There's no doubt about it: Apple's releases are starting to wind
down for the year. We think all the significant hardware coming
this year is out now, and even the Apple TV+ shows are slowing to a
trickle. We'll probably get new iOS and macOS updates in December,
along with a handful of Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ releases. These
are all the things we think Apple might release in December.
Rumored new products
November releases from Apple were non-existent, unless you don't
count the Beat Fit Pro from Apple's Beats brand. With just
four weeks left until Christmas, it would seem like Apple's done
with product announcements. However, Apple's has surprised us
before, more recently with last year's AirPods Max.
AirPods Max colors: It's been nearly a year
since Apple launched its luxury over-the-ear AirPods, and while we're not
expecting a new model just yet, we've heard rumors that new colors could be on the way. That would give
Apple's most expensive AirPods a boost just as the holiday shopping
season kicks into high gear.
AirPods Pro: New AirPods Pro seem even less
likely than new AirPods Max colors, but there have been strong rumors about a redesigned second-generation
model on the way for months. And retailers were running
something of a fire sale on AirPods over Black Friday
weekend, so you never know.
Apps and software
We thought Apple might release iOS 15.2 and macOS 12.1 in
November, but it didn't quite get there. It seems very likely it
will come early in December, with a beta of iOS 15.3 and macOS 12.2
following shortly after.
iOS 15.2: Apple is already testing the third
beta of iOS 15.2, which adds the App Privacy Report,
macro camera changes, Legacy Contacts, and more.
iPadOS 15.2: This update adds the same features
as iOS 15.2 (except for the macro mode camera stuff).
macOS 12.1: The first update for macOS Monterey
adds SharePlay and several bug fixes. But arguably the best
feature, Universal Control, is still missing. We don't
expect it until macOS 12.2, and are starting to wonder if it won't
slip to 2022 (Apple still says it's coming this fall, but there are
only three weeks left until winter).
There were a lot of releases on Apple TV+ in November, but
December is pretty thin, with only two new programs on offer. Check
our list of upcoming AppleTV+ shows, series, and
movies for everything on the horizon.
Mariah's Christmas: The Magic Continues:
Another big Mariah Carey musical Christmas special with lots of
special guests and musical artists. Streams on December 3.
Snoopy Presents: For Auld Lang Syne: After Lucy
experiences a disappointing Christmas because her Grandma couldn't
visit, she resolves to throw the best New Year's Eve party ever for
the entire Peanuts gang, while Charlie Brown struggles to
accomplish just one of his resolutions before the clock strikes
twelve. Streams on December 10.
Swan Song: A film starring Mahershala Ali and
Naomi Harris. Set in the near future, Cameron is a loving husband
and father who is expecting his second child with his wife Poppy.
When diagnosed with a terminal illness, he is presented with an
alternative solution by his doctor to shield his family from grief.
Streams December 17.
The Shrink Next Door: Episodes 6-8 of the Paul
Rudd and Will Farrell airing on December 3, 10, and 17.
Dr. Brain: The Kim Jee-woon sci-fi series
concludes with episodes 5 and 6 on December 2 and 9.
Invasion: The sci-fi starring Sam Neill
concludes on December 10.
Apple will also stream special holiday episodes of the
children's series Get Rolling with Otis and
Stillwater on December 3.
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 December.
Dandara: Trials of Fear+: A unique metroidvania
side-scrolling action game first released to the App Store in
Oddmar+: An Apple Design Award 2018 Winner,
Oddmar marries physics puzzles and platforming in this
Splitter Critters+: A unique puzzle game first
released in 2017. Split the world with a swipe and then shift and
rearrange it to guide the critters.
Disney Melee Mania: An Arcade exclusive brawler
featuring lots of Disney and Pixar characters.