Apple is seeding watchOS 8.6 beta 1 to all developers

Apple has resumed beta testing with the release of iOS 15.5, iPadOS 15.5, tvOS 15.5, and watchOS 8.6 developer betas.

For those participating in the testing program, the latest builds can be obtained from the Apple Developer Center, or via an over-the-air update on devices running the beta software. The Apple Beta Software Program website usually distributes public betas within a few days of the developer versions.

To upgrade to new software, an Apple Watch must have at least 50% battery life, be charged, and be within range of an iPhone. Apple don’t currently know what’s in the watchOS 8.6 upgrade, but it’ll update this page if it discover new features after installing the beta.

Due to the slight chance of data loss or other concerns, Apple strongly advises customers to avoid downloading beta software on “mission-critical” or principal devices. Instead, users should install betas on secondary or non-essential devices and make sure they have enough backups of crucial data before updating.

It’s unclear whether this version will include any user-facing changes or will focus only on bug fixes and performance enhancements.

How to Install WatchOS 8.6

  • On the iPhone paired with your Apple Watch, go to developer.apple.com.
  • Select Discover.
  • Select watchOS from the menu.
  • Select Download.
  • If asked, sign in with your Apple ID.
  • Next to watchOS 8 Beta, tap Install Profile.
  • When prompted for permission to install a profile, tap Allow.
  • Start the installation process by pressing the Install button.
  • If you’re prompted, enter your Passcode.
  • To confirm, tap Install.
  • To restart your Apple Watch, press the Restart button.
  • The installation process resumes after your Apple Watch has rebooted.
  • It’s unclear whether this version will include any user-facing changes or will focus only on bug fixes and performance enhancements.
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