Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 3 update to developers for testing purposes, one week after seeding the fourth beta and approximately two months after first unveiling watchOS 3 at its 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference.

The fifth watchOS 3 beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on an iPhone by going to General --> Software update.

To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have 50 percent battery, it must be on the Apple Watch charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone. watchOS 3 also requires an iPhone running iOS 10 to install.

watchOS 3 introduces significant changes to the watchOS operating system. A new dock, accessible by pressing the side button, replaces Glances and houses 10 favorite first and third-party apps. Apps in the dock are kept continually up to date and are stored in memory for a new instant launch ability.


New Activity Sharing options allow Apple Watch owners to share workout and activity information with friends, and there are new fitness features for Wheelchair users. A Breathe app guides users through daily deep breathing sessions, an Apple Watch can unlock a Mac, and Apple has added apps for Reminders, Find My Friends, and accessing one's heartbeat.

Additional watch faces support complications, there are three new watch faces to choose from, including a new Activity watch face, and an SOS feature will make sure an option to get help in an emergency is always right at your fingertips. On the iPhone, there's a new Face Gallery for customizing Apple Watch faces, and watchOS 3 allows the Apple Watch to be located via Find My iPhone for the first time.

Over the beta testing period, Apple has been making slight tweaks and updates to the watchOS 3 operating system, but many of the changes are under-the-hood and not readily apparent. Any outward-facing changes will be noted below.

For complete details on the new features coming in watchOS 3, which will be released to the public this fall, make sure to check out our watchOS 3 roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

jocamero Avatar
61 months ago
Don't need the charger as of the last preview (DP4). Just finished the install of this one (DP5) without taking the Watch of my wrist.

I just wished I brought my Apple Watch charger today to work... :(
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheNewToMacGuy Avatar
61 months ago
I just wished I brought my Apple Watch charger today to work... :(
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SMIDG3T Avatar
61 months ago
Hopefully Time Travel is back. Miss that like hell.
I think it was disabled by default in beta 4?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Camato Avatar
61 months ago
Yeah, Time Travel was only disabled by default. I don't know, if it causes some bad battery drain or something, but you could had enabled it all the time in settings.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tdroz73 Avatar
61 months ago
Seems like this last beta the link between my watch and phone were having trouble communicating - and I couldn't unlock my Macbook with the Sierra beta with it. Seemed like a huge step backwards... Hoping beta 5 is better...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbeagle Avatar
61 months ago
No no no! This won't do. I use swipe up for glances to control my music playing while I work. Now I'll have to press a button then select the app? That's one extra step. That's not an improvement.
That's a step back.
I agree that it's much more convenient to swipe up to get the 'Now Playing' - I do this all the time.

This is only a beta, though. I expect when WatchOS is finalized, Music will be put into the Control Center just like in iOS 10, so we can keep swiping up like we're used to.

EDIT: I noticed that Apple Music is a complication on the Apple Watch. I didn't notice if it was before? I just added that as one of my complications, and boom - I can now see music, without doing any swiping at all! Plus, I can touch the complication to go in and change the music.

However, it seems to leave music, I can't just swipe, I need to press the crown button. So, not as nice.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
iphone 13 pro max cads eap

iPhone 13 Series CAD Leaks Reveal Larger Camera Dimensions

Friday April 16, 2021 1:53 am PDT by
Information and alleged CADs of the upcoming iPhone 13 series, shared in a video from EverythingApplePro, indicates that Apple plans to make this year's iPhone camera module significantly bigger, likely to make way for larger sensors and sensor-shift stabilization. According to the CADs shared in the video, the iPhone 13 mini, Pro, and Pro Max camera module will all be a "perfect square."...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

LTPO Displays Supporting 120Hz Refresh Rates Again Rumored for iPhone 13 Pro Models

Friday April 16, 2021 10:01 am PDT by
The two higher-end "iPhone 13 Pro" models that are coming in 2021 are expected to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young reaffirmed the detail in a tweet that said he'd heard rumors about only one model featuring LTPO, which he says is inaccurate. Heard some rumors in the industry and media that there would only be one ...
apple music

Apple Music Tops Spotify With One Cent Paid Per Stream

Friday April 16, 2021 6:44 am PDT by
In a letter slated to be shared with artists today through the Apple Music for Artists dashboard, obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Apple has reportedly revealed that it pays music rights holders one cent per song streamed on Apple Music. The report claims that Apple Music's payment structure is thus roughly double what Spotify pays music rights holders per stream, which averages to about ...