Apple Releases Updated Version of watchOS 5 Beta

Apple on Monday issued a new version of its watchOS 5 beta. The release comes a week after Apple pulled the beta due to reports that the software update was bricking some Apple Watch models. Well, now Apple has decided that the software is ready to go again, and the company has seeded an updated version of the first developer beta for watchOS 5 to registered developers.

To update, they’ll need to use the dedicated Apple Watch app by heading into General — Software Update. The Apple Watch must be connected to the iPhone, must have at least 50 percent battery life, and also be connected to the charger through the update process.

As a quick refresher, here are the features that watchOS 5 introduces:

  • Competitions: The Apple Watch running watchOS 5 can host 7-day competitions between friends and family members. One point for each percentage of a ring you close. Progress is updated on a regular basis, with yourself and with your friends who are part of the competition. If you win you will get a specialized reward for doing so.
  • Running and Yoga Workouts: There is a new workout type for yoga, which focuses on heart rate. That calibrates with your fitness level with the rest of your day as well. There is the addition of hiking, too, with elevation gain and length of the trek. With running, watchOS 5 will also keep track of rolling mile pace, which is how fast you ran the previous mile. There is a custom pace alert, so the watch will alert you if you’re above or below. And current steps-per-minute will also be tracked, thanks to a new cadence feature.
  • Walkie Talkie: The Walkie-Talkie feature will let you talk in short bursts with a friend or family members. First, choose who you want to talk with. The Watch will offer suggestions, too. There is a one-time request for a walkie-talkie request, and, if they accept, you can initiate a conversation at any time. There is a beep-beep sound that notifies of an incoming conversation. It works over both Wi-Fi and a cellular connection.
  • Siri: The Siri watch face is getting new complications, including a resting heart rate, sports scores, and more. There are new Siri Shortcuts, as related to iOS 12, which will let you start a series of events based on your location, the time, and if you request Siri directly. Third-party apps are being used on the Siri watch face, too. So information from apps like City Mapper, Nike+ Run, and more will be supported right on the watch face. Apple Watch owners using watchOS 5 will also be able to simply lift the Apple Watch up and start talking to Siri without using “Hey, Siri” to invoke the feature.

The new software is available now for those who want to try it out.

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