Apple today seeded the golden master of an upcoming watchOS 7 update to developers, one week after releasing the eighth beta and more than two months after unveiling watchOS 7 at the Worldwide Developers Conference.
To install the watchOS 7 beta, developers need to download the proper configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the watchOS 7 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. It would be wise to install the beta on a secondary device rather than a primary device as this is an early version of the watchOS software that could have bugs that still need to be addressed.
watchOS 7 introduces a watch face sharing feature that lets you share your watch faces with others through Messages or Mail, the App Store, through websites, or through social Media, though watch faces can still only be created by Apple.
There are new Chronograph Pro watch faces, plus a filter option for the Photos face and rich complications for the X-Large face. Developers can now offer more than one complication per app, and Apple has introduced new complications for Shortcuts, Moon phases, the World Clock, and more.
watchOS 7 includes a new Sleep Tracking feature for the first time that uses the Apple Watch’s accelerometer to detect small movements associated with breathing when asleep. Sleep Tracking provides information on sleep duration and offers a Wind Down feature for helping users get ready for bed to increase sleep times.
Putting the Apple Watch in Sleep Mode turns on Do Not Disturb and automatically darkens the watch screen while you’re sleeping, while an alarm feature uses haptic feedback or gentle sounds to wake you up with a greeting and a weather report.
In addition to Sleep Tracking, Apple also added a new handwashing tracking feature to help people wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. There’s a 20-second countdown timer that comes up whenever the Apple Watch detects handwashing motions and sounds, and the Health app will also show the frequency and duration of the user’s handwashing.
Additional details on all of the other new features in watchOS 7 can be found in our watchOS 7 roundup. Apple plans to release watchOS 7 tomorrow.