Apple is continuing to fine tune the upcoming watchOS update for Apple Watch ahead of the software update’s release this fall, and now registered developers can test their apps against the latest build as watch OS 2 beta 5 is now available.

The watchOS 2 update allows developers to build native (read faster) apps that do not rely as much on the iPhone for processing power, third-party complications or widgets for the watch face, and closer access to hardware like heart rate sensor data and more. For consumers, watchOS 2 adds new features like Nightstand Mode, using photos or albums as a watch face, and various app refinements.

The last watchOS 2 beta notably added support for colored complications including Activity with increased legibility on certain watch faces including Utility and Modular. We’ll explore the latest watchOS 2 beta to find other new changes coming this fall, and let us know if you discover any differences between the last beta as well.

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  • Currently available via the Developer Center
  • watchOS 2 beta 5 features build label 13S5325c
  • Reminder: Updating watchOS 2 beta requires iOS 9 and Apple Watch to be on charger with at least 50% battery
  • New ‘Quick Play’ button in Music, behaves like a Shuffle All Songs button with easier access

watchOS 2 Music Quick Play

  • Redesigned and more functional Now Playing screen, the Now Playing glance has been updated to match, includes volume level indicator
  • New setting to have screen remain on for 70 seconds, was previously capped out at 15 seconds

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  • Modular watch face now contains color labels

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  • Time Lapse watch face now includes Paris, much less jarring effect now

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  • Overall responsiveness and performance is improved
  • Now Playing glance shows app source that’s playing audio, like Podcasts for example

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