watchOS 3 new faces Apple Watch teaser 003

Our iOS 10 Preview series detailed more than two dozen new features and refinements spotted in iOS 10 beta 3, which was seeded to Apple’s registered developers yesterday. Today, we take a closer look at a dozen or so fixes that were added in the third beta of watchOS 3 (build number “14S5290d”), resolving various issues with Apple Watch features that developers reported in prior betas. No new features have been found in watchOS 3 beta 3 yet.

watchOS 3 beta 3 video walkthrough

Here’s our resident video editor and gadgets reviewer Andrew O’Hara showing you twelve fixes in the third beta of watchOS 3. The clip runs three minutes and 33 seconds long, give it a watch right now and then read the rest of the article for other tidbits.

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A few noteworthy observations regarding beta 3 quirks.

If you cannot use Time Travel in beta 3, re-enable it in the Watch companion app on your iPhone by setting the slider in My Watch → Clock → Time Travel to the ON position.

If you cannot unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch after updating to beta 3, re-enable the feature on macOS Sierra: go to System Preferences → Security & Privacy → General and tick the box next to “Allow Your Apple Watch to Unlock Your Mac”.

macOS Sierra System Preferences Auto Unlock MAc screenshot 001

And last but not least, you may notice that battery life has actually worsened in beta 3.

This is nothing to write home about: optimizations for speed and energy consumption are added as the last step ahead of a Golden Master candidate, after all of the new features have been completed, tweaked, thoroughly tested and locked.

For those wondering, watchOS betas are not available for public beta-testing.

Everything fixed in watchOS 3 beta 3

The following has been fixed in watchOS 3 beta 3:


  • Replying to an Activity Sharing notification from a friend sometimes fails to send.
  • Replies to an Activity Sharing notification with a message may fail.
  • The contextual text above the reply to an Activity Sharing notification is incorrect.

Apple Pay

  • When adding a new payment card to Apple Pay, if an incorrect expiration or CVV is entered, upon entry of a new value and hitting “Next” the running process will crash.
  • In-app Apple Pay purchases that require PIN entry may cause a crash.


  • Calendar may show “No Events” in Calendar after updating.


  • Clock face layout resets after reboot.


  • Currently there is no TCC prompt on the watchOS side.

Emergency SOS

  • Haptic alert may not trigger during Emergency SOS countdown.


  • If a media attachment is too large, the notification fires on iPhone and not Apple Watch.


  • When attempting to hand off a relay call from Apple Watch to iPhone while on the lock screen, the call may be dropped.
  • When iPhone is on CS/VoLTE, relay calls answered on alternate devices do not have DL audio and the call may drop after 30 seconds.


  • Auto-pause and auto-resume sometimes fail in Workout, but third-party apps are not affected.

watchOS 3: the coolest new features

Since the first beta of watchOS 3 released at WWDC 2016, we took it for a spin and published detailed video walkthroughs of some of the most exciting new features.

Faster performance, Instant Launch & simpler navigation

A creative destruction of the Apple Watch operating system, watch OS 3 does a lot of things right by enabling faster performance, simplified navigation and launching your favorite apps instantly via a new Dock feature.

For detailed overview of these features, check out this article.

New watch faces & Face Gallery on iPhone

watchOS 3 adds three new watch faces and a Face Gallery section on the companion Watch app. Additionally, you can now launch more apps via complications from faces like Workout, Music and Messages and use complications on faces that didn’t support them in prior watchOS editions, like Photo, Motion and Timelapse.

For detailed overview of these features, check out this article.

Emergency SOS, Activity Sharing, Auto Unlock & more

watchOS 3 includes an Emergency SOS feature that could save your life, sharing Activity rings with other people and the ability to unlock your Mac by wearing your watch, all of which were added in beta 2 along with a bunch of other fixes and under-the-hood tweaks shown in this video.

For detailed overview of these features, check out this article.

iDB previews Apple’s OS updates

We’ve made it a mission to dive deep into Apple’s upcoming software updates to give you a feel for any major new features and little things that might delight you.

Check out our iOS 10, macOS Sierra, tvOS 10 and watchOS 3 previews:

iOS 10

macOS Sierra

watchOS 3

tvOS 10

Additional previews will be added to these lists as they’re published. To help our future coverage detail other features, email us at We’ll take any reasonable suggestions into consideration.

watchOS 3 availability

watchOS 3 betas along with WatchKit for watchOS 3 are available to iOS Developer Program members at Apple’s portal for developers. It’ll officially release for public consumption in the fall as a free software update to the Apple Watch.

Did we miss anything?

We may have overlooked some of the changes in watchOS 3 beta 3 and need your help spotting them. Should you stumble upon any new features, enhancements or fixes in watchOS 3 beta 3 that weren’t mentioned here, do post your findings in the comment section below or email us at and we’ll update the article with any new information.

  • Etienne Jacquemart

    Actually Time Travel still,works, but it’s turned off by default. You have to activate it on your iPhone in the Watch app.

    • Rehny

      Great catch Etienne! Thanks.

  • BobNation

    which apple watch size is that in the video?

    • Don Walker II

      Looks like a 42mm

  • David Pomerleau

    Is Siri any faster? Are buttons more responsive within apps? How is performance compared to watchOS 2 in regards to other things besides just launching apps? Would love to see a good video of this.

  • Titan3636

    Awesome vid. Thanks !!!!!! Love it

  • Steve Harvey

    I wanna turn off emergency button. It makes me nervous for accidental taps.

    • Bruce Milyko

      You can turn it off in the iPhone app.

  • John Smith

    Only thing I disagree with is the battery life. I actually noticed a huge improvement compared to beta 2. For starters, I was tracking my sleep with the battery at 76%, and I woke up to see 65% percent. After putting it on charge until full, I had been using it since early morning, and as of 7:00pm it’s 66%. I think the reason battery drains fast for others is because of background app refresh. What I did is only enable background refresh for apps I definitely need, like my calculator, activity, maps, alarm, messages, and a few other stuff in my complications and dock. Everything else was disabled, AND I turned off background app refresh. Because the apps I use are already in my dock and complications, they refresh automatically, and everything else is ignored. It works much better for me, at least.

  • Beta 3 is running very smooth; I’m starting to think the Apple Watch has truly arrived; …so it took a few iterations of the software. They’ve nailed it. I love the watch and use it every day.

    • So you definitely recommend updating to iOS 10 and watchOS 3 right now??

      • Always at your own risk; but it’s running smooth for me. It makes the watch run great.