After a few years of great macOS announcements, WWDC’s recent keywords have brought some significant Mac announcements, bringing some much-needed excitement to the Mac platform. Now, with WWDC 2022 almost here, Apple is looking to build on the Mac’s momentum in a big way.
It will of course be difficult to headline Apple’s 2020 silicon announcement, but Apple is expected to make some key revelations that will continue to shine the spotlight on the Mac. Here are the Mac announcements we hope to see at WWDC 2022 in order of preference.
For more information on WWDC, check out the full preview of the keynote address that will take place on Monday, June 6 at 10 a.m. PT.
When Apple began transitioning from its Mac operating system from Intel CPU to its M1 System on a Chip (SoC), the company said it would take two years. WWDC 2022 is a two-year mark, and as Apple Senior Vice President John Ternus noted during a Mac Studio event in March, there is only one Mac left to make the transition, the Mac Pro.
However, the expectation about the Mac Pro is not about the SoC (I will explain in detail in the next section), and more about the hardware itself and what Apple will do to meet the needs of the Mac Pro user. Will Apple build a Mac tower? What are the capabilities of the component? What kind of access will users have to the internals? How will it be upgradeable?
So many questions that we hope to answer on June 6th. I can only think Apple will want to end this transition in a big way, so my hopes are high for this announcement in particular.
The next generation of Apple silicone
Apple is finishing one transition, but another one is about to begin: the transition from the M1 series to the M2 series SoCs. The Mac Pro likely has some configuration that boosts the performance of the M1 Ultra, the fastest Mac SoC, so the company has reached the peak of the M1 series. Apple appears to be running a two-year cycle using its Mac silicone, so the timing seems right to launch the next series, despite recent rumors suggesting the wait could be a little longer.
But if Apple decides to reveal the M2 at WWDC, it will likely be more of a “preview” than a fully detailed reveal with product announcements. John Ternus could even do another one-line tease — any kind of acknowledgment would help keep the M series’ marketing momentum going. Apple released its M1 Macs in fall 2020, so expect the entry-level M2 to be released in the fall, too. Then we will get the finer details on the chip.
(Although I personally have lost interest in what Intel is doing, chip enthusiasts and people who love to participate in tech discussions are very focused on the biggest PC chip maker. The M2 will add some spark to the solo marketing game.)
WWDC isn’t the place for consumer laptops, but the MacBook Air might be an exception. A massive redesign has been rumored for over a year with thinner bezels, a smaller footprint, and colors other than grey, silver and gold. The MacBook Air hasn’t been very exciting for a while — even the 2018 model was pretty much a iteration of the previous version — but if the rumors are true, the new model will be one of the most exciting laptops in years.
We hope to go back to the original iBook, just like the 24-inch iMac that was a nod to the original iMac. The M1 MacBook Air is a great device but not an exciting one. The redesigned model, with or without the M2 processor, would be a great way to bring back the excitement.
macOS 13 Features, Fixes, and Correct Name
We’ve published our macOS 13 wish list and will be watching the keyword carefully to see if any of our wishes come true. There are a few items on the list that we want the most—in particular, desktop widgets (the ability to take a widget out of the notification center and place it on the desktop), and a more powerful, customizable Control Center with more modules—it can even From third party developers.
The only thing Apple really needs to do for macOS is fix long-standing bugs and optimize the system. Like I said on the macOS 13 Wishlist, if that’s all Apple did and nothing else – no new features – I’d be very happy.
The name macOS can refer to the size of the version update. For example, macOS Monterey was named Monterey Bay, which is part of the larger Big Sur area in central California – and the version of macOS before Monterey was called Big Sur. And Big Sur, with its user interface changes, support for iOS and iPadOS apps on M1 Macs, and more, was an even bigger upgrade from Monterey.
But if you’re not familiar with the locations Apple uses in California, you’ll be lost. Then it’s just a name, and in the case of macOS, it doesn’t mean much other than being an alternative reference point for the version number.
Regardless, Mac users are investing in the name macOS and that’s a highly anticipated announcement. When Apple Senior Vice President Craig Federighi gets to this point of the WWDC keynote, anticipation and excitement build, and the name causes the vague idea of an operating system update to fuse and become a reality. Then once the name has settled, there is a tumultuous debate about whether or not it is a good choice.
Based on Apple’s trademark filings, it appears that the money was on “Mammoth” to be the next name for macOS. Besides being located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, the word itself means that macOS 13 has some big changes and features for the Mac. The rumor mill isn’t filled with macOS 13 reports of major changes, so I don’t think “Mammoth” is the name. I think they will save it for a bigger version in the future.
M1 Pro / M1 Max Mac mini
When Apple’s John Ternus said the Mac Pro was the only Mac left to move to Apple silicon, he was referring specifically to the Mac Pro, but it’s not the only Mac left. There’s also the high-end Mac mini—this $1,099 model still uses an Intel CPU.
There is a gap in the Apple M1 lineup between the iMac and Mac Studio, and the professional Mac mini fits that hole perfectly. Reports suggest that this Mac mini can be updated with the M1 Pro and M1 Max and could also have more GPU cores and support more RAM.
Apple discontinued the iMac Pro last year, but reports seem to indicate that Apple may bring it back. It could have a 27-inch display, the M1 Pro, and the M1 Max SoC, and it could have a similar design to the 24-inch iMac, but not in the pro color palette of silver and space gray.
Reports have also surfaced of a stand-alone 27-inch Mac mini-LED display, but could this be a case of screen mixing with the iMac Pro? This is what happened with Studio Display; Leakers misinterpreted Studio Display for iMac. Anyway, it looks like Apple is working on a 27-inch screen for SomethingAnd hopefully, it will be revealed at WWDC.