December is typically a slow month for Apple. There are rarely any significant new hardware releases, and those that are typically are announced and preordered earlier, with December delivery dates.
The most significant new Apple releases in December tend to be operating system updates. We get iOS, iPadOS, and macOS updates near the end of the year that often add significant new features that simply weren’t ready for their initial release a few months earlier. That’s true 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 of 2022.
New hardware releases: Probably not
There’s no announced hardware launching in December. Everything announced for the year has already shipped, and everything rumored (like new Macs) is expected in March at the earliest.
We’ve been here before, though. Two years ago, the AirPods Max headphones were announced by surprise in December with a direct-to-web release and no event. At the time, there were vague rumors of Apple working on over-the-ear headphones, but nobody expected a release right before the holidays. Apple also announced that the original AirPods were available for sale in December 2016 and the iMac Pro in 2017, so December is no stranger to important announcements.
So while we think December is likely to be devoid of new hardware releases, when it comes to Apple, you can never be sure!
Apps and software updates
However, we are nearly certain that new software is on the way this month. Apple has been testing its latest iOS, iPadOS, and macOS updates since late October, and we expect them to go out to everyone before the end of the year.
iOS 16.2: We expect iOS 16.2 to launch probably in 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 and more reliable architecture for the Home app.
iPadOS 16.2: iPadOS gets the same features that iOS does (where relevant–there are no lock screen widgets, for example), and brings back external display support for Stage Manager 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 will recognize individual user’s 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 does include the new Freeform app, just like 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 our full guide to upcoming Apple TV+ content.
Slow Horses (season 2): Continuation of the darkly comedic British spy drama starring Gary Oldman. December 2
Little America (season 2): An anthology of immigrant stories, telling the personal tales of those who come to America from somewhere else. December 9
Emancipation: Will Smith plays Peter, a runaway slave in Louisiana who has to evade capture as he makes his way to the North, where he joins the Union Army. December 9
Puppy Place (season 2): Charles and Lizzie Peterson have found the perfect way to foster their love of dogs — literally. The siblings take on the tough but rewarding task of fostering puppies and finding their forever homes. With every new pup, a new adventure begins. December 9
Apple releases new games to Apple Arcade on Fridays, but not every Friday is marked by a new game or significant update. Check our Apple Arcade FAQ for a full list of Apple Arcade games and more details on the service. Some games are released with no forewarning, but you’ll often see several projects listed in the Coming Soon section. These are the releases we know of so far.
Dead Cells+: A top-notch roguelike side-scrolling action game comes to Apple Arcade. December 2
JellyCar Worlds: The classic driving/drawing puzzle platforming game is back. December 9
My Little Pony: Mane Merge: Play minigames and merge items in this family-friendly puzzle game. December 16