The year 2019 was a busy one for Apple, spreading countless hardware and software releases out through the entire year. Ranging from several updates to the Mac lineup and the iPhone 11 Pro to the Apple Watch Series 5 and AirPods Pro, Apple had updates and releases across all of its product lineups in 2019.
Read on as we recap everything — software and hardware included — that Apple released in 2019.
As is usually the case, January started off slowly for Apple. December 2018 was a busy month for Apple, with new accessories, the Apple Watch ECG feature, and more, so it only makes sense for January 2019 to have been a bit quieter.
The lone hardware announcement of January: A Smart Battery Case for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR with Qi charging support.
Elsewhere, January included the public releases of iOS 12.1.3, tvOS 12.1.2, watchOS 5.1.3, and macOS 10.14.3. These updates included bug fixes and performance improvements.
Apple’s January 2019 releases:
- Apple releasing watchOS 5.1.3, iOS 12.1.3 for iPhone, iPad and HomePod later today
- Apple officially releases Smart Battery cases for iPhone XS/Max/XR with Qi charging support
February was equally as quiet. The month didn’t include any hardware releases, but it did continue the iOS 12 refinement process with the release of iOS 12.1.4. That release was particularly notable as it included a fix for the FaceTime eavesdropping bug.
Apple’s February 2019 releases:
After a slow start to the year, things finally picked up for Apple in March. The month brought the first Apple event of the year, with a unique focus on services. Apple officially debuted its new Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, and Apple News+ services. Apple Card was also officially debuted at the event.
In addition to those services announcements, Apple also released iOS 12.2, tvOS 12.2, and watchOS 5.2 to the public. Finally, March included several new hardware announcements as well.
Apple released the second-generation AirPods, a new iPad Air, and a new iPad mini in March via press releases.
Apple’s March releases:
- Apple announces new 10.5-inch iPad Air and iPad mini with Apple Pencil support
- New Apple AirPods now available: H1 chip, wireless charging case, hands-free Hey Siri
- Apple announces Apple News+ for $9.99/mo, adds 300 magazines and select newspapers to the News app
- Apple announces Apple TV+ service for its original TV shows and movies
- Apple announces ‘all-new’ TV app with ‘Apple TV Channels’ and more
- Apple announces ‘Apple Arcade’ game subscription service through App Store
- Apple unveils Apple Card in partnership with Goldman Sachs
- Apple announces iOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4 coming today
- watchOS 5.2 coming to all customers today, includes ECG support in Europe, more
After a busy March full of software, hardware, and services, things slowed down again in April. Apple continued beta testing iOS 12.3 and quietly released tvOS 12.2.1 to the public.
Apple’s April releases:
While there was no official Apple event in May, the month included one of the more memorable hardware announcements of the year. Powerbeats Pro were released to the public, bringing the fitness-focused design in a truly wireless form factor.
In addition to Powerbeats Pro, Apple also released a new 7th generation iPod touch with a faster processor and new storage option. In terms of software, Apple released iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 to the public with the new TV app, as well as watchOS 5.2.1 and macOS 10.14.5.
Last but not least, Apple rounded out May with powerful new 8-core MacBook Pro models. These new MacBook Pros also included Apple’s third-generation Butterfly keyboard technology.
Apple’s May releases:
- Apple releases new iPod touch featuring A10 Fusion chip, 256 GB storage option
- Beats Powerbeats Pro pre-order May 3 and launch May 10, totally wireless with ‘Hey Siri’ and H1 chip
- Apple releases iOS 12.3 & tvOS 12.3 with new TV app, watchOS 5.2.1 & macOS 10.14.5 also now available
- Apple releasing iOS 12.3.1 today with VoLTE and iMessage bug fixes
- Apple announces more powerful 8-core MacBook Pro with updated butterfly keyboard design
As usual, June was a busy month for Apple as it held its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose. In addition to some hardware news, the software announced at WWDC paved the way for the rest of the year.
Apple unveiled iOS 13, iPadOS 13, watchOS 6, tvOS 13, and macOS Catalina at WWDC 2019. In terms of hardware, WWDC included the official announcement of a new modular Mac Pro as well as the Pro Display XDR.
Apple’s June releases:
- Apple officially unveils iOS 13 for iPhone at WWDC 2019 with Dark Mode, swipe keyboard, more
- Apple launches Sign in with Apple button for apps, ‘no tracking’ login
- HomePod gets multi-user support, along with music handoff
- Apple announces brand new iPadOS: redesigned home screen, multi-window apps, plug in a USB thumb drive, more
- Apple announces macOS Catalina: Music, Podcasts, TV app, Sidecar, Find My, Voice Control
- Apple officially announces watchOS 6 for Apple Watch with dedicated App Store, new watch faces and complications, apps, more
- Apple officially announces tvOS 13 for Apple TV
- New Apple Watch bands, including rainbow pride band to match pride face
Whereas July is usually a relatively quiet month from Apple with a focus on beta testing, that wasn’t the case this year. Apple kicked off July with a bang, releasing a new entry-level MacBook Pro with new Intel processors, Touch ID, and the Touch Bar. The MacBook Air also got a refresh, adding a True Tone display and receiving a $100 price drop.
Apple also released iOS 12.4, tvOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3, and macOS 10.14.6 to the public, as well as a new Texas Hold ‘Em game for iOS.
Apple’s July releases:
- $1299 entry-level MacBook Pro now features 8th-gen Intel processors, Touch ID and Touch Bar
- Apple releases 2019 Retina MacBook Air with True Tone display, lowers price to $1099
- Apple releasing iOS 12.4 and HomePod 12.4 update today
- Apple revives classic Texas Hold’em iOS game to mark 10 years of the App Store
Following its announcement in March, Apple Card was officially released to users in the United States in August. Apple Card offers benefits such as 3% cash back and deep integration with iOS and the Wallet app. Also in August, Apple released iOS 12.4.1, tvOS 12.4.1, macOS Mojave 10.14.6, and watchOS 5.3.1, and began the process of beta testing iOS 13.1.
Apple’s August releases:
- Apple Card rollout starts today, first invites being sent out to users
- Apple Card now available to all iPhone users in the United States, 3% cashback for Uber and Uber Eats
A quiet August paved the way for a busy September full of new hardware and software. Apple kicked off the month with its “By Innovation Only” event on September 10. This event included the announcement of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, as well as the Apple Watch Series 5 and 7th-generation iPad.
September also kickstarted what would end up being an incredibly busy end of the year for software releases. Not only was iOS 13 released to the public, but so were iOS 13.1, iOS 13.1.1, and iOS 13.1.2.
Apple’s September software releases:
- Apple News+ launches in the UK featuring publications including The Times, Esquire and the Wall Street Journal
- iOS 13 is now available, these are the 13 best features
- watchOS 6 is now available, here are the top 6 new Apple Watch features
- tvOS 13 now available, here’s a look at the top 6 new Apple TV features
- Apple releases iOS 13.1 with new AirDrop features for iPhone 11 and more
- Apple releases iOS 13.1.1 with fixes for battery drain, Siri, iPhone restores
- Apple releases iOS 13.1.2 with bug fixes for Camera app, iCloud backups, and more
- Apple Arcade will be available on September 19 for $4.99/month
- Apple launching three new research studies including hearing, cycle tracking, heart, and movement
Apple’s September hardware releases:
- Apple unveils all-new seventh-generation 10.2-inch iPad
- Apple unveils Apple Watch Series 5 with always-on display, compass, titanium, and ceramic
- Apple unveils iPhone 11 with dual cameras, new colors, more
- Apple announces $999 iPhone 11 Pro and $1,099 iPhone 11 Pro Max: triple camera, A13 chip, new colors, Super Retina XDR screen, more
In October, Apple’s focus on iOS 13 improvements continued with another round of updates focused on bug fixes and performance improvements. The most notable update came with iOS 13.2, which included the Deep Fusion camera processing system, Siri privacy settings, and more.
Throughout the month of October, there was quite a bit of speculation on whether Apple would held another special event. Ultimately, that never came to fruition, but Apple did announce the all-new AirPods Pro via a press release as well as the Beats Solo Pro.
Meanwhile, macOS Catalina was also released to the public in October, bringing new applications, security improvements, and more. Beats Solo Pro were also released in October.
Apple’s October releases:
- macOS Catalina now available, here are the top 7 new Mac features
- Beats Solo Pro debut with Pure ANC, Transparency, fold-to-power and Apple H1 chip; pre-order for $299
- iOS 13.1.3 is the latest software update from Apple to fix iPhone and iPad bugs
- iOS 13.2 now available with Deep Fusion, new emoji, Siri privacy settings, more
- Apple releasing watchOS 6.1 to the public with Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 support, more
- Apple releasing HomePod software update with promised voice profiles, Handoff features, much more
- Apple releases macOS Catalina 10.15.1 update with new Emoji, HomeKit Secure Video support, and more
November kicked off with the official launch of Apple TV+ as the home for Apple’s original TV shows and movies. Apple has gradually added new content to Apple TV+ since its debut at the beginning of November. Apple also released new software updates for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.
In terms of hardware, Apple debuted the long-awaited 16-inch MacBook Pro midway through November. The 16-inch MacBook Pro includes a new “Magic Keyboard” design, slightly slimmer bezels, and more. Apple also released new Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, which include a new physical camera button for the first time.
Apple’s November releases:
- Apple TV+ is now live in the TV app: Start watching Apple’s original TV shows and movies
- iOS 13.2.2 now available with fix for background app performance, more
- Apple releases iOS 13.2.3 with more background app improvements, Mail fixes, more
- Apple releases new Smart Battery Cases for iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro
- Apple announces new 16-inch MacBook Pro: scissor switch ‘Magic Keyboard’, louder speakers, $2399
Last but not least, December brought more software updates and the long-awaited Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. Orders for the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR began on December 10, and many early customers got their orders before the end of the year.
Apple also released iOS 13.3, watchOS 6.1.1, and tvOS 13.3 to the public in December. These updates include new customization options and continued bug fixes and performance improvements. macOS 10.15.2 was also released with a new iTunes Remote feature.
Apple’s December releases:
- Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR now available to order from Apple Online Store
- Apple releases iOS 13.3, watchOS 6.1.1, and tvOS 13.3, here’s what’s new
- Apple releases macOS Catalina 10.15.2 with iTunes Remote for Music and TV apps
2019 was a big year for Apple and its platforms. While iOS hit a few roadblocks in terms of stability, things got a lot better, thanks to continued, regular updates with critical bug fixes and performance improvements.
Apple also released major hardware updates to its iPhone, Apple Watch, and Mac lines this year, and there’s a lot still to come in 2020. Apple’s Tile-like item tracker is still unannounced, while we also expect new MacBook and iPad Pro models.
Be sure to check out our full report card for Apple’s 2019 performance right here. What do you think of Apple’s 2019? How would you rate the company’s performance? Let us know down in the comments.
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