The Apple Watch has grown into one of the most iconic symbols of wearables over the years and has made a leap from a techie status symbol with its continued updates for the last six years.
On Monday, Apple is conducting the fourth beta of an upcoming watchOS 7.4 update to its developers for testing purposes. The Cupertino-based company stated that the new watchOS update will roll out in early spring, which may be on March 20.
Apple Watch Beta Test for watchOS 7.4 Features
MacRumors reported that Apple developers are working on the new watchOS 7.4 test. Users need to download the proper configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once the profile is in place, users can then download the watchOS 7.4 beta through the dedicated Apple Watch app on their iPhone by going to General settings, then clicking Software update.
Users should note that to update their Apple Watch, the device must have 50 percent battery life or more to install the update properly and be charged and placed near the iPhone.
The new version of the Apple Watch comes with new features. The watch can now open an iPhone with Face ID turned on when users are wearing a mask, removing the need to enter a passcode to unlock the handheld device. This feature is handy as we are in times of trouble due to COVID-19.
The new Apple Watch feature on the authenticated Face ID iPhones is similar to unlocking a Mac that users can enable in the Settings app under Face ID & Passcode.
It is also important to note that the new Apple Watch unlock feature is only for mask usage and cannot be used to authenticate Apple Pay or App Store purchases and unlock apps that require a Face ID scan. When the Apple Watch unlocks the iPhone, users can feel a tap on their wrist and will receive a notification on their smartwatch, similarly to how it works on the Mac.
Besides that, Apple Watch owners who users Apple Fitness+ can combine the iOS 14.5 for iPhones and iPadOS 14.5 updates to the watchOS 7.4, enabling AirPlay 2 for the fitness app to stream workouts to an AirPlay 2-enabled TV or set-top box. However, Apple Watch metrics do not show up on the TV screen but can be viewed on their iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV.
Apple Still Reigns as Top Sellers of Tech Wearables
iMore reported that Apple Watch was the top of the market for the most wearable device purchased in the fourth quarter of 2020, based from the new data collected from the IDC. According to Jitesh Ubrani, Research Manager of IDC Moblie Device Trackers, smartwatches had a rise in sales last year, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic.
Ubrani said that the pandemic has been good to the wearable market. It put health and fitness first in the hand of many consumer's minds, and home fitness programs quickly became a crucial component of smartwatches. Ubrani continued that the added features on the wearables such as ECG, skin temperature, and heart rate tracking enable users and health professionals to understand the onset and tracking of diseases better.
Meanwhile, the Apple Watch 6 is currently on sale in Amazon for only $374 that was previously $399, offering a 25 percent discount. Alongside the Apple Watch 6 are the Apple Watch 3 with GPS-enabled for only $169 and the Apple Watch SE with GPS at $259 on Walmart.