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WatchOS 7 public beta is here — how to try the new Apple Watch update now

WatchOS 7
(Image credit: Apple)

The watchOS 7 Apple Watch software update is arriving this fall. But if you're an app creator or Apple Watch user interested in checking out the upcoming features in advance, you can install developer version or public version of the watchOS 7 beta on a compatible device right now.

Announced at WWDC 2020, watchOS 7 offers owners of Apple Watch Series 3 and above things like new watch faces, added workout modes, hand washing help and, at long last, sleep tracking. 

Users will also benefit from dedicated cycling directions, a catalog of mobility metrics, some of Siri's newfound translation skills and more.

With all these features lined up, it's no wonder you're itching to get started with watchOS 7. Lucky for you, for the first time in watchOS history Apple is supplying a public version of the beta software as it has with iOS, macOS and tvOS. 

If you want to start testing watchOS 7, you can either use the public beta version or developer beta version. The developer version a bit more complicated to get than the public beta, however, because you'll need the developer certificate installed on your watch.

So before you press ahead, keep in mind that beta versions of software — especially developer versions — aren't what you'll experience when the final version debuts later this year. The watchOS 7 beta could drain the device's battery faster than usual, and certain apps might not work as they should.

You'll also need to be in possession of an iPhone running the iOS 14 beta in order to use the watchOS 7 beta. Check out our guide on how to download the iOS 14 beta if you don't have it installed on a smartphone already.

Here's how to download the watchOS 7 beta right now on your Apple Watch, plus information on installing the Apple developer certificate below. 

How to download the watchOS 7 beta on your Apple Watch

1. Go to beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram on your iPhone running iOS 14 and click Get started.

2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password to enroll in the beta testing program.

3. Select watchOS from the menu of beta software options.

5. Click the Download profile button. Select Allow if you receive a popup asking for your permission to download the configuration profile.

(Image credit: Future)

6. Select Install and enter your iPhone password. Select Install again after consenting to the profile's terms. Select Install one more time.

(Image credit: Future)

7. Restart your Apple Watch using the prompt on your iPhone.

8. When your Apple Watch restarts, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to General, then Software Update. You should see the watchOS 7 Public Beta available for download. Click Download and install. You'll be asked to enter your Apple Watch passcode on your watch to carry out the download.

Your Apple Watch will restart again, this time running watchOS 7.

How to download the watchOS 7 developer beta

watchos7

(Image credit: Apple)

If you want to download the developer version of the watchOS 7 beta, you'll first you'll need to install the developer beta certificate on your watch, giving it permission to run developer software. Here's how to get that certificate: 

1. Open developer.apple.com in Safari on the iPhone (running iOS 14) paired to your Apple Watch.

2. Click Discover > watchOS > Download.

3. Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted.

4. Select Install Profile adjacent to watchOS 7 Beta.

5. Tap Allow, giving your iPhone permission to run the installation.

6. Click Install, enter your iPhone passcode, and click Install again to begin the certificate download process.

7. Click Restart and your Apple Watch will reboot.

When your Apple Watch restarts, you should have the developer profile installed and able to accept the watchOS 7 beta. Follow the steps above to upgrade to the new software.