watchOS 2 app logic

In addition to releasing iOS 9 beta 4 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan beta 4 to its developer army, a matching beta of the upcoming Apple Watch software update is now available to registered members of the Apple Developer Program.

The new watchOS 2 beta 4 (build 13S5305d) requires an iPhone running iOS 9 beta 4 and can be applied over-the-air by going to the General -> Software Update section of the Apple Watch companion app.

What’s new in watchOS 2 beta 4

  • Apple Pay is now switched on in beta 4.
  • Issues with Apple ID in the Messages app appear to have been resolved.
  • The Activity complication is now colored on watch faces, it was monochromatic in the previous beta.

watchOS beta 4 colored Activity complication

  • Pushes from complications are now received on an iPhone.
  • Apple Watch to iPhone file transfers no longer fail.
  • Haptic feedback now works in third-party apps.
  • Disabling the Fitness Tracking privacy setting on the companion device for a third-party app no longer sends motion updates to the app on the Watch side.

The full release notes for watchOS beta 4 are available here.

The new beta has arrived approximately two weeks following the release of watchOS 2 beta 3, and more than a month after its initial release during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote talk back in June.

The biggest change ushered in by watchOS 2 is laying the groundwork for native apps that execute on the device itself, as opposed to being streamed wirelessly off an iPhone, which contributes to lagginess and poor performance.

watchOS 2 nightstand mode

Native apps can tap into Apple Watch hardware, including health sensors, the Digital Crown, Taptic Engine and microphone, in addition to being permitted to connect to known Wi-Fi hotspots to retrieve online content without an iPhone, among other things.

Other newsworthy watchOS 2 tidbits include 3 new watch faces, custom Complications, a Time Travel mode for viewing upcoming events on a watch face and a Nightstand mode, pictured above, which puts the current time in landscape when the device rests on its side.

  • Chocolate Norris

    Hoping for the best, planning for the worst….

  • iPhoneWINS

    I’m waiting for watch 3G

    • S.Curry

      amen to that, I still haven’t had the urge to pull the trigger and buy and apple watch yet

      • Adrian

        I pulled the trigger & wish I didn’t wait… This watch is loads of fun & very much a part of my life now. Each year I’ll sell my watch & upgrade 🙂 get it now thank me later

      • Lucus Bendzsa

        I don’t see hep they could much improve it myself. I might upgrade in 4 years.

    • Adrian

      Hate to repeat myself, but I pulled the trigger & wish I didn’t wait… This watch is loads of fun & very much a part of my life now. Each year I’ll sell my watch & upgrade 🙂 get it now thank me later

      • Adam

        Adrian knows what he’s sayin – To get mine I had to travel to UK ( no Watch here in Ireland yet ) but since day 1 I loved it ! Wouldn’t go back to my Casio – no way! Buy now – you can always wait – but life doesn’t wait and you have only one! Enjoy now

      • Phil Randle

        I am afraid I am also part of this, I had a Stainless Steel Milanese Loop, Wasn’t sure what I would do with it before I bought it, but I liked the look.

        After having it for nearly 2 months I decided to upgrade to Watch OS2, it worked for a week then wouldn’t boot past the Applelogo, it will be the last time I update a device that doesn’t have DFU. Apple replaced it under warranty but its a depot repair, so I am currently waiting for it.

        I used it for for so much, Train Times, changing songs on  Music, Workout Data and it is so effective at cleaning notification data, only now that I don’t use it am I realising how good it is at filtering a lot of the junk you receive on your iPhone throughout the day. Look forward to getting it back.

  • I hope non devs can get their hands on watch 2 beta 4. Will it be found in the watch app software update OTA?

    • sharp44MAG

      Yes if you are running iOS 9 beta 4 on the paired iPhone.

      • I am running 9 beta 4; but not being a dev; can’t find an link for the watch 2 beta 4. Running smooth except for the server not responding to my apple ID

    • Elias Chao

      FTR, you won’t be able to downgrade it, in case you expect to do so at some point.

    • Nicola Envers

      You can get watchOS beta 4 if you have the public release of iOS beta (currently developer beta 3). I’m on the iOS public beta and just installed watchOS beta 4.

      • hmm; no luck yet; my phone is 9 beta 4; then I installed watch2 beta 4 Profile;onto the phone (or should it be the watch?) but nothing shows up in software update for the watch2 beta 4

      • Gary Bowen

        Can you please confirm if this is the actual “watchOS 2 Beta”, or if it’s just the beta software profile for the watch? I understand that there isn’t a public beta for watchOS, and it’s just the beta software profile you can currently download.

  • I have to say… I really liked the monochromatic Activities complication. Hope you can switch the color on/off

    • John Wickham

      Agreed, it really throws off the color of the watch face that one chooses.

  • Running very smooth so far. There is still one unsquashed bug; I still have to disable wrist detection to get mail notifications. This of course removes the bank card. I thought this would be fixed by now; is there a workaround?

  • Fabio

    Hi guys can i have the config profilo beta 4 please?

  • Apple did a nice job with contacts; but they hide them in Maps for some unknown reason; there is no dedicated contacts app on the Watch. Weird.