December is usually a slow month for Apple. Major new hardware releases are rare, and those are usually announced and pre-ordered earlier, with December delivery dates.
The main Apple releases in December tend to be operating system updates. Towards the end of the year, we receive iOS, iPadOS, and macOS updates that often add significant new features that just weren’t ready for their initial release a few months earlier. That applies again this year with iOS/iPadOS 16.2 and macOS Ventura 13.1. And of course, now that Apple is also a big services company with a constant content push, you can expect releases for Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade, as well as holiday and year-end content in places like Apple Music.
Here’s what’s on the way from Apple in December 2022.
New hardware versions: Probably not
There is no announced hardware launch in December. Everything announced for the year has already shipped, and anything rumored (like new Macs) isn’t expected until March at the earliest.
But we’ve been here before. Two years ago, the AirPods Max headphones were surprisingly announced in December with a direct-to-web release and no event. There were vague rumors back then that Apple was working on over-the-ear headphones, but nobody expected a release right before the holidays. Apple also announced that the original AirPods went on sale in December 2016 and the iMac Pro in 2017, so December is no stranger to major announcements.
So while we think December will likely be without new hardware releases, when it comes to Apple you can never be sure!
Apps and software updates
However, we’re almost certain that new software will be on the way this month. Apple has been testing its latest iOS, iPadOS, and macOS updates since late October, and we expect they’ll be available to everyone before the end of the year.
iOS16.2: We expect iOS 16.2 to launch around the first or second week of December. It adds the ability to disable the always-on-display wallpaper on iPhone 14 Pro, the Freeform app, new lock screen widgets, and a new, faster, more reliable architecture for the Home app.
iPad OS 16.2: iPadOS gets the same features as iOS (where relevant – there are no lock screen widgets, for example) and brings back external display support for Stage Managers in iPads with an M1 or M2 chip.
tvOS 16.2: The new Home architecture is included in this release, as is a new Siri recognition feature that recognizes individual users’ voices (similar to HomePod).
macOS Ventura 13.1: Most of the changes to macOS here are under the hood (like the new Home architecture), but it includes the new Freeform app, as does iOS and iPadOS.
Here are the shows, series and movies we expect to release on Apple TV+ in TK. If you want to know what’s coming later, check out our complete guide to upcoming Apple TV+ content.
Slow Horses (Season 2): Gary Oldman stars in the dark comedic British spy drama sequel. 2. December
Little America (Season 2): An anthology of immigrant stories, telling the personal stories of those who come to America from elsewhere. 9th of December
Emancipation: Will Smith plays Peter, a runaway slave in Louisiana who must evade capture on his way north to join the Union Army. 9th of December
Puppy Spot (Season 2): Charles and Lizzie Peterson have found the perfect way to encourage their love for dogs — literally. The siblings take on the difficult but rewarding task of caring for puppies and finding their permanent homes. With each new puppy begins a new adventure. 9th of December
Apple releases new games for Apple Arcade on Fridays, but not every Friday is marked by a new game or major update. For a full list of Apple Arcade games and more details about the service, see our Apple Arcade FAQ. Some games are released without warning, but you’ll often see multiple projects listed in the Upcoming section. These are the releases known to us so far.
Dead Cells+: A premium roguelike side-scrolling action game comes to Apple Arcade. 2. December
JellyCar Worlds: The classic drive/draw puzzle platformer is back. 9th of December
My Little Pony: Mane Blend: Play mini-games and match items in this family-friendly puzzle game. December 16th