WWDC 2022 is next week – what we expect to see from Apple’s event
The keynote conference where these updates will most likely be announced, has been confirmed to be held on June 6, which we'll be covering to give you all the updates as they arrive.
Similar to the last two years, WWDC will mostly be going remote for the first week of June, with a one-day event on June 6 where developers will be able to watch the keynote, and talk to Apple representatives.
Unlike Google, Apple moved its WWDC conference to be a fully online event in 2020 due to the pandemic, rather than canceling it. Some were hoping to see a mix, similar to this year's Google IO of remote and in-person events, but Apple is understandably playing it safe for 2022.
We suspect Apple's CEO Tim Cook will kick off the keynote, confirmed to start at 10AM PDT / 6PM GMT on June 6 as before, which we expect will be free to stream.
It’s one of my favorite times of the year! #WWDC22. Can’t wait for June 6th. 🥳 pic.twitter.com/98gag4zGeIApril 5, 2022
We won't know officially until the June 6 keynote what Apple intends to show off, but that's not stopping us from contemplating what we hope and expect to see from the company. Below, we'll predict Apple's software and hardware lineup for WWDC 2022, and explain how the virtual event will work.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Apple’s yearly developer conference
- When is it? June 6 – June 10, 2022
- How can I register / how much does it cost? Free for everyone to watch throughout the week.
What are the WWDC 2022 dates?
Apple revealed that its developer conference would take place from Monday, June 6 through Friday, June 10. Apple regularly schedules its annual five-day conference for June, so it wasn't a surprise to expect to see WWDC around this time again.
Is WWDC 2022 online-only?
Apple normally holds WWDC and its subsequent developer sessions across the week in physical gatherings at the San Jose Convention Center in California, where COVID-19 restrictions on large events are slowly being lifted across the country.
But with WWDC 2021 repeating the same plan as 2020, many had assumed that WWDC 2022 would follow in the same vein. This has turned out to be true, as you will be able to attend sessions and watch the keynote remotely.
However, there is a one-day event on June 6, where developers could register their attendance to watch the keynote, and also chat with Apple representatives.
While submissions have closed, it's the first attending event that Apple has hosted since 2020, due to the pandemic.
How WWDC 2022 will work
In previous years, you could buy a pass to attend Apple's keynote on Monday, alongside being able to attend developer sessions, one-on-one demos with Apple engineers, and other events for professionals or hobbyists arranged by Apple enthusiasts around the event.
This year, most of those events look to be virtual and free again, with Apple announcing more details as the event gets closer, most likely through its WWDC app.
Some WWDC 2022 sessions will be free to all and rewatchable on-demand, as in previous years. But there will be other events that will be in person, and if you're there, will most likely require you to reserve a slot due to its popularity.
What to expect at WWDC 2022
Based on Apple's annual product and software calendar, plus all the leaks and rumors we've heard about, we have a general idea of what Tim Cook, Craig Federighi, and other Apple execs will discuss during the WWDC 2022 keynote on June 6. Here are the highlights:
Apple will almost certainly be introducing iOS 16 at WWDC, the next iteration of what powers the iPhone. Usually, a preview for developers is released the same day as it's made official, with a public beta for you to try a month later.
While we've spoken of our hopes to see some better customization options and a dedicated app to manage our AirTags, AirPods, and other peripherals, it seems like 2022 could be a maintenance year for iOS.
Cleaning up some corners of the software to make it leaner and faster would be a great angle for iOS 16, especially with rumors swirling about different designs that the iPhone 14 Pro could be showcasing soon.
There's already some rumors that we may see a significant design in some areas in iOS 16, but it's not clear as to what this will be just yet.
Every year since 2012, Apple has announced a new version of the software that powers its Macs, and we expect the same for WWDC.
macOS 13 will be the next version, with another name to match the trend of naming previous versions after Californian landmarks. Our money is on 'Mammoth' for this year's version, especially as Apple trademarked the name, alongside Monterey at the start of 2021.
macOS gets the short straw in features compared to iOS, as it usually plays catchup – dark mode and a new look arrived in macOS Big Sur, one year after iOS gained these. Shortcuts also arrived in 2021, while it's been in iOS since 2019.
We expect the same to occur here, with widgets hopefully moving out of a sidebar, and onto your Mac desktop instead, alongside a hope for the fantastic Weather app from iOS 15 to see an appearance on macOS 13 as well.
'M2' Apple Silicon
Users were caught off-guard at Apple's March event, where another M1 variant was announced, the M1 Ultra, which is available to be used in its Mac Studio.
But WWDC 2020 was when Apple announced the move from Intel chips to Apple Silicon, and with the company making sure to mention in March that the M1 Ultra was the last chip of M1, the M2 looks all but certain to appear.
Expect the M2 chip to be more optimized compared to the M1, with a focus on better battery life and more cores for its GPU.
Less likely: Apple VR Headset and iCar
As WWDC is focused on developers, we don't expect to see new hardware appearing. Rather, we do see a better chance of the software for its rumored VR/AR headset to be showcased in some way, instead.
We've spoken of a rumored 'rOS' before that could power this wearable, and to demo what it's capable of for developers, before it's available to customers, could be a good opportunity to load up its App Store before it's available to buy.
Apple's car project has been one of its longest-running rumors in recent memory, allegedly called 'Project Titan' by the company.
There's still next to nothing that's leaked out, but Apple is at least investing millions into an automobile. It still feels too early for Apple to publicly acknowledge this project for 2022 – expect to hear something towards the end of the decade instead.