Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 6 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of watchOS 6, the software that runs on the Apple Watch. The new beta comes two weeks after the third beta and more than a month after Apple first unveiled the new watchOS update at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

To install the watchOS 6 beta, you'll need the proper configuration profile, which can be obtained through the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the beta can be downloaded using the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update.


Installing the software requires the Apple Watch to have 50 percent battery. It also 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 instead of a primary device given that this is an early version of the watchOS 6 software that still has bugs to be worked out.

watchOS 6 is a major update that offers up a long list of new features. First and foremost, there's an App Store right on the Apple Watch, so you can find and download new Apple Watch apps on your wrist.

Apple Watch apps no longer need to have an iPhone component, which means developers can create standalone Apple Watch apps for the first time. Apps are able to take advantage of new APIs so you'll be able to do things like follow along with a workout or listen to streaming music from third-party services.


Since Apple Watch apps are now independent of apps on the iPhone, you can now remove some built-in apps from the Apple Watch, a feature that was enabled in beta 3.

There are several new watch faces in watchOS 6, including Numerals Mono and Duo with huge numbers, Modular Compact, a Gradient watch face that shifts over the course of a day, a Solar Dial watch face that visualizes the sun in a 24 hour path around the dial, and the California watch face with a mix of standard numbers and roman numerals.


A new Taptic Chimes feature provides a silent touch on the wrist at every hour, and if sound is turned on, you'll hear an audible chime. You can also hold two fingers on the Apple Watch's display to hear the time spoken out loud.

There are new Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and Calculator apps, along with a new Noise app that warns you if you're exposed to sound that's too loud and a new Cycle Tracking app for period tracking. Activity Trends, visible on the iPhone, are also available to chart your fitness progress and make sure your fitness trends are improving.


New complications are available for wind speed, chance of rain, and the new Noise app, plus there's a Voice Memos complication for recording a memo quickly, a cellular strength complication, and a complication for the Calculator that opens up the app.

Siri can now provide full web search results right on the watch when asked a question, and for Mac users, the Apple Watch can now approve Mac security prompts.

When it launches in the fall, watchOS 6 will be available on all Apple Watch models with the exception of the original Apple Watch, released in 2015. For more on what's new in watchOS 6, make sure to check out our watchOS 6 roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of watchOS 5.3 to Developers

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.3 update to developers, one week after releasing the fifth watchOS 5.3 beta and two months after the launch of watchOS 5.2.1, an update that expanded ECG availability and introduced new pride watch faces.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software update.


To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

There were no new features discovered in the first five watchOS 5.3 betas, suggesting that it focuses on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements.

There could also be hidden changes that will be available after the update is released, such as support for the upcoming Apple Card, set to debut this summer. If new features are discovered in the sixth watchOS 5.3 beta, we'll update this post with details.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Deals Spotlight: Get the Official Apple Watch Sport Loop and Sport Band for $25 (50% Off)

Walmart has a new 50 percent discount on Apple's official Sport Loop and Sport Band for the Apple Watch, only in 44mm sizes. These accessories usually sell for $49.00, but you can get select colors for just $24.99 during Walmart's sale.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

As of writing, Sport Loop colors available include Hibiscus and Nectarine; Sport Band colors include Blue Horizon and Lavender Gray. As previously noted, the discounts today are focused on the 44mm sizes, which will fit both 42mm and 44mm Apple Watches.

Any Walmart orders over $35 qualify for free shipping, or you can opt for free in-store pickup. If you're on the hunt for more deals and bargains, be sure to head to our full Deals Roundup.

Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Temporarily Disables Walkie-Talkie App for Apple Watch Due to Eavesdropping Vulnerability

Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie app for Apple Watch due to a bug that could allow users to eavesdrop on others, reports TechCrunch.


The company issued a statement noting that it was just notified about the vulnerability and has temporarily disabled the Walkie-Talkie functionality while a fix is developed. The Walkie-Talkie app will remain installed on users' Apple Watches, but it will not be functional until the fix is deployed.

Apple's statement:
We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible. Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent. We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.
Walkie-Talkie debuted last fall in watchOS 5, and it allows users to easily communicate with each other via voice from their wrists using a push-to-talk function.


As TechCrunch points out, the issue is reminiscent of a serious Group FaceTime bug discovered early this year that could allow callers to hear a user's audio without the call being accepted. In that scenario, Apple remotely disabled Group FaceTime once the issue was discovered, and pushed out an emergency bug fix a week and a half later as part of iOS 12.1.4.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 5.3 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.3 update to developers, two weeks after releasing the fourth watchOS 5.3 beta and nearly two months after the launch of watchOS 5.2.1, an update that expanded ECG availability and introduced new pride watch faces.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software update.


To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

There were no new features discovered in the first four watchOS 5.3 betas, suggesting that it focuses on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements.

There could also be hidden changes that will be available after the update is released, such as support for the upcoming Apple Card, set to debut this summer. If new features are discovered in the fifth watchOS 5.3 beta, we'll update this post with details.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Seeds Third Beta of watchOS 6 to Developers

Apple today seeded the third beta of watchOS 6, the software that runs on the Apple Watch. The third beta comes two weeks after the second beta and a month after Apple first unveiled the new update at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

To install the watchOS 6 beta, you'll need the proper configuration profile, which can be obtained through the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the beta can be downloaded using the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update.


Installing the software requires the Apple Watch to have 50 percent battery. It also 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 instead of a primary device given that this is an early version of the watchOS 6 software that still has bugs to be worked out.

watchOS 6 is a major update that offers up a long list of new features. First and foremost, there's an App Store right on the Apple Watch, so you can find and download new Apple Watch apps on your wrist.

Apple Watch apps no longer need to have an iPhone component, which means developers can create standalone Apple Watch apps for the first time. Apps are also able to take advantage of new APIs so you'll be able to do things like follow along with a workout or listen to streaming music from third-party services.


There are several new watch faces in watchOS 6, including Numerals Mono and Duo with huge numbers, Modular Compact, a Gradient watch face that shifts over the course of a day, a Solar Dial watch face that visualizes the sun in a 24 hour path around the dial, and the California watch face with a mix of standard numbers and roman numerals.


A new Taptic Chimes feature provides a silent touch on the wrist at every hour, and if sound is turned on, you'll hear an audible chime. You can also hold two fingers on the Apple Watch's display to hear the time spoken out loud.

There are new Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and Calculator apps, along with a new Noise app that warns you if you're exposed to sound that's too loud and a new Cycle Tracking app for period tracking. Activity Trends, visible on the iPhone, are also available to chart your fitness progress and make sure your fitness trends are improving.


New complications are available for wind speed, chance of rain, and the new Noise app, plus there's a Voice Memos complication for recording a memo quickly, a cellular strength complication, and a complication for the Calculator that opens up the app.

Siri can now provide full web search results right on the watch when asked a question, and for Mac users, the Apple Watch can now approve Mac security prompts.

When it launches in the fall, watchOS 6 will be available on all Apple Watch models with the exception of the original Apple Watch, released in 2015. For more on what's new in watchOS 6, make sure to check out our watchOS 6 roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Has Explored Adding Positionable Cameras to Apple Watch Bands

Apple has explored the idea of adding a camera to the Apple Watch, although not in the way one might expect.

MacRumors mockup of Apple Watch with camera band

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today granted Apple a patent that describes an Apple Watch band with a camera or optical sensor affixed to the end of it. This would enable the Apple Watch to capture photos and video, with the Apple Watch's display serving as the viewfinder.

The band would be made with flexible materials, like many current bands, allowing the user to bend or twist it to aim the camera. Apple's patent includes various illustrations of how the band and camera could be positioned, including one where the camera hovers just above the Apple Watch's display.


A camera on the Apple Watch could enable basic photo capturing and FaceTime calls on the wrist. The patent also describes the possibility of multiple optical sensors, suggesting that a future Apple Watch band could have both front and rear cameras, allowing users to switch between views like on the iPhone.

Apple filed the patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on September 16, 2016, a week after it unveiled Apple Watch Series 2 models. While both Series 3 and Series 4 models have launched without camera bands since then, Apple could certainly move forward with the idea in future models.

Apple files numerous patent applications every week, however, and many of the inventions do not see the light of day. Patents are also very detailed, encompassing many possible ideas, even ones that Apple might not have any plans to advance. So, the exact implementation if any remains to be seen.

Over the years, rumors have come and gone about the Apple Watch gaining a front-facing camera in the bezel above its display, but this has never come to fruition, perhaps because of the limited internal space available inside the device. A camera watch band is just one potential solution to that problem.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Tag: patent
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Providing watchOS 6 Beta to Select AppleSeed Members

Apple today started offering the watchOS 6 beta to select AppleSeed members, allowing some non-developers to test the software for the first time.

AppleSeed is a version of the public beta testing program that's invite only, making it more selective and limited than the open betas that are provided to all public beta testers. As AppleInsider notes, some AppleSeed members are now receiving invites for watchOS 6.

We are extending you an exclusive invitation to join the AppleSeed Program and to take part in shaping watchOS 6. As a participant, you'll get to test-drive pre-release software and provide your feedback.

Our program also includes a community discussion board, questionnaires, and a Feedback Assistant application that lets you report any quality and usability issues you find, directly to Apple. Help us improve the quality of our next release and join today.
There's no way to apply to be an AppleSeed member, so the watchOS 6 beta made available to AppleSeed participants will be limited in scale. Apple does not provide traditional watchOS public betas because there's no way to downgrade the software installed on the Apple Watch. Most people will need to wait for the fall release of watchOS 6 to give the software a try.

The watchOS 6 update brings a new App Store to the Apple Watch, so you can find and download new Apple Watch apps right on your wrist. Apple Watch apps are also no longer required to have an iPhone component, so developers can now create standalone Apple Watch apps.


There are quite a few new watch faces in watchOS 6, including Numerals Mono and Duo with huge numbers, Modular Compact, a Gradient watch face that shifts over the course of a day, a Solar Dial watch face that visualizes the sun in a 24 hour path around the dial, and the California watch face with a mix of standard numbers and Roman numerals.


watchOS 6 also includes new Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and Calculator apps, along with a new Noise app that warns you if you're exposed to sound that could damage your hearing and a new Cycle Tracking app for period tracking. Activity Trends, visible on the iPhone, is a new feature that lets you chart your fitness progress and make sure your fitness trends are improving.


New complications are available for wind speed, chance of rain, and the new Noise app, plus there's a Voice Memos complication for recording a memo quickly, a cellular strength complication, and a complication for the Calculator that opens up the app.

Siri can now provide full web search results right on the watch when asked a question, and for Mac users, the Apple Watch can now approve Mac security prompts.

For more on what's new in watchOS 6, which is going to launch this fall, make sure to check out our watchOS 6 roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 5.3 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.3 update to developers, two weeks after releasing the third watchOS 5.3 beta and a month after the launch of watchOS 5.2.1, an update that expanded ECG availability and introduced new pride watch faces.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software update.


To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

There were no new features discovered in the first three watchOS 5.3 betas, suggesting that it focuses on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements.

There could also be hidden changes that will be available after the update is released, such as support for the upcoming Apple Card, set to debut this summer. If new features are discovered in the fourth watchOS 5.3 beta, we'll update this post with details.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Apple Launches New Yoga Day Activity Challenge

Apple today kicked off a new Activity Challenge, this one celebrating the International Day of Yoga. To earn the award, you'll have to complete a yoga workout that lasts 15 minutes or more at any time today. Apple holds these challenges for many different holidays and events throughout the year, but this is the first time it has marked the International Day of Yoga.


In order to be sure that your workout is counted towards the Activity Challenge, you'll need to use any app that adds yoga workouts to Apple's Health app. The first-party Workout app for Apple Watch offers Yoga tracking as well. Once completed, you'll gain the award in the Activity app, under the Limited Edition awards section, as well as a set of stickers that can be used in Messages.

Apple has hosted a few Activity Challenges so far in 2019, including one for Earth Day, one for Heart Month, and one that was exclusive to Apple employees. Each challenge always tasks the user with completing an exercise of some sort in a given time frame, and the rewards typically offer stickers for Messages and a new badge in the Activity app.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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