Top Stories: iOS 16.2 Released, 15-Inch MacBook Air Rumored, and More

With the holidays right around the corner now, this week saw Apple push out the last of its updates for 2022 in the form of iOS 16.2 and associated operating system updates for other platforms. The updates include a number of new features, with attention on the software side now turning to iOS 16.3 for early next year.

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Other Apple news and rumors this week included word that Apple is looking to satisfy European regulators by working to support alternative app stores starting with iOS 17, rumors of a larger 15.5-inch MacBook Air coming next year, and more, so read on below for all of the details!

iOS 16.2 Released With These New Features

Apple this week released iOS 16.2 for the iPhone 8 and newer following two months of beta testing. The software update has over a dozen new features, including the Freeform app, Apple Music Sing, an option to expand end-to-end iCloud encryption, and much more.

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Make sure to check out our list of iOS 16.2 features for a complete overview of everything new for the iPhone.

Apple also released iPadOS 16.2 this week with external display support reenabled for Stage Manager on compatible iPads, along with macOS 13.1, watchOS 9.2, and tvOS 16.2.

The next betas are already available too, including iOS 16.3, which lets you use hardware security keys with your Apple ID.

Apple Working to Add Support for Alternative App Stores and Sideloading in Europe

Apple is preparing to allow alternative app stores on the iPhone and iPad in the European Union, as part of an effort to comply with the Digital Markets Act, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

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The report said Apple is aiming for the changes to be introduced as part of iOS 17, which is expected to be announced at WWDC next June. It's unclear if third-party app stores would be allowed globally.

15-Inch MacBook Air Expected to Launch in Spring 2023

Apple is developing a larger 15.5-inch MacBook Air that could launch in the first quarter of 2023, according to display industry analyst Ross Young. The current MacBook Air with the M2 chip is available with a smaller 13.6-inch display.

M2 MacBook Air 2022 Feature0015
Young also said that Apple plans to release a new 13-inch MacBook Air with an OLED display in 2024. This could be the first Mac to use OLED technology, allowing for increased brightness, improved contrast ratio, and longer battery life.

Two Unreleased Macs Spotted in Steam's Database

Two unreleased Mac models have been spotted in Steam's monthly device survey — they are likely the next 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips.

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The same Macs seem to have appeared in Geekbench results a few times, offering a closer look at the performance of the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. The laptops are expected to be released in 2023.

AirPods Max 2: Everything We Know About Features and Launch Date

This week marked the two-year anniversary of Apple releasing the AirPods Max. The over-ear headphones have not been updated since, but we've outlined what we've heard so far about AirPods Max 2.

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There are many features that AirPods Max 2 could adopt from the second-generation AirPods Pro, such as Adaptive Transparency, IPX4-rated sweat and water resistance, skin-detect sensors, and the U1 chip.

iPhone Features We're Still Waiting For Following iOS 16.2's Release

Following the release of iOS 16.2, we've recapped five upcoming iPhone features that Apple has previously announced but yet to launch, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option and an Apple Card savings account for earning interest on Daily Cash.

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One of the features mentioned in the list has since been introduced in the iOS 16.3 beta, while some others might not appear until iOS 16.4 or later.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

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Top Rated Comments

Realityck Avatar
7 weeks ago

Two unreleased Mac models have been spotted in Steam's monthly device survey ('https://www.macrumors.com/2022/12/10/unreleased-macs-in-steams-database/') — they are likely the next 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips.
We can never assume next Mac Models are specifically updated Nov 2021 14”/16” MBP models. The Nov 2020 Mac Mini is way overdue for an updated M2 model. The 2019 Mac Pro replacement still hasn’t occurred. The April 2021 24” iMac could see an M2 update first half this year. It’s safe to say Apple with their AS transitions is still unpredictable especially with desktop solutions.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HowardEv Avatar
7 weeks ago
I’m hoping the new M2 Macs are a new form factor that combines portability of laptop with full power of desktop: an iPhone-sized Mini with new range of displays and laptops for input.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Warped9 Avatar
7 weeks ago
A 15in. MacBook Air priced right would likely sell quite well alongside the new M2 MacBook Air 13. The question is how long will the M1 MacBook Air be kept around, and when it goes will the M2 13 Air come down in price some?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Realityck Avatar
7 weeks ago

iOS 16.2 seems so yesterday. Bring on iOS 16.3. /s
When the annual OS updates vs delayed OS updates topic came up today, I couldn't help but think about the continuous incremental beta updates we experience during the entire year. We just started the iOS 16.3/IPadOS16.3/MacOS 13.2 betas just a few days ago Dec 14th.

Looking towards the future we have WWDC 2023 (June 5-9, 2023 predicted) which we will be exposed to some more noticeable iOS 17/iPadOS 17 security changes as Apple incorporates something similar to gatekeeper and runtime protection as seen in macOS to allow 3rd party sales external to the App Store.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LIVEFRMNYC Avatar
7 weeks ago
Glad I held off on upgrading the MBA. Definitely keeping the M1 until the OLED is released.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sorgo Avatar
7 weeks ago

When the annual OS updates vs delayed OS updates topic came up today, I couldn't help but think about the continuous incremental beta updates we experience during the entire year. We just started the iOS 16.3/IPadOS16.3/MacOS 13.2 betas just a few days ago Dec 14th.

Looking towards the future we have WWDC 2023 (June 5-9, 2023 predicted) which we will be exposed to some more noticeable iOS 17/iPadOS 17 security changes as Apple incorporates something similar to gatekeeper and runtime protection as seen in macOS to allow 3rd party sales external to the App Store.
Indeed…hopefully iOS and iPadOS are visually brought more in line with macOS, as well, especially since this is the tenth year of the general visual direction introduced alongside iOS 7. I’m hopeful yet not expecting much.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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