Three months after giving developers access to beta versions of its new Apple TV, Apple Watch, iPad, and iPhone operating systems, Apple has officially set a release date for the final releases of iOS 13 and watchOS 6 for certain devices: September 19, 2019. Other final releases have been pushed back into October and the fall.
Today’s announcement notably covers version 13.0 of iOS and watchOS 6 for Apple Watch Series 3 and 4, but not Series 1 and 2, which are now set to be released at an unspecified time later this fall. Additionally, Apple unexpectedly debuted beta versions of iOS and iPadOS 13.1 last month, and now plans to release that iOS update on September 30, with iPadOS 13 shipping the same day.
Version 13.0 of the new phone and tablet operating systems bring system-wide Dark Mode support, a large number of customization tweaks to Apple’s Memoji, and quality-of-life improvements to apps such as Maps and Health, but held back one feature — simultaneous audio streaming to two pairs of AirPods or PowerBeats Pro wireless earphones — for version 13.1.
As noted in our hands-on reports, tvOS 13 and watchOS 6 include some major visual and functional tweaks for Apple TV and Apple Watch users. The new tvOS brings yet another refresh to the device’s Home screen, enabling full-screen video previews of content while icons float in the foreground, as well as compatibility with Microsoft and Sony Bluetooth game controllers, and adding a Control Center with multi-user support. tvOS 13 also supports Apple’s new subscription services, Apple Arcade and Apple TV+, and adds oceanic screensavers.
watchOS 6 adds a handful of new watch faces to the mix, including a beautiful new solar dial and more readable large numeral options. A handful of new first-party apps are bundled in, including Voice Memos, a calculator, and a Cycles period tracker, along with an on-device App Store for direct-to-Watch downloads.
Apple is also releasing the final 10.15.0 version of its Mac operating system, macOS Catalina, in October; there’s no specific date, so it could be early, the middle, or late in the month. Catalina finally deprecates the all-in-one media management and playback application iTunes into a series of smaller apps for Music, TV, and Podcasts, as well as rolling iPhone and iPad device management directly into the Finder. Catalina also includes Sidecar, a wired or wireless way to turn an iPad into a second Mac display, and under-the-hood enhancements to enable iPadOS apps to run — with modifications — on the Mac.