Apple issues seventh watchOS 9 developer beta

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Apple has seeded its seventh developer beta of watchOS 9 to testers.

The latest builds can be downloaded by developers in the beta-testing program via the Apple Developer Center, or as an over-the-air update for devices already using beta builds. The public beta version of the releases is expected to arrive soon, and will be available through the Apple Beta Software Program website.

The seventh beta takes over from the sixth beta of August 15, which replaced the fifth from August 8. Apple brought out the fourth beta build on July 28.

The third developer build of watchOS 9 arrived on July 6, the second appeared on June 22, while the first arrived within hours of the WWDC keynote on June 6.

Final public versions of the milestone operating systems are expected to be released by the fall.

The seventh build of watchOS 9's developer beta is 20R5359a, replacing the sixth, 20R5353a.

WatchOS 9 introduces a number of fitness updates, including extra views within the Workout app when you turn the Digital Crown. Heart Rate Zones, a new metric, will show the intensity level of a workout.

Health adds a Medications tracker, which can remind users to take them regularly. The Sleep app is updated with new metrics for REM, Core, and Deep sleep.

Two new watch faces join the collection, Metropolitan and Playtime, with the former offering customizable numbers while the other is animated whimsy. The Astronomy face has been remastered to include cloud data from Weather, and Portraits has been enhanced with improved depth effects and tinting.

AppleInsider, and Apple itself, strongly suggests users avoid installing the beta software on to "mission-critical" or primary devices, due to the small possibility of issues that could result in the loss of data. Instead, testers should install betas onto secondary or non-essential devices, and to make sure there are sufficient backups of important data before updating.

Members of the public should stick to using the public beta releases, rather than using the developer versions.

Find any changes in the new betas? Reach out to us on Twitter at @AppleInsider or @Andrew_OSU, or send Andrew an email at [email protected].