We don’t often see much in the way of new releases from Apple in December. We’ve been surprised before (AirPods Max were released on December 15) but there aren’t even any rumors of new hardware for the holidays.
That means December will have the sorts of things we get every month from Apple: new operating system releases, Apple TV+ shows and movies, and Apple Arcade games. Here’s the breakdown of Apple releases for December.
New hardware releases
Apple rarely releases any new hardware in December. The only new product we can remember launching during the last month of the year is the AirPods Max in 2020. Apple has also used December to ship products announced to ship “before the end” of a specific year (such as the iMac Pro), but we don’t have any of those this year.
There aren’t even any rumors of new Apple hardware coming before the end of the year so the chance of a surprise is extremely low. In fact, the earliest we expect to see new Apple hardware will be in the spring (likely March) when Apple will likely launch a new M3 Mac mini and iPad mini, reveal the launch date for the Apple Vision Pro headset, and maybe more.
Apps and software updates
We just got the iOS 17.1.2 and macOS 14.1.2 bugfix-and-security update before the month is done.The big releases for December will be iOS 17.2, macOS 14.2, and watchOS 10.2.
Beta testing for the next point release (iOS 17.3 et al.) will likely begin in December, but its final release will likely come in January.
iOS 17.2: This is a big release, adding the Journal app, spatial video recording on iPhone 15 Pro (for viewing on the upcoming Apple Vision Pro), live activities for the News app, a new Translate option for the Action button, collaborative playlists in Apple Music, Siri access to Health data, and more.
iPadOS 17.2: Most of the same features as iOS 17.2 that would not be specific to iPhone, with one exception: Apple’s Journal app does not exist on iPad.
macOS Sonoma 14.2: This big update for macOS adds collaborative Apple Music playlists, a new Favorites music playlist, Messages stickers reactions, iMessage Contact Key Verification, and more.
tvOS 17.2: A few tweaks like a category sidebar in the TV app and a new Add button on preroll trailers.
watchOS 10.2: Once again lets you swipe to change watch faces (it’s an option in Settings > Clock) and adds the ability to access Health data with Siri.
Here are the shows, series, and movies we expect to release on Apple TV+ in December. If you want to know what’s coming later, check our full guide to upcoming Apple TV+ content.
John Lennon: Murder Without A Trial: For the first time, key figures from John Lennon’s life and death—including friends, doctors and investigators—share personal memories and reveal what happened on the night of his killing. December 6
The Family Plan: Dan Morgan was once an elite government assassin. Now decades later, he lives a quiet suburban family life. When enemies from his past track him down, he packs his unsuspecting wife, angsty teen daughter, pro-gamer teen son, and 10-month-old baby into their minivan on a cross-country vacation trip to Las Vegas. December 15
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.
Turmoil+: A tongue-in-cheek game about the 19th-century oil rush in North America December 5
Puzzle & Dragons Story: A match-3 puzzle game with RPG elements. December 5
Sonic Dream Team: A big 3D adventure/runner with all the Sonic characters. December 5
Disney Dreamlight Valley (Arcade Edition): Includes the base game and A Rift in Time expansion for this sim/adventure. December 5