Apple starts work on macOS 16 – and it sounds like a bigger deal than a MacBook Pro redesign

A MacBook Pro running macOS
(Image credit: Jack Skeens / Shutterstock)

While we’re eagerly awaiting the public release of new operating systems like iOS 18 and macOS 15 (Sequoia) later this year, it seems like Apple has already begun work on macOS 16 (and iOS 19, for that matter). This fresh rumor, coupled with whispers of a MacBook Pro refresh for later in 2024, has us buzzing about the future of Apple’s best tech.

Reputable leaker and industry commentator Mark Gurman noted in his most recent ‘Power On’ newsletter (for Bloomberg) that Apple has started development of all its major operating systems for 2025, meaning macOS 16, iOS 19, watchOS 12, and visionOS 3.

Mind you, we’d expect that Apple would be kicking off work on next year’s big software refreshes at this point, though it’s still exciting to hear that the development of macOS 16 is underway. It’s too early even to speculate about what next year’s version of macOS could look like, and Gurman doesn’t drop any hints as to possible features, but if Sequoia has shown us anything, we’re certain we are in for another big, AI-driven refresh.

Indeed, by the time we get to 2025, we wonder whether Apple might be planning to incorporate AI in a much bigger way with macOS 16, maybe bringing in features that will change the way we use our Mac devices entirely! Given the pace of development in the world of artificial intelligence, this can’t be ruled out.

New MacBooks on the horizon?

Software aside, as for the future of Mac hardware, we’re already hearing rumors about the M4 refresh due to happen with Apple’s Mac lineup, with some reports speculating that the MacBook Pro could be the first Mac in line for the new chip (which is only in the iPad Pro right now).

According to Gurman’s earlier reports, we may only see the MacBook Pro 14-inch base model get an M4 refresh this year (with the vanilla M4), with the other models (with M4 Pro and Max) only debuting early in the following year. Furthermore, we’re not likely to get any major hardware changes to Apple’s MacBook ranges for the next couple of years, and it sounds like the big move with the MacBook Pro - when it gets OLED, which is likely to be a good time for a full redesign - may not happen until 2026.

So, Apple might feel the need to make up for only ushering in more minor improvements on the hardware front, by taking a big leap on the software front - meaning a much-improved macOS 16 (with lots of fresh AI powers as mentioned, most likely). Take all this as the speculation it very much is, mind you.                

You might also like...

Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).