What to expect at WWDC 2022: iOS 16, macOS 13, watchOS 9, and possibly new Macs

What to expect at WWDC 2022: iOS 16, macOS 13, watchOS 9, and possibly new Macs

Apple’s 33rd annual Worldwide Developers Conference is scheduled to kick off Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. Like the 2020 and 2021 events, the conference will only take place digitally, so it’s free for all developers worldwide.

The main event will give us a first look at new OS updates, including iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, tvOS 16, and watchOS 9, as well as rumors that we might see some new devices. Everything we heard about this year’s event is explained below.

iOS 16

Most of the rumors about iOS 16 were vague, so we know very little about the OS update at this time. In years past, new versions of iOS leaked early and gave us an insight into the upcoming feature set, but that didn’t happen this year.

However, we’ve heard some rumors about what to expect, with a lot of information coming from BloombergMark Gorman, who has reliable sources with information on Apple’s plans.

New features are rumored

  • Fixed lock screen with wallpapers with “widget-like capabilities”.
  • There will be “big” improvements to notifications, although we don’t know specifics.
  • A messaging app with “social network-like functionality” with a special focus on voice messaging.
  • Health app with extended sleep tracking and medication management functions. Apple is working on a tool that will allow users to scan their pill bottles into the app, plus there are new expected women’s health features.
  • New Apple apps are up and running, without more specific information.
  • Apple is also working on “new ways for the system to interact,” but what that means isn’t entirely clear.
  • New types of fitness + workout.
  • The classic Apple Music app with an interface based on Primephonic, an app that Apple acquired in 2021.

Possible features based on iPhone 14 rumors

  • Always-on display for iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max (not available until September).
  • The status bar interface has likely been revamped for the iPhone 14 Pro‌ and Pro Max to accommodate the perforated dial design that is expected to replace the notch found on those devices.
  • iPhone 14 models are expected to have a vehicle accident detection feature, which would automatically call emergency services when a collision is detected. This may require the new ‌iOS 16‌ functionality.
  • Apple may also add a satellite-based emergency feature to iPhone 14‌ models, which will be supported in ‌iOS 16‌. This feature allows iPhones to send emergency texts when there is no cellular coverage, and to report major emergencies when coverage is not available.
  • iOS 16‌ could include support for the Buy Now, Pay Later feature for Apple Pay, which is being developed by Apple.
  • Likewise, it can offer support for a hardware subscription program which will allow customers to pay a monthly fee for an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

For more on what to expect in iOS 16, we have a roundup dedicated to iOS 16.

iPadOS 16

iPadOS 16 will get many of the new features introduced in ‌iOS 16‌, but Apple is also working on iPad‌-specific add-ons.

With iPadOS 16, Apple aims to make the ‌iPad‌ behave more like a laptop than a smartphone, and the new ‌iPad‌ software will be one of the biggest updates announced at WWDC.

The update will have a redesigned multitasking interface that will make it easier to switch between tasks and see which applications are open, plus it will allow users to resize windows. Apple is also planning to implement new ways for users to handle multiple apps at once, in what feels like a Mac-like multitasking experience.

macOS 13

We don’t know much about the feature set coming to macOS 13‌, as there have been quite a few leaks. It is rumored to feature an overhauled System Preferences interface that will bring it more in line with the Settings app on the iPhone‌ and iPad‌, with an update to include individual settings organized by the app.

macos 13 . sample script

Apple is also expected to revamp some default apps, so we can see improvements in Messages, Mail, Safari, and more. Messages in particular are rumored to be getting social network-like functionality with improvements to voice messaging. This is common in ‌iOS 16‌, but Messages usually has feature parity across platforms.

As for the naming, ‌macOS 13‌ could be macOS Mammoth, based on Apple’s trademark filings. Apple goes back in 2013 to the registered trademarks of several California landmarks, and Mammoth was the brand that has been active for the longest, although its status is unknown at this time, and Apple has chosen in the past some names that weren’t in those The list is never listed, so the naming is uncertain.

watchOS 9

watchOS 9 will have some updates that affect daily operation and navigation on the wrist-worn device.

  • Updated power saving mode that will allow to use apps and features while reducing battery usage.
  • Expanded atrial fibrillation detection feature with the added ‘burden’, aka the number of times a person has atrial fibrillation over a period of time.
  • Improve health and activity tracking.
  • More types of exercise.
  • Additional metrics for running workouts.
  • Update to existing views.

tvOS 16

tvOS doesn’t often get as many new features as other operating system updates, and we don’t know much about tvOS 16, but it is rumored to include additional smart home connections. You may be able to do more with smart home products with your Apple TV after the update is released.

Hardware capabilities

The past several WWDC events have focused on software only and have not included hardware announcements, so it’s not yet clear if we’ll see any hardware unveiled at this year’s event. If we do, the devices listed below are the most likely candidates.

MacBook Air

If Apple plans to introduce new Macs at the event, the MacBook Air is the one we’re likely to see, according to BloombergMark Gorman. Apple is said to be “aiming” to introduce the MacBook Air at the event, but supply chain issues related to COVID in China may prevent Apple from doing so.

macbook air yellow round

The next generation MacBook Air is expected to feature an overhaul of the design with a MacBook Pro-like shape that eliminates the tapered chassis. It will be thinner and lighter, and is expected to come in multiple colors, similar to the iMac. The ‌MacBook Air‌ is expected to feature slim white bezels and a matching white keyboard, and it could be around 13.6 inches in size.

The ‌MacBook Air‌ will likely feature a next-generation M2 chip, which is expected to have the same number of computing cores as the M1 (eight), but will include speed improvements that make it marginally faster. It’s also rumored to have improved graphics with nine of the 10 GPU cores, up from the seven or right on the current M1‌MacBook Air‌.

The ‌M2‌ chip will be the first upgrade to the M1 series chips that Apple has used in Apple’s silicon devices to date. Although several rumors have indicated that the ‌MacBook Air‌ will feature the ‌M2‌ chip, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple could focus on a redesign rather than new chip technology.

He has said that TSMC’s next-generation N3 and N4P manufacturing processes won’t be ready for mass production until 2023, so Apple will only be able to offer an iterative update that’s expected to use the same N5P chip used in the A15 and ‌M1‌.

More on the next generation MacBook Air can be found in our 2022 MacBook Air guide.

Mac Pro

In 2019, the redesigned modular Mac Pro was shown at WWDC ahead of its launch in late 2019, and there’s a chance we’ll see a similar reveal this year.


John Ternus, Apple’s head of hardware engineering, confirmed at a spring event that an Apple silicon version of the ‌Mac Pro‌ is in the works, expected to roll out sometime in 2022.

Apple may give us a small preview of the ‌Mac Pro‌ before it launches later in the year.

Rumors indicate that ‌Mac Pro‌ will have a more powerful chip than the M1 Ultra used in Mac Studio. It is expected to feature up to 40 CPU cores and 128 graphics cores, which will make it twice as powerful as the M1 Ultra.

Apple could offer a successor device ‌M1 Ultra‌ which is actually two M1 Ultra chips linked together, as the ‌M1 Ultra‌ itself is two connected M1 Max chips. If so, the upcoming Mac Pro ‌ chip will be four times more powerful than the ‌M1 Max‌.

AR/VR headset?

There were rumors last year that the long-rumored AR/VR headset could see an introduction at the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference, but it looks like that won’t happen.

Apple Mixed Reality Headset Model Feature

BloombergMark Gurman‌ and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo‌ said that the headset is not ready to be introduced at this time, as Apple still has the kinks to work with. Kuo believes Apple will release the headset in 2023, and Gurman said that Apple has no plans to make a “full announcement” of the headset at WWDC.

However, a trademark of “realityOS”, the operating system for the headset, was recently discovered, and it has a foreign registration deadline of June 8, 2022. This is a legal requirement, and the date appears to have nothing to do with WWDC and is a coincidence.

MacRumors coverage

Apple plans to livestream the WWDC keynote on its website, Apple TV‌ app, and YouTube, but for those who can’t watch, we’ll be covering the event at MacRumors.com and through MacRumorsLive Twitter account.

We’ll also have in-depth coverage of all Apple’s announcements throughout the rest of the week and moving forward as we test the new software.

2022-06-03 20:29:44

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