Apple today started offering the watchOS 6 beta to select AppleSeed members, allowing some non-developers to test the software for the first time.
AppleSeed is a version of the public beta testing program that’s invite only, making it more selective and limited than the open betas that are provided to all public beta testers. As AppleInsider notes, some AppleSeed members are now receiving invites for watchOS 6.
We are extending you an exclusive invitation to join the AppleSeed Program and to take part in shaping watchOS 6. As a participant, you’ll get to test-drive pre-release software and provide your feedback.
Our program also includes a community discussion board, questionnaires, and a Feedback Assistant application that lets you report any quality and usability issues you find, directly to Apple. Help us improve the quality of our next release and join today.
There’s no way to apply to be an AppleSeed member, so the watchOS 6 beta made available to AppleSeed participants will be limited in scale. Apple does not provide traditional watchOS public betas because there’s no way to downgrade the software installed on the Apple Watch. Most people will need to wait for the fall release of watchOS 6 to give the software a try.
The watchOS 6 update brings a new App Store to the Apple Watch, so you can find and download new Apple Watch apps right on your wrist. Apple Watch apps are also no longer required to have an iPhone component, so developers can now create standalone Apple Watch apps.
There are quite a few new watch faces in watchOS 6, including Numerals Mono and Duo with huge numbers, Modular Compact, a Gradient watch face that shifts over the course of a day, a Solar Dial watch face that visualizes the sun in a 24 hour path around the dial, and the California watch face with a mix of standard numbers and Roman numerals.
watchOS 6 also includes new Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and Calculator apps, along with a new Noise app that warns you if you’re exposed to sound that could damage your hearing and a new Cycle Tracking app for period tracking. Activity Trends, visible on the iPhone, is a new feature that lets you chart your fitness progress and make sure your fitness trends are improving.
New complications are available for wind speed, chance of rain, and the new Noise app, plus there’s a Voice Memos complication for recording a memo quickly, a cellular strength complication, and a complication for the Calculator that opens up the app.
Siri can now provide full web search results right on the watch when asked a question, and for Mac users, the Apple Watch can now approve Mac security prompts.
For more on what’s new in watchOS 6, which is going to launch this fall, make sure to check out our watchOS 6 roundup.