Apple Watch developers can now upgrade to watchOS 3 beta 3. The new update contains a number of bug fixes, mainly focused on the new features that were announced by Apple at WWDC 2016.
If you are already on a watchOS 3 developer beta, you can upgrade by going to the Watch app on your iPhone and opening Settings > Software Update to download and install it. In my experience, the Apple servers are really slow just for the watchOS 3 beta 3 update. iOS and macOS updates download just fine so your mileage may vary.
watchOS 3 will be released to the general public this fall. It is supposed to be an amazing update since it fixes the app performance issues that have plagued Apple Watch since launch.
What’s new in watchOS 3
- Improved app launch and data loading time. Your favorite apps will be kept in memory and will get background updates. So when you launch them, the information will already be up to date rather than making you wait for it to refresh.
- Side button can be used to access a ‘dock’ to quickly access favorite apps. The apps are now both glanceable and interactive.
- watchOS 3 now has a control center similar to iOS
- Message replies are improved. Icons show options to quick reply such as dictation, emojis etc and you can scroll down to see canned responses. A new feature called ‘scribble’ lets you write responses using finger touch.
- New Minnie Mouse watch face, with different color options.
- New Activity watch face in analog, chronograph and digital versions for fitness enthusiasts.
- New watch face called Numerals.
- Swipe on the home screen to switch between watch faces.
- Photos watch face now supports complications
- New apps: Reminders, Find Friends
- New SOS feature. Press and hold the side button to call 911 in emergency situations. Medical ID details will be shown on the watch after the SOS.
- Activities and workout app updates include activity sharing with friends. You can choose which information to share with your contacts.The app shows their activity rings and other details, similar to how you see your own information. You can also send messages to your contacts to challenge them or exchange smack talk. New features targeted towards wheelchair users.
- A new app called ‘Breathe’ to help destress and meditate through deep breathing.
Apple also released iOS 10 beta 3, macOS 10.12 beta 3 and tvOS 10 beta 3 today.