Apple releases watchOS 8 beta 2 to developers

After 17 days of the release of watchOS 8 beta 1, Apple is finally releasing beta 2 of its upcoming Apple Watch software, currently only available for developers.

Today’s build is 19R5286f. Public beta testers will be able to try watchOS 8 starting in July, although Apple didn’t give a specific date. Introduced during the WWDC21 keynote, here are some of the most important features coming to the Apple Watch this fall:

watchOS 8 includes, for example, new built-in applications that take advantage of the always-on display used on the Apple Watch Series 5 and later. There is also a new way for developers to tap into the always-on display.

With watchOS 8 coming this fall, three new Apple applications will now take advantage of the Apple Watch’s always-on display: Music, Maps, and Calculator. Also:

  • There’s a new version of the Breathe app, now called Mindfulness;
  • Respiratory rate is now measured during sleep tracking;
  • Photo watch faces can now include depth using portrait mode photos;
  • Photos app overhauled with featured highlights and memories;
  • Photos can now be shared from the watch with Messages and Mail;
  • Scribble now lets you include emoji in handwritten messages;
  • App shelf in iMessage includes image search and quick access to photos;
  • Find My now includes items (including AirTags);
  • Weather includes next hour precipitation;
  • Apple Watch can do multiple timers for the first time;
  • Tips is now available on the Apple Watch;
  • Music can be shared from Apple Watch over Messages.

Apple is also testing watchOS 7.6 beta 3, which should be available to all users sometime in the near future.

Did you find anything new in watchOS 8 beta 2? Apple has also released today macOS Monterey beta 2, iOS 15 beta 2, and tvOS 15 beta 2. Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, @9to5Mac.

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