Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming watchOS 5 update to developers, two weeks after releasing the second beta and a month after introducing the software at the Worldwide Developers Conference. watchOS 5 is the newest version of the software that runs on the Apple Watch.
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 update, the Apple Watch must have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on an Apple Watch charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone. It would be wise to install the beta on a secondary device instead of a primary device given that this is an early version of the watchOS 5 software that still has bugs to be worked out.
watchOS 5 is a major update to watchOS, 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 than ever to start and stop workouts.
Other new features include an improved Siri watch face with support for third-party apps, 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.
Early software betas often introduce new functionality, so we’ll update this post if anything new is found in the third beta of watchOS 5. The second beta brought full support for the Walkie-Talkie feature, which was unavailable in the first beta.
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 3: As of today’s beta, the “Raise to Speak” feature that lets you talk to Siri is now working. To use it, make sure Raise to Speak is enabled in the Settings app by going to General –> Siri and toggling it on. From there, you can speak into your wrist to activate Siri without needing to say “Hey Siri.” The trick to get it to work seems to be holding it very close to your mouth, but it doesn’t always successfully activate.