Apple seeds watchOS 8.5 release candidate to developers

Apple has released watchOS 8.5 release candidate to developers. The update is available for Apple Watch Series 3 and later models. watchOS 8.4 beta was released earlier with a fix for an Apple Watch charging bug.

Apple previously released watchOS 8.3 with new features that included Apple Music Voice Plan, App Privacy Report, as well as ECG support for China. The software update also brought Assistive Touch feature to older Apple Watch models.

watchOS 8.5

watchOS 8.5 release candidate

March 8: Apple has made the watchOS 8.5 release candidate available to developers. The final version will be available to all users next week.

Here are the release notes from Apple: 

  • Ability to authorize Apple TV purchases and subscriptions
  • COVID-19 vaccination cards in Apple Wallet now support the EU Digital COVID Certificate format
  • Updates to irregular rhythm notifications designed to improve atrial fibrillation identification. Available in the United States, Chile, Hong Kong, South Africa and many regions where the feature is available.
  • Audio hints in Fitness+ provide you with audio commentary of visually demonstrated moves during workouts

watchOS 8.5 beta 5

March 1: Apple has released watchOS 8.5 beta 5 to developers.

watchOS 8.5 beta 4

February 22: Apple has released watchOS 8.5 15.4 beta 4 to developers.

watchOS 8.5 beta 3

February 16: Apple has released public beta 3 to testers.

February 15: Apple has released watchOS 8.5 beta 3 to developers.

watchOS 8.5 beta 2

February 9: The second public beta has been released.

February 8: The second beta for watchOS 8.5 is now available to developers.

watchOS 8.5 beta 1

January 28: Apple has released the first public beta of watchOS 8.5 to users.

January 27: watchOS 8.5 beta features new developer-focused features for Apple Pay and StoreKit.

Apple Pay

  • Developers are able to express the preference for payment networks in PKPaymentRequest. Network preference is determined by the order of supportedNetworks. This won’t override the user’s default card selection, but if the card is multi-SSD, then the network preference order determines which SSD is selected. (80827905)

We will update this post if we find any new user-facing features as Apple’s release notes are less than helpful in this regard.

watchOS 8 was originally released last year with the following new updates:

  • Wallet
  • Home
  • Mindfulness
  • Sleeping respiratory rate
  • Fitness+
  • Portrait Watch Face and Photos app
  • Messages and Contacts apps
  • Find Items app
  • Redesigned Music app
  • Updated Weather app
  • Always-on support for more apps

Check out our detailed coverage of watchOS 8 features for more information.

watchOS 8.5 compatible Apple Watch models

watchOS 8.5 beta is compatible with the following Apple Watch models:

Install watchOS 8.5

watchOS 8.5 can be installed on an Apple Watch by registering with Apple Developer Center and downloading the beta profile. Once it is installed, open the Watch app on your paired iPhone and go to General > Software Update to download the new beta update. Make sure that your Apple Watch is placed on its charger throughout the update process and has at least 50% battery. You should also remain connected to a stable Wi-Fi network during the update process.

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