Apple announced watchOS 5, the latest version of the Apple Watch operating system, at WWDC 2018. Here is how you can download and install the developer beta on your Apple Watch.
If you already have an existing watchOS 5 developer build installed, go to Watch app on your iPhone and head to General > Software Update to download the new version. If you do not have an existing beta installed, follow the guide below.
Just like previous watchOS versions, the new update is only available as a developer beta. A public beta is not available primarily due to the fact that there is no way to downgrade Apple Watch from a developer version to a stable version. Also, if something goes wrong, the Apple Watch has to be taken to selected Apple Stores to be fixed. There is no recovery method for broken software updates or a DFU mode on Apple Watch like there is for iPhone.
watchOS 5 ships with new features which include an improved Siri watchface, with support for third party apps, support for Siri Shortcuts, a new communication app called Walkie-Talkie, a new Podcasts App, improved notifications (like iOS 12) and much more.
Download watchOS 5 Developer Beta 5
To download and install watchOS 5, you would need an Apple Developer Account. The account costs $99/month and gives you the configuration profile that you need to install the test build. However, if you know where to look (hint: Reddit), you can download the profile without signing up for a developer account.
Before we get started, here are some important things:
- Make sure that your Apple Watch is charged more than 50% and placed on its charger
- Make sure that your iPhone is also charged enough so that it can download the update
- Make sure that you have a strong and stable Internet connection
- Keep WiFi and Bluetooth enabled on your devices
- Since this is a beta, you might see crashes, reduce battery timings and other unforeseen issues. Make sure that you are aware of the risks before you proceed.
Now starts the fun part.
- On your iPhone, which is synced to your Apple watch, open Safari and login to your Apple Developer account.
- Go to Download and under Featured Downloads, scroll down till you find watchOS 5 beta.
- Tap on the blue Download button.
- You will get a pop-up which tells you that the website is trying to show a configuration profile. Tap Allow.
- Next, when you see Choose a Device, tap on Apple Watch.
- You will be taken to Settings where you have to tap install and enter your iPhone PIN code, if you have setup one.
- Now that profile is installed, go to Watch app > General > Software Update and wait for the developer update to appear. Tap Download and Install and the process will start.
At this time, it’s best to go for a coffee break because the update can take a long time. First, the iPhone will download the update, and transfer it to your Watch. After that, the installation process begins on the Watch and that takes some time. Once the installation completes, your Watch should show the watch face to confirm update completion.