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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming one week release of the fourth beta and over a month after the launch of watchOS 7.3 with "Time to Walk" functionality, expanded ECG availability, and a new Unity watch face.

7.4-on-Apple-Watch-feature-copy.jpg

To install the ‌watchOS 7.4 beta, developers need to download the proper configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, the watchOS 7.4 beta can be downloaded through the dedicated ‌Apple Watch‌ app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update.

To update to the new software, the ‌Apple Watch‌ needs to have 50 percent battery life, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the ‌‌‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌‌‌.

Alongside iOS 14.5, watchOS 7.4 introduces a new "Unlock with Apple Watch" feature that lets an iPhone with Face ID use an unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch as a secondary authentication measure when you're wearing a mask, alleviating the need to enter a passcode to unlock the iPhone.

iphone-apple-watch-unlock.jpg

Face ID does not work when wearing a mask, but this new Apple Watch feature provides an easy but still secure way to access the iPhone without the hassle of a passcode. It's similar to the Apple Watch unlocking on Mac and can be enabled in the Settings app under Face ID & Passcode.

An unlocked Apple Watch paired with Face ID can unlock the iPhone when a mask is worn, but it's only for mask usage. The Apple Watch cannot be used to authenticate Apple Pay or App Store purchases, nor can it be used to unlock apps that require a Face ID scan. In these situations, the mask will need to be removed or a passcode/password will need to be used instead.

iphone-apple-watch-unlock-2.jpg

When the Apple Watch unlocks the iPhone, you'll feel a haptic tap on the wrist and will receive a notification on the watch, similar to how it works when using the watch to unlock a Mac.

For those who use Apple Fitness+, the watchOS 7.4 update combined with iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 enables AirPlay 2 for Apple Fitness+, so workouts can be streamed to an AirPlay 2-enabled TV or set-top box. Apple Watch metrics do not show up on the screen when AirPlayed, however, and that feature is limited to iPhone/iPad/Apple TV.

Apple has said that watchOS 7.4 will be released in the early spring.

Article Link: Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 7.4 to Developers
 

FishyFish

macrumors demi-god
Sep 18, 2015
207
407
West Coast
I just got this installed on my Series 6 and am putting it through its paces. Still working on installing on my Series 5, that went a bit more slowly.

Overall, the release looks GREAT so far. The installation process was really quick for a beta, and the Infograph Modular and Astronomy faces seem to be working great! I also tried streaming music from Apple Music and that also seems perfect, rich sound quality and no stutter.

I'll keep testing this throughout the day and let you know, but it looks like watchOS 7.4 is going to be a HOT one. I think it's ready for release!
 

Johnny907

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2014
1,447
2,412
I just got this installed on my Series 6 and am putting it through its paces. Still working on installing on my Series 5, that went a bit more slowly.

Overall, the release looks GREAT so far. The installation process was really quick for a beta, and the Infograph Modular and Astronomy faces seem to be working great! I also tried streaming music from Apple Music and that also seems perfect, rich sound quality and no stutter.

I'll keep testing this throughout the day and let you know, but it looks like watchOS 7.4 is going to be a HOT one. I think it's ready for release!
I'm guessing you either didn't install the previous betas, or don't pay attention to Activity Tracking, which has been a complete dumpster fire since Beta 3. 5 mile jog yesterday managed to track 3.4 miles of it, resulting in active calorie burn of 14 kcal. Yup. Dumpster fire.

Installing now on my Series 6. Will be leaving the house for another five miles as soon as it is finished to put it through it's *actual* paces and see if things are finally fixed after ten or so bug reports in the last month. Will report back in an hour or so.
 

Johnny907

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2014
1,447
2,412
Again hoping they fix the motion, activity and standing tracking issue that was broke starting in beta 3.
I'll let you know as soon as I finish the update and get back from my run. Fingers crossed.

They always add a new watch face with an update. I still like using Chronograph Pro.

Likewise. I've been using the same Explorer Watchface since Series 3, partially because I appreciate the simplicity but mostly because it is the only one that easily shows Cell Signal strength. It continues to baffle me that more faces don't offer this functionality.
 

FishyFish

macrumors demi-god
Sep 18, 2015
207
407
West Coast
I'm guessing you either didn't install the previous betas, or don't pay attention to Activity Tracking, which has been a complete dumpster fire since Beta 3. 5 mile jog yesterday managed to track 3.4 miles of it, resulting in active calorie burn of 14 kcal. Yup. Dumpster fire.

Installing now on my Series 6. Will be leaving the house for another five miles as soon as it is finished to put it through it's *actual* paces and see if things are finally fixed after ten or so bug reports in the last month. Will report back in an hour or so.
I use Activity Tracking for running every day and have used every beta and I have no problems with it.

Try unpairing and repairing your watch!
 

Johnny907

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2014
1,447
2,412
I use Activity Tracking for running every day and have used every beta and I have no problems with it.

Try unpairing and repairing your watch!
Been there, done that. I also tried recalibrating motion tracking as well. Twice. This is a known issue with the last two betas. The AW will randomly stop tracking movement throughout the day, failing to register Stand and walking, and fails to capture biometrics during workouts completely. That’s not a pairing issue.
 
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Johnny907

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2014
1,447
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Happy to report this Beta seems to solve a lot of issues with the last two. My last run was tracked accurately from start to finish, without the telltale grey dots that indicate when the watch failed to track my location. Furthermore the mile splits occurred exactly where they were supposed to within a few feet, indicating distance was properly tracked as well. Calories and active calories are still a little low but back within the range both should be.
Finally, battery drain is much diminished and back to non-beta levels. A five mile run with GPS active and streaming a podcast over connected AirPods resulted in only a 7% drain compared to the 20-25% I was getting with betas 3 and 4.
 

Mainyehc

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2004
659
204
Lisbon, Portugal
Do you know what really grinds my gears? Considering just how similar a Mac and an iPhone are, and how Apple recently released a supplemental update for iOS 12 with COVID exposure notification support so that iPhone 5S (!!) users could take advantage of those apps, I don’t see any technical reason why they couldn’t release a supplemental watchOS 4.3.3 or 4.4 version for Series 0 models with only the iPhone unlocking feature added.

It’s not like these older watches aren’t permanently tethered to their host iPhones anyway, and even if said feature drained the battery faster I’d gladly trade that for the convenience, and the only thing needed would be some entries in a database, some lines of code and a couple of new graphics for that product range.

And yes, I am aware that Apple is in the business of selling hardware, but the feature is already there and works with Macs, which makes the whole “ecosystem” and my rather recent iPhone 11 feel a wee bit broken by comparison and for no good reason.
 
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urbncwby

macrumors newbie
Oct 14, 2012
8
3
Happy to report this Beta seems to solve a lot of issues with the last two. My last run was tracked accurately from start to finish, without the telltale grey dots that indicate when the watch failed to track my location. Furthermore the mile splits occurred exactly where they were supposed to within a few feet, indicating distance was properly tracked as well. Calories and active calories are still a little low but back within the range both should be.
Finally, battery drain is much diminished and back to non-beta levels. A five mile run with GPS active and streaming a podcast over connected AirPods resulted in only a 7% drain compared to the 20-25% I was getting with betas 3 and 4.
Yes, so far:
- Stand / motion tracking problems seem to be gone.
- Workout based automations fire as intended.
- Mask unlock is superfast now. Almost instant
- Calories still seem to go lower than what they should be for any given activity.

Edit: Comparing my daily walking commute with past ones prior to 7.4 betas, calories actually seem to be parallel however I can’t say for sure until I jog for a full long course over the weekend.
 
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CusmaR

macrumors newbie
Mar 17, 2021
6
0
I updated to this but I still have a problem, don't know if I'm the only one?
As soon as I start a training on my Series 6 GPS my dot in Apple Maps, Google maps, etc. stops moving, both on the apple watch and iPhone 12 PM, if I paus the workout the dot catches up and it works just fine but as soon as I resume it's stuck again.

Also had problems with the workout map not working great, with dotted lines etc. Didn't have time today to test that out today I only enabled training to see if the map bug was still there.

I've factory reset both phone and watch multiple times with no luck, have had the problem since 4.4 (that's when I got the watch).
 

Johnny907

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2014
1,447
2,412
I updated to this but I still have a problem, don't know if I'm the only one?
As soon as I start a training on my Series 6 GPS my dot in Apple Maps, Google maps, etc. stops moving, both on the apple watch and iPhone 12 PM, if I paus the workout the dot catches up and it works just fine but as soon as I resume it's stuck again.

Also had problems with the workout map not working great, with dotted lines etc. Didn't have time today to test that out today I only enabled training to see if the map bug was still there.

I've factory reset both phone and watch multiple times with no luck, have had the problem since 4.4 (that's when I got the watch).
This is what mine was doing previously, but this update fixed it. Also running a Series 6 GPS. I’d hoped that this update would fix the issue for everyone, sorry you’re still having issues. Best thing to do is keep using the bug reporting tool.
 

CusmaR

macrumors newbie
Mar 17, 2021
6
0
This is what mine was doing previously, but this update fixed it. Also running a Series 6 GPS. I’d hoped that this update would fix the issue for everyone, sorry you’re still having issues. Best thing to do is keep using the bug reporting tool.
Oh okay! Then there's a hope for me too, I'll wait for another update, I'm tired of resetting my watch to then have to re-add my bonus cards at the store :)
 

Rozellev

macrumors newbie
Mar 24, 2021
1
0
The last beta was horrible had apple support emailing me many times to find out what was going on with it. Had me install monitoring software so they could check, emailed me today about the new beta.
 

urbncwby

macrumors newbie
Oct 14, 2012
8
3
After jogging a full 10 km course, I can confirm that calorie calculations on my s4 watch are now correct like pre beta 3. This release is so ready for RC now.
 

CusmaR

macrumors newbie
Mar 17, 2021
6
0
This is what mine was doing previously, but this update fixed it. Also running a Series 6 GPS. I’d hoped that this update would fix the issue for everyone, sorry you’re still having issues. Best thing to do is keep using the bug reporting tool.
Does your still work? I updated to beta 6 and it worked flawlessly my first walk, then back to stuck again.
 
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