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 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

jocamero Avatar
98 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
99 months ago
I just wished I brought my Apple Watch charger today to work... :(
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SMIDG3T Avatar
98 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
98 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
98 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
98 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)

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