Apple just made an unprecedented move by releasing the first public beta of its venerable watchOS operating system this week, and the fact that it brings with it the long-awaited Apple Watch sleep tracking
is just bonus for owners of the timepiece.
The watchOS 7 beta supports Apple Watch Series 3 to 5
Here's how to install the Apple watchOS 7 public beta and test drive sleep tracking:
4. From the Enroll your devices page, tap watchOS, then swipe to choose the 'enroll your Apple Watch' link.
5. Swipe to tap the Download Profile option.
6. Follow the steps to install the watchOS 7 public beta.
7. Put your Apple Watch
on its charger, the go to the Watch app on your iPhone.
8. From the General > Software update option in the Watch app, pick watchOS 7 and start the installation process.
Apple Watch sleep tracking
Downgrading from watchOS 7 beta to watchOS 6 on your Apple Watch
Bear in mind that, unlike the public iOS 14 beta, you can't revert back to watchOS 6 once you have updated to the watchOS 7 beta on your Apple Watch
. Apple's public beta program for the Watch is still in its nascence, so Apple warns that you need to do the backup dance before you try. It also warns that a few things like VoiceOver aren't working and you shouldn't test drive the beta if you use them.
New Apple watchOS 7 features
- Watch face sharing
- More than one Complication per app can be shown on a watch face
- More Workout app modes: Core Training, Dance, Functional Strength Training, and Cooldown
- Sleep tracking
- Cycling directions
- Heasphone listen duration tracking
With WatchOS 7, faces are more customizable than ever. It will now be possible to show more than one complication per app on a watch face. Complications are basically like widgets and show information from apps. Watch owners will be able to share their customized faces and download faces through various means including the App Store.
The Workout app now supports four more workout types: Core Training, Dance, Functional Strength Training, and Cooldown. The Activity app on the iPhone has also been revamped and is now called Fitness. It will show a streamlined view of important information such as Activity, Workouts, and Activity Trends.
Apple watchOS 7 also builds upon the hearing-centric features introduced with watchOS 6
and will now inform users about their headphone usage habits. A notification will be sent when combined weekly listening time on various devices exceeds the safe amount.
Cycling directions will now be displayed on Maps and guidance will be provided so that users choose the most efficient route and dismount when preferable. Siri on Apple Watch will also be able to translate languages. Announce Messages with Siri is also supported on watchOS 7.
Needless to say, there will also be more bugs and crashes than usual but you do gain watch face sharing, sleep tracking, new calorie tracking and dance routines in the Workout app, and plenty more to play with while you wait for the retail watchOS 7 update.