How to download watchOS 11 beta

watchOS 11
(Image credit: Apple)
WWDC 2024

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

1. iOS 18what's next for iPhone?
2.
iPadOS 18 — will Apple finally unleash the power of iPad?
3.
macOS 15 — what's new for Mac?
4. Apple Intelligence — what will it be able to do?

watchOS 11 was announced at WWDC 2024 on June 10, with Apple unveiling a minor software update to the Apple Watch for this year.

Although, being able to finally set rest days to keep your Activity streaks going, could be reason enough to look into updating to this new version.

If you're thinking of taking the plunge, remember that your iPhone also has to update to iOS 18. You can find out how to do that right here. Once you've done that, read on and find out how you can update your Apple Watch to watchOS 11 beta.

watchOS 11 beta is here and you can install it now

Beta software, also referred to as a preview, seed, or release candidate, is a version of software that’s still under development and not yet released to the public. This software is intended only for installation on development devices registered under your Apple Developer Program membership. Registered development devices can be upgraded to future beta releases and the public version of the software. Attempting to install beta software in an unauthorized manner violates Apple policy and could render your device unusable and necessitate an out-of-warranty repair. Make sure to back up your devices before installing beta software and install only on devices and systems that you’re prepared to erase if necessary.

watchOS 11 brings some great new additions to your Apple Watch without the need to purchase a new device. Live Activities come to the Watch, which allows you to get up-to-date information right from a widget in Smart Stack. This means you'll be able to track your food delivery with GrubHub, follow the arrival of an Uber, or check up on live flight information with United Airlines, directly from your wrist. Another big feature is rest days. You can finally pause a streak within the Fitness app! This can be very useful if you've had an injury, for example, keeping you from doing a workout.

How to download and install watchOS 11 developer beta

Installing watchOS 11 on your Apple Watch is incredibly simple. So simple in fact that you can do it in just a few easy steps. 

  1. Open Apple Watch app
  2. Tap General, then Software Update
  3. Enable Beta Updates
  4. Select watchOS 11 developer beta 1

That's all there is to it. Your Apple Watch will now update to the latest operating system. The process may take a little while to download and install, but you can keep going about your day until the installation process begins.

How to download and install watchOS 11 public beta 1

The watchOS 11 public beta is not currently available but we expect to see the first iteration in a few weeks. The process is identical to the developer beta installation, bearing in mind that iOS 18 must be installed on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap General, then Software Update
  3. Enable Beta Updates
  4. Select iOS 18 public beta 1
  5. Open Apple Watch app
  6. Tap General, then Software Update
  7. Enable Beta Updates
  8. Select watchOS 11 public beta 1

The wonders of watchOS 11 await

It's not just Live Activities and the ability to have rest days that are new in watchOS 11. The new Vitals app uses the built-in sensors of your watch and the data they all produce to create a more detailed picture of your health. Apple Watch can see what's happening with your heart rate, respiratory rate, wrist temperature, sleep duration, and blood oxygen. This way, it can give you a better idea of the state of your health. Vitals will also alert you when certain levels aren't within their normal operation.

It's worth noting that despite the availability of these betas, you should never install a watchOS beta on your primary device and we advise against doing so. If you're adamant that you want to give the new features ago, we recommend waiting until the first public beta where bugs and major issues have usually been ironed out. 

Follow WWDC 2024 as it happened. Check out our roundups for all the latest on the newly announced iOS 18iPadOS 18macOS 15watchOS 11visionOS 2, and Apple Intelligence.

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.