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Apple releases third watchOS 4 beta to developers

Three weeks after releasing the second beta version of its upcoming watchOS 4 operating system to developers, Apple on Thursday issued a third beta of the Apple Watch software for testing and evaluation.




Apple's latest watchOS 4 beta carries a build number of 15R5321h and contains the usual bug fixes and performance improvements needed to bring the OS up to snuff prior to public release this fall.

The second beta version, issued in June, brought a set of new features promised at watchOS 4's unveiling at WWDC 2017. For example, developers gained access to a set of animated "Toy Story" watch faces. That beta iteration also fixed issues related to haptic feedback, music playback, location-based HomeKit triggers and Siri usability.

When it launches, watchOS 4 will deliver new life to old hardware. The OS comes packed with new software features like a dedicated Siri watch face that taps into the virtual assistant's AI assets to deliver timely information including calendar events, passes from Wallet, weather, sunrise and sunset times, HomeKit scenes and more.

Fitness capabilities have also been augmented with personalized progress alerts, new monthly challenges and other functionality provided by the Activity app. The Workout app gets a new high intensity interval training option, as well as a new user interface for easily switching between workout types. Apple also announced a new Gymkit platform that will allow Apple Watch users to connect to and exchange data with supported gym equipment.

Developers can activate a watchOS 4 beta 3 configuration profile for iOS from Apple's Developer portal. From there, a simple update in the Watch app for iOS will deliver the new beta version to a test Watch.