watchOS 9.5 releases: Pride Celebration watch face, new beta installation method

Though omitted from the watchOS 9.5 release notes, Apple’s simplified installation method for Apple Watch beta updates is also included in this update.

Apple Watch Series 4 with the stainless steel band
It’s time to update your Apple Watch! | Image: Saul Flores/Unsplash

On May 18, 2023, the watchOS 9.5 software update launched to the public, bringing bug fixes and two new features. The update patches an annoying bug that prevented the Unlock Mac with Apple Watch feature from working correctly.

The update also brings some new features, including Apple’s new Pride Celebration watch face and a new way to install beta updates.

How to update your Apple Watch to watchOS 9.5

To install watchOS 9.5, go to Settings > General > Software Update on your watch or the companion Watch app on your paired iPhone, and follow the instructions. Type your Apple Watch passcode, if required, to confirm the operation.

Ensure the device is on its charger while the update is installed. When the watchOS 9.5 update completes, your Apple Watch will restart on its own.

A new installation method for beta updates

If you are okay with testing prerelease software, watchOS 9.5 now lets you download watchOS betas using a new installation method like we saw in iOS 16.4.

Instead of downloading a configuration profile to their device, people enrolled in the Apple Developer Program or Apple Software Program can simply use the Software Update feature in Settings to receive new beta software.

Keep in mind that you must use the same Apple ID associated with your developer or public beta account as the Apple ID set up on your Apple Watch.

The Pride Celebration watch face

Pride Edition 2023 wallpaper on Apple Watch and iPhone
The new Pride-themed wallpaper for your palm and wrist | Image: Apple

watchOS 9.5 includes a new watch face for those who would like to honor the LGBTQ+ community and culture. The matching iPhone wallpaper is available in iOS 16.5, and you can also get Apple’s new Pride-themed band for your wrist.

watchOS 9.5 release notes

The official watchOS 9.5 release notes mention just one new feature:

  • watchOS 9.5 includes new features, improvements and bug fixes, including a new Pride Celebration watch face to honor the LGBTQ+ community and culture.

You’ll find these support documents useful:

Apple also launched new iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV updates.