Apple seeded the first betas of iOS 15.6 and macOS 12.5 to developers on Wednesday, even though their replacements will be announced in less than a month. iOS 16 and macOS 13 will surely be unveiled at the WWDC developers conference in early June, but work on their predecessors goes on.
Developers were also given access to iPadOS 15.6 beta 1, watchOS 8.7 beta 1 and tvOS 15.6 beta 1.
Looking ahead to iOS 15.6, macOS 12.5 and more
Apple never stops work on its operating systems for very long. iPhone, Mac, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV users can be confident that operating system updates are always in development.
So it’s not really surprising that the first betas for iOS 15.6, macOS 12.5 and the rest just went out to devs. They come two days after the release of iOS 15.5, macOS 12.4 and other updates for Apple computers.
It’s just that now is an odd time. WWDC kicks off June 6, and the keynote address will almost certainly include the reveals for iOS 16, macOS 13, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9 and tvOS 16. That makes the new operating system upgrades Apple began testing on Wednesday “lame ducks.”
Still, iOS 16, etc. won’t be out until autumn – at least four months from now. That’s too long to go without any OS updates for Mac, iPhone and other Apple devices.
It’s possible, even likely, all these updates will be simple bug fixes. Significant new features before the release of the big fall OS upgrades are probably not in the cards. If any of the betas do reveal upcoming features, Cult of Mac will cover them.
As for launch timing, the build numbers for the latest iOS and iPadOS betas end in “e” in a countdown to “a,” so full releases aren’t expected for at least a month. The macOS build number ends in “d” and the watchOS and tvOS ones end in “c” so they potentially could be out earlier. Or Apple could release them all at the same time while getting through active testing for some betas more quickly.
Only for developers
Currently, iOS 15.6 beta 1, macOS 12.5 beta 1, iPadOS 15.6 beta 1, watchOS 8.7 beta 1 and tvOS 15.6 beta 1
are only for developers. Getting access to these pre-release editions requires joining the Apple Developer Program, which costs $99 a year.
But if Apple follows its previous habits, public beta versions will come along soon.