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Apple in February: Will there be more surprises before the big March … – Macworld

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Apple almost never releases major new hardware in January, and yet last month it released the Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro, MacBook Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max, and a new full-size HomePod, which began shipping on Friday, February 3, and is already back-ordered.
Apple also released significant OS updates: Apple released iOS 16.3 (and iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS…all the OSes that stay in sync with iOS) and macOS Ventura 13.2. That sort of thing is not at all unusual for January, but it’s odd that the beta releases for the very next OS updates did not begin right away. In fact, as we begin February there is still no sign of the iOS 16.4 or macOS 13.3 beta.
The latest rumors about Apple’s “Reality Pro” AR/VR headset suggest a possible unveiling at a spring event, with availability later in the year. Given that Apple’s spring events are almost always in March, and February is a shorter month anyway, we really don’t expect much to release in February. There will be a handful of new Apple TV+ shows and Apple Arcade games, and maybe a small bugfix OS point release, but nothing big is likely to happen until March.
The new Mac mini and MacBook Pros came in January without much warning or fanfare. So, while we don’t actually expect Apple to release anything in February, we could always be surprised.
There are still plenty of products we expect Apple to release in 2023, but only a few stand a chance of possibly releasing before WWDC in June. Those include an iMac updated with the M2 processor or a second-gen AirPods Max with the H2 chip and improved sound quality. The Mac Studio is due to make the jump from the M1 Max and Ultra to the M2 (along with Wi-Fi 6E and HDMI 2.1). We really don’t think any of these are coming in February—and a new rumor suggests that the Mac Studio might stick with an M1 for another year—but Apple could surprise us again as it looks to clear out smaller updates ahead of what could be its biggest event in years.
Almost everything else coming from Apple this year, including an Apple silicon Mac Pro, second-gen Pro Display XDR, the iPhone 15, Apple Watch Series 9, maybe a new iPad mini, and more, are almost certainly destined to be released in the second half of 2023.
Apple released iOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2 (and their contemporaries: iPadOS 16.3, tvOS 16.3, and watchOS 9.3) on January 23. Usually, we would see the first developer betas of iOS 16.4 and macOS 13.3 on the very next day, but we didn’t. In fact, two weeks on, there’s still no sign of them.
So while beta testing for the next major updates will probably begin, the final releases are almost certainly going to come in March, possibly to coincide with the spring event.
iOS 16.3.1: With the iOS 16.4 beta seemingly coming late, Apple might push out a small “point release” to address bugs and security updates. Some sites have claimed to see an iOS 16.3.1 in their server logs, suggesting that Apple may be testing just such a thing.
macOS 13.2.1: To go along with the iOS 16.3.1 security update release (if it happens), Apple will probably release a similar macOS release that contains a lot of the same security updates.
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.
Pinecone and Pony (season 2): Kate Beaton’s beloved book comes to life in this animated series. As a warrior in training, Pinecone fears no challenge. Thankfully, Pony always makes sure Pinecone never gets in over her head. Released February 3
Dear Edward: A 12-year-old boy becomes the lone survivor of a plane crash. As he and others affected by the tragedy try to make sense of what happened, unexpected friendships, romances, and communities are formed. Released February 3
Hello Tomorrow!: Set in a retro-future world, “Hello Tomorrow!” centers around a group of traveling salesmen hawking lunar timeshares. February 17
Sharper: No one is who they seem in Sharper, a neo-noir thriller of secrets and lies, set amongst New York City’s bedrooms, barrooms, and boardrooms. Characters compete for riches and power in a high-stakes game of ambition, greed, lust, and jealousy that will keep audiences guessing until the final moment. February 17
The Reluctant Traveler: The eight-episode series follows Eugene Levy as he visits some of the world’s most beautiful and intriguing destinations February 23
Liaison: A thriller exploring how the mistakes of our past have the potential to destroy our future, combining action with an unpredictable, multilayered plot where “espionage and political intrigue play out against a story of passionate and enduring love.” February 24
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.
Castle Crumble: Destroy the castles in this physics-based puzzler. Released February 3
Riptide GP: Renegade+: A rocket-boat racer originally released in the App Store in 2016. February 10
Farmside: A new farming sim. Build your dream farm with no in-app purchases or ads! February 17
Lifeline+: This text-based adventure took the mobile gaming world by storm for a minute, when it was originally released in 2015. February 24
I have written about technology for my entire professional life – over 25 years. I enjoy learning about how complicated technology works and explaining it in a way anyone can understand.
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