Apple’s recent WWDC opening keynote saw the arrival of a raft of new beta software releases. The much anticipated iOS 13, the new iPadOS 13, macOS 10.15, and watchOS 6 were all shown off, and new betas released as well.
Developers can install the betas now, and while some non-developers may have ways of doing it we’d warn against it. Especially in the case of watchOS.
The reason for that is simple. If you upgrade to a beta of other software releases and experience problems, you can always downgrade to an older, public release and carry on. With the Apple Watch and watchOS, that simply isn’t possible.
To date, Apple hasn’t offered any mechanism for downgrading an Apple Watch from one version of watchOS to another. It’s not just a beta thing, it’s a watchOS thing and it’s the way things have been since day one.
That means anyone who upgrades to watchOS 6, whether beta or not, won’t be able to downgrade to watchOS 5.x if they find that there are more problems than the update is worth. And knowing watchOS betas, we’re pretty sure there will be plenty of problems to deal with.
As always, our suggestion is to avoid installing watchOS 6 while it’s working its way through the beta channels. Apple will make it available to everyone later this year, but until then, don’t install it unless you’re a developer who needs to take their apps for a spin.
If you do find yourself with an Apple Watch that needs to be downgraded, our only suggestion there would be to take it to an Apple Store and cross your fingers. We’ve heard of stores downgrading watches, but your mileage may vary.
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