Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 7.4 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming one week release of the fourth 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.

Related Roundups: watchOS 10, watchOS 9

Top Rated Comments

Johnny907 Avatar
29 months ago

Again hoping they fix the motion, activity and standing tracking issue that was broke starting in beta 3.
I'll let you know as soon as I finish the update and get back from my run. Fingers crossed.


They always add a new watch face with an update. I still like using Chronograph Pro.
Likewise. I've been using the same Explorer Watchface since Series 3, partially because I appreciate the simplicity but mostly because it is the only one that easily shows Cell Signal strength. It continues to baffle me that more faces don't offer this functionality.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Braderunner Avatar
29 months ago
I bet the installation will be buttery smooth! Probably better than the last beta! Thanks, Apple!!! ;) :D:p
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Johnny907 Avatar
29 months ago
Happy to report this Beta seems to solve a lot of issues with the last two. My last run was tracked accurately from start to finish, without the telltale grey dots that indicate when the watch failed to track my location. Furthermore the mile splits occurred exactly where they were supposed to within a few feet, indicating distance was properly tracked as well. Calories and active calories are still a little low but back within the range both should be.
Finally, battery drain is much diminished and back to non-beta levels. A five mile run with GPS active and streaming a podcast over connected AirPods resulted in only a 7% drain compared to the 20-25% I was getting with betas 3 and 4.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Johnny907 Avatar
29 months ago

I just got this installed on my Series 6 and am putting it through its paces. Still working on installing on my Series 5, that went a bit more slowly.

Overall, the release looks GREAT so far. The installation process was really quick for a beta, and the Infograph Modular and Astronomy faces seem to be working great! I also tried streaming music from Apple Music and that also seems perfect, rich sound quality and no stutter.

I'll keep testing this throughout the day and let you know, but it looks like watchOS 7.4 is going to be a HOT one. I think it's ready for release!
I'm guessing you either didn't install the previous betas, or don't pay attention to Activity Tracking, which has been a complete dumpster fire since Beta 3. 5 mile jog yesterday managed to track 3.4 miles of it, resulting in active calorie burn of 14 kcal. Yup. Dumpster fire.

Installing now on my Series 6. Will be leaving the house for another five miles as soon as it is finished to put it through it's *actual* paces and see if things are finally fixed after ten or so bug reports in the last month. Will report back in an hour or so.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mikman Avatar
29 months ago
Will we ever get the “if I delete messages on iPhone it deletes them from watch as well” upgrade
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FishyFish Avatar
29 months ago
I just got this installed on my Series 6 and am putting it through its paces. Still working on installing on my Series 5, that went a bit more slowly.

Overall, the release looks GREAT so far. The installation process was really quick for a beta, and the Infograph Modular and Astronomy faces seem to be working great! I also tried streaming music from Apple Music and that also seems perfect, rich sound quality and no stutter.

I'll keep testing this throughout the day and let you know, but it looks like watchOS 7.4 is going to be a HOT one. I think it's ready for release!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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