One of the most eagerly anticipated tech events of the year, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, better known as WWDC, is set to get underway later today. And as with any Apple event, this one too is shrouded in secrecy and clouded with rumors — the secrecy coming from Apple and the rumor from the tech-following crowd. While the event, as its name indicates, generally revolves around software developers, there have been instances when it has also been used to showcase new Apple products — Steve Jobs showed the world the iPhone at WWDC 2010, and a new Mac Pro, iPad Pro , and HomePod were introduced at WWDC 2017. Given this history, it is hardly surprising that the tech rumor mills are in overdrive as the event draws near, with claims about Apple getting set to reveal everything from a new iPhone to VR Glasses to even a new car
While it is impossible to say exactly what Apple will reveal later today, indications are that we will be hearing something about the following six products.
WWDC 2022: A smoother multi-tasking, notebook-challenging iPadOS
For a long time, Apple’s iPad ran on an operating system that was a copy of the one on the iPhone (iOS). However, Apple changed that with the introduction of the iPadOS. While it was still very similar to iOS, it came with a number of features that were more large-display friendly. The advent of iPadOS also reflected Apple’s decision to move the iPad from its initial “third screen” positioning and into notebook challenging territory.
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At WWDC this year, Apple is expected to announce a further improved version of iPadOS. While it will come with a number of improvements and tweaks (improved widgets, it is being said), the highlight is expected to be the way in which the tablet handles multi-tasking.
While it is possible to run multiple apps on the iPad, and even apps next to each other on the iPad, the process is tedious and complicated. The new iPadOS is expected to fix that. The OS is also expected to come with improvements to Apple’s office suite comprising Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, making them more notebook-like and more compatible with other platforms (read: ‘MS Office!’). A total wild card is talking about a new Apple Pencil, but we are not too inclined to believe that.
WWDC 2022: An iOS that will give the iPhone an always-on display
Every WWDC inevitably sees a new version of iOS, the software that drives the iPhone, and this year’s event is expected to be no different. Apple is expected to show the world iOS 16 later today, and while no one really knows what the new software will bring to the table, there are a number of guesses being made. Most observers are reasonably certain that iOS 16 will come with support for an always-on display (letting you see something on the phone even if the display is off), new interactive wallpapers, and widgets on the lockscreen, letting you do more without unlocking the phone.
Also expected are new features in the Messages app, which many expect Apple to make more social network-like, as well as the Health app and Fitness, which are likely to give more information depending on the data they get from the Apple Watch. Finally, even more animojis are expected to further animate conversations. Literally.
WWDC 2022: To Mammoth macOS? Well, perhaps in name
Rather surprisingly, there has not been as much talk of the operating system for Mac computers, macOS. Surprising because many had expected a lot of attention to be given to the operating system, given how Apple has moved to its own processors in recent times. However, while a new macOS is almost certain to be announced, there is not too much certainty about what it will contain.
Some of our sources say that apps like Mail, Messages, and Safari are likely to get more features. However, the most significant change is likely to come in Settings and System Preferences, which could end up looking more like their iPad and iOS counterparts, paving the way for great interoperability between those three devices. No one is sure about what the new OS will be called, although some have hinted that it could be called Mammoth.
WWDC 2022: watchOS 9 with more heart and fitness
Rounding off the software announcements at WWDC will likely be a new OS for the Apple Watch, watchOS 9. The improvements expected include much more analysis of data detected by the watch, and in particular heart rate information. More detailed alerts about heart issues are expected. The Fitness app is also set to get more exercises and options as Apple enhances the workout quotient of the Apple Watch. Some observers have also hinted that watchOS could get new power-saving modes to tackle the Achilles Heel of the wearable — its battery life. Of course, more watch faces are expected as well. There is a totally wild rumor that watchOS will come with compatibility with iPad, but we are not holding our breaths for that one.
WWDC 2022: A breath of fresh (MacBook) Air?
While announcements around updates to existing software and operating systems are almost assured at WWDC, it is difficult to say the same about hardware. That said, there is a strong rumor that Apple will unveil a new Mac at this year’s WWDC. While some tipsters have been hinting at a new Mac Pro or a MacBook Pro, it is most likely that if Apple does unveil a new Mac, it will be a MacBook Air. Indications are that the notebook will also get a radical design overhaul, moving on from its tapered look to a more straight-sided design language. It is also likely to come with a new processor, and if some sources are to be believed, more ports and maybe even a card reader. Of course, it is still expected to remain as light as…air.
WWDC 2022: Arcade and Music UI changes on the cards
Apple launched Apple Arcade in 2019, and since then, the gaming service has been expanding steadily. However, Arcade has remained largely the same in terms of feature set. That could change at WWDC, with rumors hinting that Apple could be bringing more social networking options to its gaming service. There have also been rumors about Apple coming out with a special Arcade controller that will work with both iPad and iPhone, but we are taking those with a lot of salt.
A UI change is also said to be on the cards for Apple’s music service, Apple Music, and many are saying that there will be an equalizer built into the app, saving you the need to depend on third-party apps or heading to Settings for the same.
Of course, that’s not all. Depending on who you listen to, Apple could also bring in new Mac desktops, overhaul Apple TV, reveal a new HomePod or even showcase a metaverse initiative, complete with VR glasses. You can never write off anything when it comes to Apple. This is after all the company that Thinks Different. We will know for sure later in the day. WWDC will be held from June 6 to June 10.