This year is a bit of a change in terms of how Apple is rolling out the big software update. Unlike the previous few years when the roll-out used to happen at roughly the same time, it is a bit staggered this time around. First there are the operating system updates for iOS, watchOS, iPadOS and tvOS. Then there is the availability of the two upcoming services—Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade.
First things first, the one that most people are waiting for—the iOS 13 update for the iPhone. The iOS 13 update releases for everyone on September 19, and all iPhones from the iPhone 6s onwards will get the new software. The highlights include the Dark Mode, under-the-hood improvements to speed up performance, faster Face ID, advanced image editing features and support for Apple Arcade gaming. Incidentally, we also already know the iOS 13.1 update rolls out on September 30, which will include Shortcut Automations.
If you are looking forward to updating your iPad or iPad Pro with the new iPadOS, you will have to wait till September 30 to be able to download the final version of the first iteration of the software. The iPadOS is actually the first time that Apple is giving the iPad line-up its own operating system. Though a spin-off from iOS, the iPadOS is reconfigured to be able to better use the larger screen that the iPads offer and enhance the productivity aspect. In fact, multi-tasking should be significantly more intuitive than before, dragging and dropping files and text will be a breeze, the home screen gets a new layout, a desktop grade Safari web browser, a Files app that supports external storage and a download manager as well as the new Dark Mode. All iPads since the iPad Air 2 will be able to download this update.
Then there is the small matter of watchOS 6 for the Apple Watch. The new software brings a bunch of new stuff to the Watch, including new Watch Faces, enhanced Siri, an App Store for Watch apps, as well as enhanced Health features including Activity Trends, Cycle Tracking and an app that tells you how noisy your environment is. The watchOS 6 roll-out is staggered too. The Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 get the new software on September 19. Apple says that the older Series 1 and Series 2 get the new watchOS 6 later this fall—no date has been announced yet.
All MacBook and Mac computing device users must be keeping their eyes peeled for the macOS Catalina update. We would urge you to take a break for a while before resuming the attention mode, because macOS Catalina arrives in October, but no date has been confirmed yet. The highlight changes include the end of the road for iTunes with separate apps for Music, TV and Podcasts, support for Arcade gaming, tools that allow developers to make Mac versions for the iPad apps they make, redone apps including Reminders and Notes as well as the ability to use your iPad as a second display. This will be available for the 2015 MacBook and newer, 2012 MacBook Air and newer, 2012 MacBook Pro and newer, 2012 iMac and newer, 2017 iMac Pro and newer, 2013 Mac Pro and newer as well as the 2012 Mac Mini and newer.
Finally, the tvOS for the Apple TV console. This update rolls out on September 30 and will add multi-user support, lyrics for Apple Music as well as getting everything ready for the rollout of Apple TV+ streaming service. Gamers can be happy about the support for the Apple Arcade game streaming subscription service as well as the ability to pair Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation controllers with the Apple TV for gaming.