Apple on Wednesday seeded the third beta of watchOS 3.1 to developers for testing purposes, just over one week after seeding the second beta and a month after releasing watchOS 3 to the public. watchOS 3.1 has been in testing since September 21.
watchOS 3.1 appears to focus on bug fixes and under-the-hood performance improvements rather than outward-facing changes, as no new features were discovered in the first two betas. Should any changes be found in the third beta, we’ll update this post.
watchOS 3 brings a new interface to the Apple Watch, with a dedicated App Dock and instant launch apps. There are new Activity sharing features, a “Breathe” app guides you through daily deep breathing sessions to cut down on stress, and there are new Reminders, Find My Friends, and Heart Rate apps.
Three new watch faces are included, and an SOS feature can automatically call emergency services. A revamped Messages app makes it easier to reply to incoming texts, plus there’s a new “Scribble” feature for writing replies on the Apple Watch face with a finger.
To download the watchOS 3.1 beta 2, you’ll need to have your Apple Watch connected to an iPhone, the wearable must have a battery charge of at least 50%, and it must be charging. You can initiate the installation from the Apple Watch app.
As it stands now, watchOS 3.1 doesn’t appear to be adding any additional forward-facing features for owners, and instead focusing on behind-the-scenes tweaks and improvements.