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WWDC 2022: What to expect from Apple’s annual developer event

WWDC 2022: What to expect from Apple’s annual developer event
Photo Credit: Apple
5 Jun, 2022
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After Google's IO, held last month, Apple is expected to hold its annual developer conference called the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at its head office in Cupertino. Starting June 6, the five-day event will be held virtually with no in-person attendance.

Though the event is expected to be mostly about the upcoming version of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and Apple's software strategy, the company has used this platform in the past to talk about its upcoming hardware and devices. This year won’t be any different as Apple may show off a new VR headset and MacBook. Apple’s events page also shows digital avatars and MacBook.

Here are some of the devices and software updates that Apple is expected to talk about at WWDC 2022. 

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A new version of iOS

Apple is believed to have made some significant upgrades in the upcoming iOS 16. Lockscreen is expected to get some new features such as an always-on display to let users quickly access some content like time without tapping on the screen or unlocking it. Several Android OEMs have been offering this for years.

The lockscreen is also likely to get some widget-like functionality, allowing users to get a glance at calendar meetings, and weather updates from the lockscreen. Notifications is another element that has seen upgrades with every iOS update. It is believed that with iOS 16, Apple is planning to improve how notifications are grouped so it's easier for users to clear them. Apple is also planning to let users delete emails, read and even like messages from notifications. 

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Apple is expected to enhance social media capabilities in its messaging app and add some new options for audio messages. Apple is also said to be working on a bunch of new apps, which is not surprising given the growth in the company’s services business. 

Apple ventures into AR/VR headsets

It is believed that Apple is planning to unveil its first mixed reality (MR) headset device at WWDC. The Apple board was reportedly given a demo of the device last month, which can be interpreted as Apple getting ready to make the device public. It is also believed that the OS for the headset is near completion after a trademark application for an operating system called realityOS for AR/VR headsets at US Patent and Trademark Office was filed in the name of a separate company. Experts have predicted that Apple may launch the device sometime this year and may follow it with an AR headset later.

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New MacBook Air 

In the devices segment, Apple is likely to unveil a new MacBook Air powered by the more powerful M2 chip. The last MacBook Air that was based on the M1 chip was launched in November 2020. In addition to using the new chip, Apple is also said to have made some design changes to the MacBook Air. It is expected to have thinner bezels around the screen with a notch-like space for the camera along with a thinner and compact design available in more than usual colour options. 

An iPadOS with PC like capabilites

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Also expected to be unveiled at the WWDC is iPadOS 16 for Apple’s diverse portfolio of iPads. With some of the high-end iPad Pro devices now running on Apple’s M1 chip, some believe that Apple may upgrade iPadOS to make it a proper PC OS with features that would make users more productive. Some redesigning related to windows and how users can arrange them on screen is expected to boost multi-tasking. Also, to take advantage of the M1 chip on the iPad, Apple is expected to make more powerful creator-centric apps such as Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro may become available for iPad OS.

Mammoth update to macOS

According to trademark filings, the macOS 13 is likely to be called macOS Mammoth. Not a lot is known about what is coming, but given the name, many expect it to be a major overhaul in terms of features. Many of the apps on the macOS including Mail and Safari were due for an upgrade.  

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Apple’s health-related announcements

With the immense focus on health, announcements around health apps on the iPhone in sync with the health app on WatchOS can be expected. Apple is believed to be working on making its devices more reliable for health tracking so it gains wider acceptance. Activity and fitness tracking on the watchOS 9, the upcoming OS version for Apple Watch is expected to get better. More features on atrial fibrillation detection are likely to be added. To improve the battery backup of the watches, Apple is said to have introduced some power-saving options.