Apple confirms the big iOS 16 and watchOS 9 release date — September 12!

Ios 16 Iphone 13 Pro Hero
(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

It's finally happening. After months of beta testing and high expectations, Apple has now confirmed that iOS 16 will arrive on September 12. The same goes for the new watchOS 9 update, too.

Apple's big Far Out event has given us a lot to talk about, but the release date for the next big iPhone software update is something that we can all get behind — you won't need to buy a new iPhone 14 to use it, of course. And it's a free download, something we can all appreciate. Get ready to mash that update button!

Right on time

We've known all about iOS 16 since it was announced on June 6 during the WWDC22 unveiling. Developers have been running through beta testing ever since, with public beta testers also taking the update for a spin. Now, we know that we only have to wait a little while longer before trying the update out for ourselves.

There's a lot to look forward to, too. The update will bring a new, more customizable Lock Screen to our iPhones while widgets will be front and center for the first time, too. And that's just the start — editable iMessages, emails that can be unsent, and more are all awaiting us. Oh, and we can finally share iCloud Photo Libraries with other people, too. 

That's not even all. Those purchasing the all-new iPhone 14 Pro will be treated to an iOS that works seamlessly with the new Dynamic Island design (bye, bye notch!).

And because the betas are all done and dusted, we can be pretty sure that everything will work as it should, too. Those still concerned should probably wait a day or two after release to make sure that everything is good to go, though.

It's fair to say that iOS 16 is the best iPhone software to date, but iPad and Mac users are going to have to wait a little longer for their new hotness. The macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16 updates won't arrive until next month, but at least watchOS 9 and tvOS 16 are ready to go.

As for watchOS 9, that'll work on Apple Watch Series 4 or newer and includes new watch faces, improvements to the way notifications are handled, and more. It'll also ship on the brand new Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra, too.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.