The year usually starts off quite slowly for Apple releases. New products are typically not revealed or released until March or April, and we don’t see anything to suggest that 2022 will be different. That leaves software and services to carry the weight in the early months, and most of the big software releases tend to be big features that were announced in the prior year but weren’t part of the initial big iOS or macOS release in the fall.
That’s the situation we find ourselves in as we start 2022. There isn’t much to look forward to for new hardware (yet) and the software and services releases are not exactly barn burners. Here’s what we expect from Apple in January 2022.
Rumored new products
The rumor mill is buzzing about some possible spring releases, like a new iPhone SE and MacBook Air. But none of them is expected to be announced in January (or February for that matter).
In other words, don’t expect any new hardware products to launch in January and possibly not until spring. In 2021, Apple’s first hardware release wasn’t until its “Spring Loaded” event on April 20, so it could be a long wait.
Quarterly earnings report
Apple’s first fiscal quarter of 2022 ended on December 31, and Apple will likely announce the results of the three-month period beginning October 1, 2021, in late January. Apple reported its year-ago first-quarter results on Jan 27, 2021, with record revenue of $111.4 billion and is expected to eclipse that number.
Apps and software updates
Apple released iOS 15.2 and macOS 12.1 in December and quickly began beta-testing the next updates. We think those will probably leave beta and enter general release in January.
iOS 15.3: The third point release of iOS 15 doesn’t have any obvious new features in its first beta release, so it might be just bug fixes and security updates.
iPadOS 15.3: As with iOS 15.3, there are no obvious new features in the early betas, but we’re hoping that Apple adds Universal Control before release.
macOS 12.2: We’re still waiting on that awesome Universal Control feature, which isn’t evident in the first beta releases of macOS 12.2. But there are new Music and TV apps that use AppKit views instead of web views, making them far faster and more responsive.
El Deafo: A three-part animated series for kids and families that follows a child named Cece as she loses her hearing and finds her inner superhero. Premieres on January 7.
Wild Things: Siegfried and Roy: Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and journalist Steven Leckart goes behind the velvet curtain to reveal shocking moments, surprising details, and hidden truths about two men who were lionized by millions of fans, lampooned by the media, criticized by animal welfare advocates, and endlessly scrutinized by the public. Premieres on January 12.
The Tragedy of Macbeth: This drama is the latest film by celebrated director Joel Coen, starring Denzel Washington and Francis McDormand. Premieres on January 14.
Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock: After producing a few shorts (Fraggle Rock: Rock On!), Apple has struck a deal with the Jim Henson Company to produce a full reboot of the classic kids’ show. Premieres on January 21.
Servant (season 3): The third season of this psychological thriller series produced by M. Night Shyamalan. Premieres on January 21.
The Afterparty: A comedy murder-mystery set in a high school reunion afterparty. Each of the eight episodes will feature a retelling of the same night told through a different character’s perspective, each with its own unique visual format and film genre to match the teller’s personality. Premieres on January 28.
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. Many games are released with no forewarning, but you’ll often see a couple of projects listed in the Coming Soon section. Some have release dates, but most seem to launch by surprise. Games with a “+” at the end are titles that have already been released in the App Store but are just getting a new version (without ads or microtransactions) in Apple Arcade.
Here are the titles in the Coming Soon section, some of which should launch in January.
Spades: Card Game+: The popular card game on mobile, with online multiplayer support.
Hearts: Card Game+: Just like the Spades game, but it’s Hearts!
Crashlands+: A fighting and crafting action-RPG first released to the App Store in 2016.
Nickelodeon Extreme Tennis: Play wacky action tennis with characters from popular Nickelodeon shows, like Spongebob, Arnold, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
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I have written professionally about technology for my entire adult professional life - over 20 years. I like to figure out how complicated technology works and explain it in a way anyone can understand.