, with a detection app. automatic hand washing machine that will inform us about how much longer we will need to wash our hands to achieve proper disinfection.
How to install watchOS 7
First of all, clarify that watchOS 7 will not be available for all Apple Watch models, or at least not in this beta. And it is that this advance software will only be compatible with Series 3 and newer smartwatches. So, if our Apple Watch meets this requirement, we will only have to follow the following steps to test the next generation of software:
- First of all, make sure that the iPhone connected to the watch is running the public beta version of iOS 14, or otherwise, update it.
- The next thing will be to register in the Apple beta portal from this same iPhone, and preferably from the Safari web browser (some users have reported some errors when using Chrome).
- Once inside this portal, we will click on “WatchOS”, on the right side of the page. From there, we will click on the drop-down menu at the top of the page and select the option to «Enroll your devices».
- Finally, we will have to download the beta profile of your Apple Watch from your iPhone, which, as detailed on the website itself, can be activated from the phone by opening “Settings> General> Profiles and device administration”. Once you find this new profile, all you have to do is click on “Install”.
Note that, if our Apple Watch has automatic updates activated, we will receive a notification that the public beta software is ready to download through the Watch application on iPhone. Otherwise, to manually verify the update, we will have to open the Apple Watch application on the iPhone, access the options of «My watch> General> Software update» to start the installation.
Like any software under test, it is best to do not install for daily use, or if we do not have advanced knowledge about these devices. And it is that Apple has already warned that the data collected may not be compatible with previous versions, causing some problems when going back. Also, still in development, we will find that some features like VoiceOver and others currently present in watchOS 6 do not work properly.