Home / Features / Apple’s WWDC22 event: what to expect, from iOS 16 to M2 Macs

Apple’s WWDC22 event: what to expect, from iOS 16 to M2 Macs

Also: a new Mac Pro and all the betas you can eat, including iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, tvOS 16 and macOS 13

Call to code. That was this year’s rallying cry from Apple, again reminding people that the Worldwide Developers Conference – WWDC22 – is indeed a conference for developers and not just for people wanting a sneak peek at what Apple’s doing next.

Now Apple, in puntastic mode, adds that the day is Swiftly approaching. Because the Swift programming language. (Look, no-one said Tim Cook and chums were writing sit-coms.) Its web page adds info about the Platforms State of the Union, Apple Design Awards, and sessions you can dip into if you’re feeling techie and a bit nosey.

Even if you’re not that heavily into the tech, what affects developers affects the rest of us. And so there is the keynote, where Tim Cook and pals reveal all the magic that will be blasted into your devices over the coming months – and potentially announce some shiny new toys to covet too. Let’s dig into when the keynote is and what you can expect.

When is the next Apple keynote?

The WWDC22 keynote kicks off at 6pm UK time (10am California) on 6 June, with the full conference running until the 10th. Check back on the day for our live blog and other coverage. Global times as follows:

  • 10am PDT (Cupertino)
  • 1pm EDT (New York)
  • 6pm BST (London)
  • 7pm CEST (Paris)
  • 3am AEST (Sydney)

What to expect at WWDC 2022

Like WWDC 2021 and WWDC 2020 before it, this year’s event is virtual, because the pandemic’s decided it’s not going anywhere. So all the sessions are online and entirely free. 

However, on 6 June, some lucky developers and students will get to watch the keynote and deeper-dive State of the Union videos together at Apple Park. But what will those videos reveal? We’ve braved the spines of Stuff’s brand-new prediction porcupine to find out. (Ouch.)

iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

The main rumours concerning iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 are around integration with an AR/VR headset that may or may not happen and an inevitable partial redesign for iPhone if the notch disappears. Car crash detection has also been mooted for iOS, which would further bolster Apple’s existing and impressive feature set for helping people in distress.

Beyond that, we hope iPhone will get the ability to shove App Library in the Dock and that iPad will finally get a Weather app, along with better external display support – although, truth be told, hope for those iPad goodies evaporated long ago.

Other software updates

Dashboard on Mac OS X, many years ago

Rumours for everything else are thin on the ground. With macOS, there are suggestions the next update will be called macOS Mammoth, which we’re sure people won’t use to make ‘prehistoric’ jabs. In terms of features, freeform widgets seem the most obvious, moving out of the sidebar and on to the desktop, finally going a step further than Dashboard in Mac OS X, 16 years ago.

Elsewhere, we suspect watchOS will get clever health and safety stuff we haven’t thought of yet, tvOS will be barely mentioned – assuming Apple hasn’t forgotten Apple TV exists – and there might be some hints about realityOS if Apple’s headset or glasses are on the horizon.

Anyway, expect full details on watchOS 9, tvOS 16 and macOS 13.

Pro to the Mac

With WWDC’s pro audience, it makes sense Apple would reveal its pro Mac, teased at the March 2022 event as the final piece of the Apple silicon transition. It’ll be even more staggeringly powerful (and expensive) than the high-end Mac Studio. We also assume it’ll be upgradeable to some degree – otherwise, what’s the point?

Elsewhere, the rumour mill’s burbling about an upgraded Pro Display XDR, this time with a 7K display (meaning a 38in screen – or a 32in one with the increased sharpness of a MacBook Pro). Elsewhere, it’s possible we’ll see some of the early M1 Macs get a design refresh, such as the MacBook Air. The next iteration is said to draw from the 24in iMac’s design language in sporting fancy colours, along with flat edges to replace the wedge.

That said, with global supply chain issues now even impacting heavily on Apple – some Macs now have a lead time of more than two months – don’t hold your breath about too many imminent hardware updates.

M2 debut

We’ve had the M1, the M1 Pro, the M1 Max and the M1 Ultra (pictured above). Short of Apple calling its next chip the M1 Super-Duper-By-Heck-This-Is-Fast – although we’d genuinely love that – we suspect we’ll shortly be on to the M2 line.

Logic dictates the M2 chip will keep Apple ahead of the competition, in terms of balancing power and efficiency, along with further ramping up Apple silicon’s graphics capabilities. However, there’s a question whether Apple would debut a vanilla M2 if the new Mac Pro has an iteration of the M1.

Loads and loads of betas

Unless Apple breaks with tradition, the WWDC keynote will end with a mad scramble of developers downloading operating system betas. Within minutes, they’ll be digging into new features – assuming they don’t end up sadly staring at bricked devices. 

So expect betas of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, tvOS 16 and macOS 13.

That won’t be the case for the average punter, but it’s likely Apple will again run public betas throughout the summer. As ever, perform backups prior to installation, because betas are unfinished software and can cause all sorts of problems for devices and data.

For the more cautious, final installs will likely appear in September/October for Apple mobile devices and October/November for Mac.