How to install the watchOS 8 Developer Beta with new workouts and more

How to install the watchOS 8 Developer Beta with new workouts and more

Apple announced watchOS 8 today, and the developer beta is out. Coming this fall, it’s part of a long list of updates unveiled at WWDC, and there’s actually a fair bit of things that are new.

There are new Wallet features, which will let you store your ID and even car keys. And as usual, there are new fitness features, such as Tai Chi and Pilates workout categories. That also comes with new features in Apple Fitness+, such as a new trainer and new playlists.

If you want to try this stuff out, you can get started with the watchOS 8 developer beta now.

List of Apple Watch devices that support watchOS 8

  • Apple Watch Series 3 and later

How to install watchOS 8

The watchOS 8 beta is pretty easy to install, but they come with some warnings. First of all, you can’t roll back from this. It’s not like an iPhone where you can just plug it into a PC and choose to reset it to factory settings. You’ll have to go to an Apple Store to get this restored.

The other thing is that your Apple Watch needs to be paired with an iPhone running iOS 15 in order to install watchOS 8. If you were planning on taking more risk with your Apple Watch but not your iPhone, you can’t do it.

  1. Using the instructions to install iOS 15, install it on the iPhone that’s paired with the Apple Watch you’re about to upgrade.
  2. Go to Apple Developer -> Develop -> Downloads and click the ‘Install Profile’ button next to watchOS 8. It’s always easier to download it directly to your iPhone, but as was the case with iOS 15, you can also do it from a PC and email it to yourself.
  3. Install the profile. The process is mostly the same as when you did it for iOS 15, except this is going to happen through the Watch app instead of Settings.
  4. Once it’s installed, reboot your Apple Watch as prompted.
  5. In the Watch app, go to General -> Software Update.
  6. watchOS 8 should appear, and you can install it like you’d install any update. If you have automatic updates on, you can just leave it alone and it will install overnight.

Again, keep in mind that there’s no easy turning back from this. A public beta is also available, so that’s easier for everyone to get their hands on. It’s also an easy way to test out the release candidate before it’s released to the public.

About author

Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.