Along with new versions of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, Apple is also letting developers (and eventually public beta testers) try out the new watchOS 10 beta on their Apple Watches. Here’s how to get it.
Should you install the watchOS Beta?
This year Apple has made it easier than ever to install the developer beta, which arrived following the keynote on June 5, 2023. It’s easier for two reasons. The first is that if you are running iOS 16.4 on your iPhone you no longer need to download a beta profile on your iPhone in order to get the beta. Instead you will see the beta as a download option on your iPhone in the Watch app.
The second reason it is easier to get the developer beta is that in 2023 Apple has opened the developer beta to all developers, rather than limiting it to only the developers who had paid $99/£79 to join Apple’s Developer Program. This means that to get the developer beta of watchOS 10 you just need to sign into Apple’s developer app, we’ll explain how to get a free developer account below.
Before you do that though, a few words of caution. Since it’s beta release software, watchOS 10 will include bugs and issues that could affect performance and battery life on your Apple Watch. If there are any apps and features that you can’t live without, you might want to hold off on installing—or install it on a spare Apple Watch.
This issue is exacerbated by the biggest problem associated with running the watchOS beta: an Apple Watch cannot be restored to the previous version of watchOS once the beta is installed.
With that in mind we would dissuade you from installing the developer beta, unless you are a developer and actually need to be using it. We would also strongly suggest that once the public beta arrives you are still very cautious about installing it!
When is the watchOS 10 developer beta out?
If you are a developer you can already get access to the developer beta which arrived after the keynote on June 5. You just need to be enrolled as a developer—you can get the beta even if you aren’t a paid-up member of the Apple Developer Program. We’ll run though how got to get a free developer account next.
If you wish to actually publish applications to the App Store and sell them you’ll need to pay $99/£79 per year for a paid account. You can sign up to the Apple Developer Program (here) or through Apple’s Developer App. Register as an individual or a company, add the information required, agree to the license agreement and enter your payment details–it’s an annual subscription. It can take a few days to verify you and make the account live.
How to install the watchOS 10 beta on an Apple Watch
You need an iPhone to install the watchOS 10 beta. That iPhone should ideally be running iOS 16.4 or later as Apple changed the way that betas are installed in that version of iOS making the process a lot easier.
You’ll also need your Apple Watch on a charger with at least 50 percent charge before you install the beta.
Your iPhone and your Watch need to be close together.
On your iPhone open the Apple Watch app.
Tap My Watch.
Now select Software Update.
If you are a registered developer you should see Beta updates as an option, Choose the developer beta.
Enter your passcode when prompted.
Wait while the beta installs on the Apple Watch.
If you don’t have iOS 16.4 the process is a little more complicated as it requires a configuration profile.