Apple today seeded the first betas of watchOS 7.4, the upcoming version of the watchOS software designed to run on the Apple Watch, and tvOS 14.5, the update designed to run on fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. The betas come just two days after Apple released watchOS 7.2 and tvOS 14.2.
The watchOS 7.4 beta can be installed on an Apple Watch with the proper configuration profile installed, via the Watch app on the device’s attached iPhone. Go to “General” -> “Software Update” to install the new software. The Watch should have at least 50% battery life, be connected to a charger, and be in the range of the iPhone.
watchOS 7.4 is compatible with Apple Watch Series 3, Apple Watch Series 4, or Apple Watch Series 5 paired with iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14 or later.
A new “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature that allows an iPhone running iOS 14.5 (which saw its first beta release today) to use an unlocked and authenticated Apple Watch running watchOS 7.4 as a secondary authentication method. This will come in handy for users who need to authenticate while in public and wearing a mask. This feature must be enabled in the Settings app on the iPhone by going to Face ID & Passcode and toggling on “Unlock with Apple Watch.”
The tvOS 14.5 beta is compatible with fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. The new beta can be downloaded to a compatible Apple TV that has the proper profile installed. The public beta is also available.
When tvOS 14.5 is released to the public, Apple will begin enforcing its App Tracking Transparency privacy feature. App Tracking Transparency will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Under Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track and make changes as they see fit.
Users will see prompts that include options to “Allow Tracking” or “Ask App not to Track” when opening apps that wish to track their activity. While developers have been allowed to voluntarily add the tracking prompt to their iOS 14 apps by using the App Tracking Transparency framework. However, it has not been required and few apps have implemented the prompt voluntarily.
When a user selects “Ask App not to Track,” the app will be blocked from accessing the user’s IDFA. The developer is also required to respect the user’s tracking preference overall and is not allowed to use other methods to track the user. Developers that violate the app tracking rules could see their app removed from the App Store.
As usual, MacTrast and Apple both warn users to not install any betas on their daily driver Apple Watch or Apple TV, instead only install betas on a device set aside for testing purposes.