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4 Reasons Not to Install watchOS 5 Beta & 3 Reasons To

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The watchOS 5 beta allows brave users to try the new Apple Watch features out well ahead of the public release date later this year. Starting in June Apple delivered a watchOS 5 beta to developers, but you can install it without a developer account. We’ll help you decide if you should install the watchOS 5 beta on your Apple Watch, or if you should hold off until the public release date this fall.

While Apple offers developer and public betas for iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, they only offer a developer watchOS 5 beta. This limits the overall access, but it is still possible to install the beta without paying to be an Apple Developer. If you do this, you may lose support if you run into Apple Watch problems.

The new watchOS 5 release date is set for fall, alongside tons of new iOS 12 features. The update includes many new Apple Watch features including a new Walkie Talkie mode, Activity competitions, updates to workouts, new running features for serious runners, support for Apple Podcasts, improved notifications, a smarter Siri and you can even store your Student ID on the Apple Watch.

watchOS 5 Beta: Should You Install?

With all these new features, there are some good reasons to try the watchOS 5 beta, but there are also a number of important reasons to hold off. We’ll share the most important things you need to know about the watchOS 5 beta and help you decide if you should install it by sharing the reasons to, and not to install the beta on your Apple Watch.

If you’re used to installing the iOS 12 beta or the macOS Mojave beta, this is not the same. Unlike those betas, there is not an easy way for you to downgrade if you have problems. If you aren’t an Apple Developer you might not even be able to downgrade. This makes it a much bigger decision.

With that in mind, you will want make sure you are ready, and that you are sure you want to install the watchOS 5 beta before you start.

Don't Install Because There is No Downgrade

Don't Install Because There is No Downgrade

Apple does support a watchOS 5 beta downgrade to watchOS 4, if you are a developer. But you need to coordinate with Apple and send your Apple Watch back for repair. If you are not a developer, you may be completely out of luck, and need to pay for a replacement or for an AppleCare+ incident. 

While the other Apple betas support a user accessible downgrade path, there is nothing you can do to downgrade from the watchOS 5 beta to a stable release. 

Apple already pulled watchOS 5 beta 1 due to problems during the update process, which may mean that some users bricked their Apple Watch while updating.  

If you think you will want to use a stable version of your Apple Watch between now and the fall, you should skip the beta, and stick to trying out features on iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. 

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