Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is fast approaching. On June 7, the Cupertino tech giant will announce the next versions of its mobile and desktop operating systems – iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 16 and macOS 13. Also rumored – and expected – but by no means confirmed are some material announcements.
Here’s a quick look at what we can expect Apple to announce at WWDC, which will be pre-recorded and virtual for the third year in a row.
The current version of Apple’s iPhone operating system – iOS 15 – was widely seen as an incremental update to its predecessor, the flashier iOS 14 which, for the very first time, brought widgets to the iPhone. In iOS 15, Apple has focused heavily on streamlining the user experience and also user privacy. With iOS 15, Apple announced iCloud+, with functionality to mask the user’s online identity through Private Relay – a VPN-like feature through which the IP address is masked by sending data back to multiple servers , and “Hide My Email”, which allows users to create a use-and-discard email address to prevent spam.
With iOS 16, Apple watcher Mark Gurman of Bloomberg says Apple isn’t aiming for a major overhaul, but rather notification improvements and new health-tracking features. In recent years, Apple – through its Watch series – has increasingly focused on health-focused software.
Compatible Phones: The iPhone 6s, launched in 2015, received operating system support for an unprecedented seven years. This year, the 6s and 6s plus, as well as the 2016 iPhone SE, will be on the chopping block, with iOS 16 supported by iPhone 7 and later – iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X , Xs, Xs Max, XR, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, SE 2020, 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.
In 2019, Apple decoupled the iPad from the iPhone by giving its tablets their own operating system, so to speak. Until 2018, iPad and iPhone ran iOS. With iOS 13, that has changed. In 2019, the iPad got its own iPadOS, which was basically iOS for iPad under a new name. Since then, however, Apple has subtly introduced features into iPadOS that take advantage of the tablet’s prowess, such as multitasking and, last year, Continuity – a nifty little feature where a user can drag and drop elements in a single movement between an iPad and a Mac. This year, Gurman says he expects Apple to refine multitasking features to make better use of the M1 chip, which is in three iPad models in the five-model lineup.
iPadOS 16 is expected to come to all iPads released since 2017.
watch OS 9
The latest iteration of Apple’s wearable operating system is expected to feature atrial fibrillation detection; improved low power mode, — with support for certain apps and features, unlike currently, where the watch is essentially unusable in low power mode; sew sleep tracking features; focus on women’s health and medication tracking features; new workouts; and new watch faces.
The Apple Watch Series 3, released in 2017, is expected to be dropped from supported devices this year. Only Series 4 (2018) and later should receive watchOS 9.
Not much is currently known about the next version of Apple’s desktop operating system except that it will be heavily biased towards Macs running Apple Silicon and will have a nature-based name specific to California. The current version of macOS is dubbed Monterey, after Monterey Bay in the Sunshine State.
However, Intel-based Macs should be supported – every Mac released since late 2013 should get the latest software update.
For months, Apple had to announce the successor to its revolutionary M1 chip. However, Apple has since introduced M1 Pro and M1 Max – more powerful versions of M1 before blasting them all with M1 Ultra, which are essentially merged M1 Max chips, in March.
Rumors persist that Apple may announce the M2 chip at WWDC 2022 and with it refresh the entry-level MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
Apple is also expected to release upcoming versions of tvOS and the software powering the HomePod Mini.
First post: STI