This week, Apple launches the latest edition of its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). The company uses the event to announce the latest updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and macOS, which means anyone who works in Apple’s ecosystem needs to pay attention. In addition, there’s also the possibility that Apple might unveil some new hardware.
What does WWDC 2022 potentially have in store? Will we see incremental updates to key platforms, or will Apple unleash something unexpected and potentially game-changing?
If you believe the rumor mill, iOS 16 is more of an iterative update to the iconic operating system. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will unveil a more dynamic lock screen with always-on capabilities and interactive widgets; Health and Messaging could also see some tweaks.
In other words, developers probably won’t face a seismic shift in iOS, which potentially means much less (or no) updating their current apps. This is a double-edged sword, of course; new Apple features, once integrated into apps and games, can sometimes translate into boosted engagement. But an iterative update also means developers won’t have to devote time and resources to adjusting to major iOS changes.
The ever-churning rumor mill also suggests that iPadOS will receive some additional multitasking and navigation features. This is a good thing for iPad users who rely on the tablet as a laptop substitute. It’s also potentially a great thing for builders of iPad-based productivity apps who want customers to use their products more.
With every successive version of watchOS, Apple usually updates the fitness and health features; this year’s updates could hinge on Apple’s near-term plans for the device, including any new sensors to monitor health stats. According to The Verge, there may also be some additional accessibility features.
Apple could call the latest version of its macOS software “Mammoth.” It could feature some tweaks to Messaging and System Preferences, but otherwise, information remains relatively scarce—suggesting this update won’t be a revolutionary one.
Apple might roll out new MacBooks with its rumored M2 chip during the show. For months, scuttlebutt suggested the company might also use WWDC to (finally!) debut its “mixed reality” headset (complete with a new operating system, potentially dubbed “rOS”), but some analysts say it won’t happen. Nonetheless, a lack of hardware might not stop Apple from rolling out more augmented-reality and virtual-reality features for iOS—and developers should definitely pay attention to those.