If you own something built by Apple, the annual Worldwide Developers Conference usually turns out to be one of the most interesting events of the year. This is when the company lays all its cards on the table, revealing the changes coming to the multiple software platforms it has built. That means new features for everything from your iPhone and iPad to your Apple Watch and MacBook.
WWDC 2022 numbers will be no different, Apple is expected to provide updates on all of its software – iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS and tvOS. There could be new software joining the mix – realityOS, which would power any AR/VR gear Apple plans to develop. And although WWDC focuses more on software than hardware, Apple could use the occasion to show off an updated MacBook Air.
We’ll find out soon enough, as WWDC 2022 begins on Monday (June 6). A keynote highlights that first day, as Apple executives take the stage to detail all of the software changes coming later this year and perhaps reveal a few more surprises. You can use our guide on how to watch the WWDC live stream to follow every Apple announcement as it happens.
But forget about anything Apple might announce at WWDC, and instead focus on what should be on the company’s agenda. Here are six things I’d love to see happen on stage at this year’s Apple event.
The M2 chip
It’s widely expected that Apple will introduce a 2022 MacBook Air, and that’s good news for anyone who wants a laptop, given Apple’s recent push to improve its lineup. But the part of a potential MacBook Air announcement that piqued my interest is the chipset Apple is going to use to power the machine.
Specifically, 2022 MacBook Air rumors suggest the new laptop will feature an Apple M2 chip, a change from the M1 powering the current model. If true, that means WWDC is giving us a chance to see the next step in the evolution from Mac to Apple silicon.
The story of the M2 chipset does not appear to be raw power like it was with the M1 Pro and M1 Max silicon introduced by Apple last year. Indeed, early reports suggest the M2 won’t be much more powerful than the M1. The question is, will the M2 bring anything else to the table, like better fuel efficiency? This could translate to better battery life, which would certainly be welcome for any laptop.
There is speculation that supply constraints could push back any Apple silicon advances until next year. What Apple is showing at WWDC might tell the story.
An always-on display for the iPhone
I think the iPhone has many advantages over Android devices – more seamless software support. a more compelling App Store, better performance – but there’s one area where Android clearly wins. Android phones have always-on screens, while iPhones don’t. And it makes Android devices more useful when you just need a quick look at the time, weather conditions, or upcoming appointments.
That might be about to change, as recent rumors suggest an always-on display is heading to iPhone 14 Pro models in the fall. There’s no way Apple will confirm this at WWDC since the iPhone launch is months away. But Apple might announce a feature in its iOS 16 preview that lays the groundwork for always-on displays.
This supposed feature involves changes to the iPhone lock screen. Specifically, iOS 16 is expected to include new lock screen wallpapers featuring widgets. In other words, from the lock screen you will see more visible information than the time and recently arrived notifications.
If Apple adds this feature in iOS 16, this new information is unlikely to remain hidden until you lift your iPhone to wake it up. The arrival of lock screen widgets could signal the advent of always-on displays, one of the ways WWDC could offer us clues as to what’s coming to the iPhone 14 in the fall.
Multitasking Improvements in iPadOS 16
“Your next computer isn’t a computer,” Apple said in ads promoting the iPad, the idea being that the tablet is powerful enough to handle tasks you’d normally do on a less portable device. If the rumors about the next version of iPadOS are true, Apple plans to take further steps to make sure your next computer feels more like a computer, even if it’s still a tablet.
Specifically, rumors are tipping the iPad to get more multitasking capabilities with iPadOS 16. It’s possible the software update could introduce resizable windows that mimic the experience of running multiple apps on your computer at once. computer. The end result should make it easier to tell which apps you have open, and it should also be easier to switch between apps.
Last year’s iPadOS 15 update also included multitasking features, especially new menu buttons that made things easier like triggering split-screen mode. Apple therefore clearly sees multitasking as an essential part of the continued evolution of the iPad.
More Reasonable Workout Motivation in watchOS 9
I’m not an Apple Watch user, but my wife certainly is. And while the gamification features to keep her fit, moving and on her feet have certainly helped her stick to a fitness routine – heaven forbid there is a day when the activity rings aren’t closed – Apple is also going a little overboard with the constant insistence that comes from its Activity app.
I’ve written about overly aggressive Apple Watch prompts before, but every day doesn’t need to feature workouts as intense, if not more so, than the day before. Rest days are part of any fitness regimen, but it’s a foreign concept to the Apple Watch, where every day is leg day.
WatchOS 9 rumors tend to stick to fitness and health tracking capabilities, but if there’s one thing I wish Apple would add to its smartwatches, it would be prompts. smarter exercise systems better suited to individual fitness goals. It would fulfill the Apple Watch’s purpose of being an essential health accessory and reduce many of the arguments with the agricultural fitness trainer who apparently lives in a device on my wife’s wrist.
Better multi-account management in tvOS
While we talk about changes that would improve my life at home, let’s focus on tvOS, the software that powers the Apple TV set-top box. The current iteration of tvOS supports multiple Apple accounts, so my wife and I can easily switch between our accounts when we want to access something in our respective libraries. Its good!
What’s not so good is what happens to the Up Next section in the Watch Now tab of the TV app. I find this particular section a useful way to get back to shows I’m watching or movies I’ve had to pause, but since it’s tied to any active Apple account on our Apple TV, the list of upcoming shows exchange.
What I would like to see happen is for tvOS 16 to recognize that the Apple accounts for me and my wife are stored on the Apple TV and have the Up Next screen reflect the programming both of us are watching. More manageable toggles for switching between viewing lists would provide an easier way to switch accounts than accessing Apple TV settings.
Show me the Apple AR/VR headset already
Most Apple watchers don’t expect Apple to show off the VR/AR headset Apple is supposedly working on. With the delivery date of this device apparently pushed back to 2023, it is very possible that the Apple VR/AR headset is not ready for any public demo.
But I think it would be a mistake to completely ignore the device if it is, in fact, in Apple’s future plans.
Maybe I’m coming to this from the perspective of someone who’s skeptical of the value of VR/AR headsets, but I think WWDC gives Apple the opportunity to really explain its view of reality mixed. What experiences can I have with expensive hardware strapped to my head that improves my life? What does a helmet make easier or more enjoyable or even possible? I’ve yet to find that aha moment with the AR headsets and viewers already out there, so hopefully Apple can do what it usually does best and make a compelling case for this technology.
More concretely, explaining this vision to an audience of developers tells them the kind of apps they should be building for an Apple VR/AR headset and, possibly, the Apple Glasses that are supposed to be in the works as well. That way, when these products are ready for prime time, apps will be waiting for them that will allow early adopters to get the most out of this new class of device, much in the same way that third-party apps have improved the iPhone experience in its early years.