Apple seeded the iOS 16.2 release candidate to developers Wednesday, taking a huge step toward giving iPhone users access to the Freeform collaboration app, the recently announced Apple Music Sing and other exciting new features.
The iPadOS 16.2 release candidate also went out with nearly the same feature set. Plus, Apple seeded the macOS Ventura 13.1 RC, watchOS 9.2 RC and tvOS 16.2 RC to devs, too.
iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 bring new features and other changes
Release candidates are what Apple used to call golden masters. They give beta testers an opportunity to try out the final version of operating systems before Apple introduces the software to average users.
They also give the world a sneak peek at the official release notes for Apple’s upcoming operating systems. The release notes for iOS 16.2 say:
“This update introduces Freeform, an app that offers a great place to brainstorm and bring your ideas to life. This release also adds Apple Music Sing, Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, Lock Screen improvements, and other features and bug fixes for your iPhone.”
The iPadOS 16.2 notes are neatly identical, so it doesn’t mention a major enhancement: iPads with M-series processors are getting full support for external displays with this update.
Freeform is a collaboration application for iPhone, iPad and Mac that Apple first showcased at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Freeform lets users work together in a shared digital space without worrying about layouts and page sizes.
Karaoke-friendly feature Apple Music Sing, announced Tuesday by Apple, shows users real-time lyrics needed to sing along to their favorite tracks. And the Advanced Data Protection for iCloud initiative, which Apple detailed earlier today, encrypts many more types of data stored in Cupertino’s cloud-storage system.
The Cult of Mac guide to the iOS 16.2 beta describes many more changes coming in the new version.
And the rest: macOS, watchOS and tvOS
macOS Ventura 13.1, watchOS 9.2 and tvOS 16.2 will bring much more minor updates.
As noted, Mac users are getting Freeform access in the next version. Apple Watch and Apple TV are just being tweaked.
Still only for devs
As of Tuesday, the iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, macOS 13.1, watchOS 9.2 and tvOS 16.2 release candidates are available only for devs who pay to be in Apple’s developer program. That said, those in Apple’s free public beta program should gain access soon.
The full releases to all users could come by mid-December, about a week after the RCs.