Friday, July 19, 2024
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watchOS 11 release date: when your Apple Watch will get the update

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Series 8, seen from the side.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Apple’s WWDC 2024 has come and gone, and with it came a lot of big new software updates — from iOS 18 to macOS Sequoia. Not only did Apple show off its new software across multiple platforms but it also announced Apple Intelligence, its new suite of AI tools.

Though watchOS 11 doesn’t have Apple Intelligence, it still has a ton of new features — including more customization for Activity Rings and even rest days, overnight vitals, training load tracking, and much more.

But when will you be able to check out watchOS 11? Here are all the details we know.

watchOS 11 developer beta release date

New widgets in watchOS 11.

Similar to iOS 18, Apple released watchOS 11 as a developer beta for those who want to try it out ahead of its public release this fall.

For many years, Apple only allowed developer betas to be downloaded and installed by those who signed up for its $99-per-year Apple Developer program. However, last year Apple shifted course and allowed anyone to grab the developer betas as long as they had a free Apple Developer account.

These betas aren’t for the faint of heart. Unless you are a developer, we would definitely hold off on installing watchOS 11 right now, especially if you only have one Apple Watch. The watchOS 11 developer beta is designed for developers to build and test apps. And since it’s a beta, there are bound to be numerous issues and bugs, and not all third-party apps will work. You’ll also need an iPhone running the iOS 18 beta in order to get the beta on your Apple Watch.

Another important thing to note is that Apple will not service your Apple Watch if it is running beta software. And unlike an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you cannot revert back to a public release. This adds another layer of complexity to running betas on the wearable, so again, we don’t recommend it unless you have a spare one lying around.

If you do install the developer beta of watchOS 11 on your Apple Watch, you should expect new beta releases to drop every couple of weeks from here on out.

watchOS 11 public beta release date

Multiple Apple Watches running watchOS 11.

Typically, Apple releases the developer beta software first, followed by the public beta about four to five weeks after the first developer beta.

Historically speaking, when Apple releases beta software in early June, we should see the public beta drop around the end of June or early July. While Apple has not yet said when the public beta of watchOS 11 will be dropping, we should expect something similar to what we got in years past.

In order to get the watchOS 11 public beta, you’ll want to make sure you’re registered for the Apple Beta Software program, which is free. While the developer beta is designed primarily for developers to build and test apps, the public beta is for anyone who wants to try the software out ahead of time and provide feedback to improve it before the final release in the fall.

Just like the developer beta, though, you should expect the possibility of a lot of bugs and issues, as well as incompatible third-party apps since this is early software. Battery life may also take a hit.

And remember, if your Apple Watch is running a beta, Apple will not service it if it needs repairs. And unlike an iPhone, you can’t wipe and revert back to the latest public release of watchOS 10, so proceed with caution.

watchOS 11 release date

watchOS 10 Smart Stack widgets on the Apple Watch Ultra 2.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The final version of watchOS 11 should arrive sometime in the fall, around mid to late September.

Traditionally, the new version of watchOS arrives between the announcement of the new Apple Watches and its launch day. This year, if Apple has its fall event around September 9-17, that would mean watchOS 11 will come out around September 16-23. Apple also typically launches new Apple Watches alongside new iPhones, so we should also see the iPhone 16 and iOS 18 release at the same time.

Remember to double-check whether your Apple Watch can run watchOS 11 first, as Apple is dropping support for older Apple Watch models. For watchOS 11, you’ll need a Series 6 or later.

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