Apple’s second beta of watchOS 4 is rolling out to developers. The new operating system brings a number of changes across the platform including an app list navigation, and new text UIs throughout. We’ve gone in-depth with over 50 of the changes watchOS 4 brings.

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watchOS 4 is Apple’s latest upcoming operating system for its wearable. While the changes may not be as drastic as iOS 11’s, the new enhancements are welcome updates.

Here are a few of the key differences in watchOS 4 we’ve covered thus far:

As with any of these betas, we urge caution before installing, and with watchOS 4 in particular because there isn’t a way to downgrade to watchOS 3 if something goes wrong.

From the watchOS 4 beta 2 release notes:

General

Resolved Issues

• The Toy Story watch faces are now available. Toy Story is copyright © Disney/Pixar.

Apple Pay

Known Issues

• When attempting to add multiple cards during the pairing process, only the last added card will be properly provisioned. (32624044)

Workaround: Once pairing is complete, go to the Watch app on iPhone and remove previously added cards. Once removed, re-add additional cards as desired.

Breathe

Resolved Issues

• Breathe notification preferences are now respected. (32298347)

CloudKit

Known Issues

  • CloudKit does not support unsigned long long values with the high-order bit set. (30567424)
  • ApplicationsthatuseCKModifyRecordsOperationshouldspecifyanappropriate value for CKModifyRecordsOperation.isAtomic. If your client is compiled against watchOS 4, operations enqueued against the default CKRecordZone have new behavior because atomic is true by default. If the operation hits a “preflight” failure (most commonly, a network issue uploading a CKAsset, or a malformed CKRecord), the entire operation is canceled. (30838858)Core MediaResolved Issues

    • Haptics now play for frontmost apps. (32139107)

    Dictation

    Known Issues

    • Some languages are not available for Dictation on watchOS, including the newly released Shanghainese dictation. (32235495)

    Foundation

    New Features

  • AddedaschedulingAPItoURLSessionTaskthatallowsbackgroundURLSession clients to schedule tasks in the future, enabling easy background app refresh semantics for apps, watchOS complications, and more. The API also allows developers to update requests before transmission to address cases where the request has become stale when scheduled in the future. Additions include the earliestBeginDate, countOfBytesClientExpectsToSend, and countOfBytesClientExpectsToReceive properties of URSessionTask, and the URLSession:task:willBeginDelayedRequest:completionHandler method of URLSessionTaskDelegate protocol. (27866330)
  • URLSessionTask adopts the ProgressReporting protocol providing a consistent mechanism for URLSession clients to track the progress of URLSessionTask using the new progress property. (30834550)
  • AddedanAdaptableConnectivityAPItoURLSessionthatenablestaskstoautomatically monitor and wait for satisfactory network connectivity, instead of immediately failing with an error when connectivity is unsatisfactory. Additions include the waitsForConnectivity property of URLSessionConfiguration and the

URLSession:taskIsWaitingForConnectivity: method of the URLSessionTaskDelegate protocol.

• Added support for HTTP brotli content encoding to URLSession. By defaueslt, HTTP requests contain a br value (in addition to gzip and deflate) for the Accept-Encoding HTTP header, informing the web server that the user agent supports brotli encoding. The web server can send an HTTP body with Content-Encoding: br in the HTTP header to indicate that the content is brotli-encoded. URLSession automatically decompresses the HTTP body data and pass the decoded data back to the client in the same way it does for Content-Encoding: gzip. For binary compatibility reasons, URLSession brotli support is enabled only for apps built using the watchOS 4 SDK. (27724985)

HealthKit

Resolved Issues

  • Pressing the Side Button and Digital Crown pauses an active workout session even if the the app is not in the foreground. (30199786)
  • Attempting to finish a workout route when no location data is inserted no longer throws an exception. (32307523)Known Issues• To track location in the background while a user is in a workout session, add UIBackgroundModes/location in the Info.plist file. (29483437)

    HomeKit

    Resolved Issues

    • Location-based automation triggers now work if triggered from the alert on Apple Watch. (32288709)

    Messages

    Known Issues

    • Messages may fail to send when responding to Activity notifications. (32294875)

    Music

    Resolved Issues

    • Music tracks now play from and sync to Apple Watch. (32314271)

    Known Issues

  • Apple Watch must be on its charger for Music tracks to sync. (31818127)
  • Deleting a playlist or album in the Apple Watch app will cause the app to crash and your selection will remain on your Apple Watch. (32624529)
  • Love and Dislike options are missing for locally synced music on Apple Watch. (30845293)

Phone

New Issues

• Phone calls using Apple Watch that exceed 30 seconds may fail. (32659453)

Pairing

Known Issues

  • Backups only trigger when the user unpairs their watch. If the user erases their iOS 11 iPhone without unpairing their watch first, there will not be a backup to restore. (32358338)Workaround: Before erasing iPhone, go to the Watch app, choose My Watch, and unpair your Apple Watch.
  • Alarms are lost when migrating to watchOS 4. (31285349)SettingsResolved Issues
  • In Settings > Bluetooth, additional devices such as the paired iPhone no longer show as Not Connected. (32314078)
  • Permissions on Apple Watch are now reset when a user resets location and privacy using Settings > General > Reset > Reset Location & Privacy on iPhone. (32393123)SiriKnown Issues

    • Siri requests may fail in the iOS and watchOS simulators. (31971229)

    • Siri may not play music that has been synced to Apple Watch. (31964674)

    SiriKit

    Resolved Issues

    • SiriKit requests no longer fail with a “Sorry I can’t do that” error. (32305639) • watchOS apps from TestFlight or the App Store now work with SiriKit. (32387616) • SiriKit requests on watchOS no longer fail with a Continue in App error. (32355820)

    WatchKit

    Resolved Issues

  • Anon-autoplayingWKInterfaceInlineMovienowworks.(32168160)
  • WKInterfaceInlineMovie objects now pause when moving an app to thebackground. (31872332)Known Issues

    • Automatic display of attachments in default WatchKit Notification interfaces do not work. (31589086)

Workout

Known Issues

  • You may experience inaccurate distance measurements for Pool Swim workouts. (32816933)
  • Pressing the Side Button and Digital Crown pauses an active workout session even if the app is not in the foreground. (30199786)
  • Workout sessions may be slow to start and they may fail to update with calorie and distance measurements. (32313252)Workaround: Call HKWorkoutRouteBuilder finishRouteWithWorkout:Metadata: only when some location data has been inserted to the builder.Xcode

    Resolved Issues

    • Building and running a Watch app from Xcode your app now installs, launches, and attaches. (32180669)

    Known Issues

    • Crashlogs may take a few minutes to sync and be visible in Xcode. (31156191)

We’ll be digging into watchOS 4 beta 2 over the next day, but if you discover anything be sure to let us know in the comments below!


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