Are you brave enough to take the watchOS 7 public beta for a spin?

Apple Watch watchOS 7
Apple Watch watchOS 7 (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple released the very first watchOS public beta yesterday.
  • There is no way to downgrade, just like the developer beta.
  • That means you're out of luck if something goes wrong.

Yesterday saw the release of the first watchOS beta to ever grace the public beta program. The developer beta was the only way to test watchOS out before public releases prior to watchOS 7 – but it brings with it the same problems that developers have been dealing with for years. Mainly, there's no way to downgrade.

That, in turn, means you're very much out of luck if something goes wrong. I'd been expecting a change in the way watchOS betas are delivered after Apple announced a public beta was coming at its WWDC event in June. When public iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14 betas arrived and watchOS 7 didn't, I again thought it might be because Apple wanted to make sure it had a downgrade path ready. But no. If your Apple Watch goes awry with watchOS 7 installed, you're going to have to get Apple to sort it out.

And Apple Stores can't do it, by the way. It's going to go to Apple Apple. Not Apple Store Apple.

The watchOS public beta updates are still in development, which means some applications and services may not work as expected, and their data may not be backwards compatible. Apple Watch content backs up automatically to your paired iPhone. You can learn more about Apple Watch backups here. Please note Apple Watch cannot be restored to previously-released OS versions once the public beta is installed.

As ever, you should only be installing beta updates on devices that you would consider spare. Most people don't have a spare Apple Watch sat waiting for situations like this, so we all know it's going to be installed on the watches that normally live on people's wrists.

With that in mind, I want to know whether you're going to be installing the watchOS 7 public beta on your own Apple Watch. I'm curious how much of a demand there is for a watchOS public beta as a whole, really.

Poll below and comments open!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.