iOS 16, macOS 13 and realityOS… What we expect from Apple’s WWDC 2022

For the third year in a row, Apple’s WWDC is taking place in a virtual format. This year, the brand still invited developers to Apple Park, a sign of the start of the post-Covid era. Numerama is on site.

Casually, WWDC 2022 could be one of the most important in recent years. In the world before, thousands of developers traveled to Cupertino to discover future Apple innovations and discuss with the brand’s engineers. In the world of Covid-19, WWDC has become a virtual event, with a pre-recorded opening keynote and video sessions dedicated to developers. The event has lost its charm, even if it allowed the brand to initiate its transition to Apple Silicon processors, which is still historic.

In 2022, Apple is preparing the first WWDC in the world after. This June 6 at 7 p.m. (10 a.m. on site), several developers will be at Apple Park, in Cupertino, to watch the keynote with the Apple teams. What to expect? Here’s a breakdown of the rumors as well as the likelihood of seeing them, based on our completely subjective estimates. Anyway, know that we will be there and that we will take you behind the scenes of WWDC 2022, the first post-Covid high-tech conference.

Lots of updates

iOS 16: the lock screen in the spotlight?

According to journalist Mark Gurman, iOS 16 will be quite a big update. Apple would notably prepare a new lock screen that would do a little more than tell you the time. We are talking in particular about widgets integrated into the wallpaper or better management of notifications. For the rest, very little is known about the future update of the iPhone. There might be some new iMessage and new apps, but Apple is pretty good at keeping the surprise till the end. It should be available this fall after several months of beta.

An iPhone SE under iOS 15. // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

Probability according to Numerama: 100%

iPadOS 16: the iPad finally released?

With each new version of iPadOS (a derivative of iOS designed for the Apple tablet), we hear that this update will “unlock the capabilities of the iPad”. Each time, we end up realizing that the iPad remains less practical than the Mac.

This year, there could be a milestone. A desktop mode, to use its applications in the form of floating windows, is part of the rumors. It may not be the case, but we want to believe it.

iPad Air 2020 review: forget the iPad Pro
Now that the iPad has a keyboard and a trackpad, the time for windows may have come. // Source: Numerama

Probability according to Numerama: 100% for iPadOS, 50% for windows (yes, we don’t get too wet).

macOS 13, to sublimate Apple Silicon chips?

The new macOS, with a new name, should also be on the program this Monday. What will be new? Except for a new interface for settings, according to Mark Gurman, nothing is known. We imagine that there will still be interesting new features, the switch to Apple Silicon chips has given Apple the desire to pamper its Mac.

Probability according to Numerama: 100%.

watchOS, tvOS, HomePod and AirPods

Apple’s other operating systems should also be updated on Monday. The Apple Watch could gain new functions, the Apple TV could better promote the connected home and the HomePod should learn new tricks. Again, difficult to know what Apple will announce. In previous years, Apple had also announced new features for its AirPods earphones and headphones.

HomePod mini versus HomePod
HomePod mini versus HomePod // Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

Probability according to Numerama: 100% for watchOS, 60% for tvOS (there was a beta without presentation last year), 50% for HomePod and AirPods (there may be new features, but not necessarily during the keynote).

What’s new for services?

WWDC is a software conference, but Apple usually takes the opportunity to talk about its services. Will there be anything new at WWDC for Apple Music or Apple Fitness+? It’s a possibility. No rumor mentions the arrival of a new service, but, again, Apple has a habit of surprising. This point should be monitored.

Probability according to Numerama: 90% chance that we are told about the services, 25% that there is a new one.

A new MacBook Air, with an M2 chip?

Generally, the WWDC keynote is dedicated to software. From time to time, Apple breaks this rule and releases hardware. Will 2022 be one of those years?

In particular, we are expecting a new MacBook Air which, according to some rumors, is ready to be marketed. This new MacBook Air would recover the edge-to-edge screen of the last MacBook Pro and would be available in several colors like the iMacs.

MacBook Air M2 rendered
3D renderings of MacBook Air. // Source: YouTube screenshot, EverythingApplePro.

Why would Apple announce a MacBook Air at a developer conference? The reason could be his chip. We are talking about an M2, successor to the excellent M1.

Probability according to Numerama: 40% (it’s the same delirium every year. We’re expecting a MacBook at WWDC and there isn’t one).

realityOS, the star of WWDC?

If this WWDC 2022 could become historic, it is not only for its hybrid aspect, between the world before and the world after. Apple is, a priori, not yet ready to reveal its mixed reality headset, but the brand could take a first step on Monday. The “realityOS” brand name has been registered and several industry observers expect to discover the first elements of Apple’s vision of reality headsets.

What will we see on Monday? Development kits dedicated to virtual reality? Updates for existing technologies (Metal, ARKit)? A real OS? An overview of the helmet? Nothing ? If Apple announces something, it will undoubtedly be the big star of the event.

Probability according to Numerama: 10% for the headset, 35% for realityOS as such, 60% for technologies related to VR/AR.

Apple Patent VR AR Headset
One of the very many patents owned by Apple on AR/VR headsets. We see here the tracking of the hands thanks to the cameras. // Source: Patently Apple

Numerama invites you to meet on Monday June 6 at 7 p.m. for Apple’s WWDC. We’ll be revisiting brand announcements and bringing you exclusive content, all from Cupertino.

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