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.
- 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.
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.