Apple has released the first watchOS 3.2 beta which brings support for the SiriKit API introduced in iOS 10 and a new Theater Mode, which disallows the display from waking up but still notifies the user of new notifications. Various bug fixes and performance improvements are also included in the release.
Thanks to the new SiriKit API, Siri on Apple Watch will be able to integrate with third party apps to read and send messages, start audio calls, book rides, send payments, search for photos and more. Currently, with Siri on iOS 10, users can send WhatsApp messages, start audio calls on Skype, send money using PayPal, call a ride using Uber and search Facebook for photos. All this and more will be possible thanks to SiriKit support in watchOS 3.2
The new Theater Mode aims to help in instances where it might be considered inappropriate or rude for your Apple Watch’s display to lighten up, whether it is a notification or because you turned your wrist. Especially with Apple Watch Series 2’s amazing display brightness of 1,000 nits (Series 1 has a brightness of 450 nits), it can be blinding in a Theater. With Theater Mode enabled, Apple Watch is put on silent and users have to tap the display or press the Digital Crown or side button to turn it on. A mask button is shown in the Control Center to enable or disable this feature. If enabled, the mask keeps showing at the top of the display as a reminder.
Users are also reporting some improvements to animations and performance but we need some time to verify it for ourselves.
Update Apple Watch to watchOS 3.2 beta
Make sure that you know what you are doing before you update your Apple Watch to a beta update. If anything goes wrong, it cannot be restored like iOS devices and has to be taken to the Apple Store. You also need to be a registered Apple Developer to be able to download and install the developer beta. Apple Watch betas are not available as public test builds like iOS and macOS.
To update to watchOS 3.2 beta, place your Apple Watch on the charger and make sure that its battery is at least 50% charged. Open the Watch app on the connected iPhone and head to General > Software Update and wait for the update to show up. Follow the instructions to download and install it. The update can take up to an hour to complete.