watchOS 2 Beta 5 adds Paris timelapse, 70 second screen-on, Quick Play to Apple Watch

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After a series of relatively small beta-to-beta updates, Apple’s release today of the fifth beta of watchOS 2.0 contains a series of legitimately interesting new features. One of the additions is a brand new Timelapse watch face featuring the Eiffel Tower in Paris, bringing to six the total number of time-lapse videos, as well as a considerable change in Timelapse’s behavior.

Apple has also added a new option to keep the screen awake for 70 seconds after it’s tapped (versus a default setting of 15 seconds), and a new Quick Play feature to speed up music playback through a connected iPhone. More details on what’s new in watchOS 2.0 Beta 5 are below…

The newly-added Quick Play button in Music works like a Shuffle All Songs button, starting music playback on your iPhone without needing to dig through menus to choose a song or artist. Apple has also redesigned the Now Playing screen (and updated the Now Playing glance to match); the screens include a circular volume level indicator in the center, with “Love Song” and “Remove Song” buttons off to the sides.

watchOS 2 Music Quick Play

The Timelapse watch face now includes Paris, France, in a tranquil scene showing the Eiffel Tower to the left of the screen. Unlike prior iterations, which blasted you in the eyes with rapid-fire video, Apple has slowed all of the Timelapse displays to show a short burst of video that gradually slows down. It appears that the displays are keyed to the current time where you’re located.

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The Modular watch face now has a Multicolor label to indicate the new display mode, which was added in beta 4.

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A couple of tweaks to Workout functionality: the app has been tweaked with a new confirmation screen when you save workout data, and there’s a top-of-screen running man icon on any watch face, letting you know your workout’s being tracked. (Thanks, Hussain!)

Beta 5 also appears to be considerably more responsive than prior watchOS 2.0 betas, and at least a little of the prior haptic feedback bugginess appears to have been fixed. We’ll update this post with additional findings from the latest watchOS 2.0 beta as we find them…

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Comments

  1. How stable is the OS? is it worth trying it out now?

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      It’s a lot better than the original watchOS betas, but I will tell you with 100% certainty that if I could go back to 1.x right now, I would do so in a heartbeat.

      • roboats - 7 years ago

        Really?

      • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

        Yes. The betas have broken everything from haptic feedback to notifications to Bluetooth at various times, say nothing of battery life and various crashes, making the Watch feel (for weeks at a time) pointless to wear. I can’t recall a beta program that so completely undermined the core functionality of a product before. (Yes, I know this is a beta program and there’s always potential for issues. But between the severity of the bugs and being unable to revert back to watchOS 1.x, I would not choose to compromise a Watch again by trying betas. The iOS and OS X betas are 1000x less disruptive.)

        Each version gets like 5-10% closer to restoring the Watch to where it was before the betas began, and thankfully beta 5 is really close to being normal again. But I’ve been ready to get off the treadmill with the betas for a long time and just go back to having a working Watch with working notifications.

  2. savichmichael - 7 years ago

    Why are your options for screen wake either 15 seconds or 70? Seems a little weird.

    • galley99 - 7 years ago

      Supposedly it allows someone to run a one-minute timer without the screen turning off.

  3. Mr Creed (@MrCreed_) - 7 years ago

    taking so long to update…mine is about 7hours remaining…

  4. Andre Escobar - 7 years ago

    In the watch app(iphone), there is a new option for selecting pace

  5. Andre Escobar - 7 years ago

    New Glances view in watch app as well

  6. Craig Horsfall - 7 years ago

    Noticed in the activity status bar instead of having CAL to KJ.

  7. acslater017 - 7 years ago

    Great. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve accidentally had a “workout” go on for hours!

  8. fletchergull - 7 years ago

    There are now 20 default replies that one can set for Messages instead of only 6!
    Yay!

  9. adam (@alieb77) - 7 years ago

    really the only thing they should be working on is the bug that tracks KM as Miles when you run inside… I can’t be alone on this… I’ve been dealing with apple support since day one… the best answer I got was “we are aware of it, watchOS 2.0 is coming out so hopefully there will be a fix in there for this issue”

  10. Gary Hudson - 7 years ago

    You can use Siri to start Beats1 radio now.

  11. newmac (@newmac) - 7 years ago

    waiting to see if they fixed the wrist detection bug; which has to be turned off in order to get mail notifications; thus removing your bank card

  12. Hooman (@iHoomaan) - 7 years ago

    Missed this one: if you use Time Travel in watchOS 2 beta 5, it shows the items that can be changed and it blurs the other items that can’t be changed with Time Travel.

  13. Roshan (@roshannirmals) - 7 years ago

    Noticed that the health app on iPhone stopped updating my data from Apple Watch after updating to watchOS2 beta 5 on Aug 7. iPhone is on IOS9 beta 5.
    Tried restarting both, unpaired & re paired. No luck.
    Any fixes?