Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 7.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming two weeks release of the third beta and over a month after the launch of watchOS 7.3 with "Time to Walk" functionality, expanded ECG availability, and a new Unity watch face.

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To install the ‌watchOS 7.4 beta, developers need to download the proper configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the watchOS 7.4 beta can be downloaded through the dedicated ‌Apple Watch‌ app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update.

To update to the new software, the ‌Apple Watch‌ needs to have 50 percent battery life, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.

Alongside iOS 14.5, watchOS 7.4 introduces a new "Unlock with Apple Watch" feature that lets an ‌iPhone‌ with Face ID use an unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch as a secondary authentication measure when you're wearing a mask, alleviating the need to enter a passcode to unlock the ‌iPhone‌.

iphone apple watch unlock
‌Face ID‌ does not work when wearing a mask, but this new Apple Watch feature provides an easy but still secure way to access the ‌iPhone‌ without the hassle of a passcode. It's similar to the Apple Watch unlocking on Mac and can be enabled in the Settings app under ‌Face ID‌ & Passcode.

An unlocked Apple Watch paired with ‌Face ID‌ can unlock the ‌iPhone‌ when a mask is worn, but it's only for mask usage. The Apple Watch cannot be used to authenticate Apple Pay or App Store purchases, nor can it be used to unlock apps that require a ‌Face ID‌ scan. In these situations, the mask will need to be removed or a passcode/password will need to be used instead.

iphone apple watch unlock 2
When the Apple Watch unlocks the ‌iPhone‌, you'll feel a haptic tap on the wrist and will receive a notification on the watch, similar to how it works when using the watch to unlock a Mac.

For those who use Apple Fitness+, the watchOS 7.4 update combined with iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 enables AirPlay 2 for Apple Fitness+, so workouts can be streamed to an ‌AirPlay‌ 2-enabled TV or set-top box. Apple Watch metrics do not show up on the screen when AirPlayed, however, and that feature is limited to ‌iPhone‌/iPad/Apple TV.

Apple has said that watchOS 7.4 will be released in the early spring, with spring set to start on March 20, so there are still a few weeks of beta testing expected.

Related Roundup: watchOS 8

Top Rated Comments

azentropy Avatar
16 months ago
I hope it fixes the movement/exercise/stand issues the last beta has. Been super frustrating keep my streaks going!

EDIT: They made it worse rather than fix the issues in the last beta and now even my unlock iPhone feature isn't working as well as it did in the previous beta releases.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dazlicous Avatar
16 months ago

So using AW to unlock an iPhone when wearing a mask is very nice but I wish it extended to Apple Pay. If I’m wearing a mask and try to use Apple Pay with my phone it doesn’t work. It asks me to unlock with passcode. Is there some security reason it can’t work with Apple Pay?
just use the watch if it’s on your wrist so much easier
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FishyFish Avatar
16 months ago

"Looks" rock solid. That's all I need to know!
Yep, I'd say give it a try if you're so inclined. Really looks rock solid, battery life is great so far too in the first hour of use.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Johnny907 Avatar
16 months ago

One thing not related to the beta: my washing hands warning cannot tell if I’m washing hands or doing the dishes ?. Does anyone know how to fix it or the solution is just turning it off? ?
I notice this too. Feel like it’s critiquing my pan scrubbing technique ?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FishyFish Avatar
16 months ago
Install was buttery smooth. Complications are working great, and all of my text messages are still present. I haven’t done a workout yet, but on first glance this looks absolutely rock solid and ready to release! Nice job, Apple!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Braderunner Avatar
16 months ago

Install was buttery smooth. Complications are working great, and all of my text messages are still present. I haven’t done a workout yet, but on first glance this looks absolutely rock solid and ready to release! Nice job, Apple!
"Looks" rock solid. That's all I need to know! ?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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