What to expect from iOS 16, macOS 13, iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9 at WWDC22 [Updated]


What to expect from iOS 16, macOS 13, iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9 at WWDC22
WWDC22 will give us our first official looks at iOS 16, macOS 13, iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9. But you don't have to wait.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

We’re less than a week away from WWDC22, but it’s not too late to take a look ahead to the unveiling of iOS 16, macOS 13, iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9. As always, these operating system upgrades are expected to be the highlights of Apple’s annual developer conference.

Some details about them already leaked out, though. Here’s a foretaste of WWDC22.

So much to look forward to at WWDC22

Apple traditionally uses its annual Worldwide Developers Conference to unveil upgrades to all it new operating systems. The keynote address by CEO Tim Cook, SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi and others offers a window into Apple’s future. The execs will show off new features coming to Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch over the coming year. And they might even spend some time highlighting new Apple hardware or services.

But you don’t have to wait until June 6 for all the details. Some leaked out ahead of the the WWDC22 keynote.

Leaked iOS 16 features coming to iPhones

While there are plenty of changes expected in iOS 16, it will not introduce a major redesign, according to information that leaked out of Apple. The user interface will look much like the current version. Just with lots of tweaks.

The most significant change known at this point is that Apple plans to overhaul the iPhone lock screen with new wallpapers that offer widget-like features. Details are thin, though.

In addition, Cupertino is expected to launch an updated notification management system. However, the exact nature of the update remains unknown.

The Messages app will supposedly offer more social-networking features. Again, exactly what this means isn’t clear.

There will also be changes in iOS 16 as a result of new hardware. For example, iPhone 14 Pro models reportedly will have a “hole punch and pill” screen cutouts, not a notch. The Pro models are also expected to have always-on displays. Plus, the top-tier models could add a 48MP rear camera.

Apple has done a respectable job at keeping a lid on leaks this year, so little can be said for certain. Some iPhone users are hoping for interactive Home screen widgets and split-screen multitasking to debut in the upcoming version of iOS, but none of these features have appeared so far in leaks.

As for the iOS 16 release date, it depends on what you mean by “release.” It’ll undoubtedly be announced on June 6 during the WWDC22 opening keynote. Developers will probably be seeded the first beta on that date. But the full version likely won’t arrive until September, when this year’s iPhones hit store shelves.

Little is known about macOS 13 features

Speaking of keeping a tight lid on leaks, not much is known about the next version of the Mac operating system.

System Preferences is reportedly being redesigned to more closely match Settings on iPhone and iPad. That includes settings for individual apps being brought in, just as iOS and iPadOS have. There’s a chance it might even be renamed “Settings.”

And some of Apple’s own default apps are supposedly getting facelifts. There are no details, though.

There are hopes that the new version will let users back up their Macs to iCloud, as iPhone and iPad already can. And some people are asking for Home screen widgets that act like the ones on iPhone and iPad.

macOS 13 will be a star of the WWDC22 keynote address on June 6, with the first beta likely going to developers that same day. A full release isn’t expected until October, given Apple’s previous habits.

Big, new iPadOS 16 features could be on the way

Floating app windows could be coming to iPad. Finally. Apple is allegedly working to make this dream into a reality.
Apple is allegedly working to make this dream into a reality.
Illustration: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPad users might have a lot to look forward to. Leaks point to a new multitasking interface in iPadOS 16. And evidence for applications in floating windows on iPad has appeared.

The changes to notifications expected in iOS 16 are also likely to coming to iPad.

Every year, there’s optimism from power users that iPadOS will get better support for external displays as well as Apple’s own professional applications, like Xcode. This might be the year.

Apple almost certainly will unveil iPadOS 16 during the June 6 keynote. A developer-only beta should appear very shortly thereafter, with a full release coming in September.

Expect more health-related watchOS 9 features

Unlike some other Apple devices, there have actually been several trustworthy rumors predicting new features in watchOS 9.

It will supposedly get a major overhaul, bringing in improvements to navigation and daily operations. There will be enhancements to watch faces, and the OS will gain support for low-power mode.

Apple Watch has long emphasized health and fitness. This year, Apple reportedly plans to introduce new women’s health features plus new sleep-, fitness- and medication-management options. And there’ll be more workout types and additional metrics for running workouts. (When it debuts this fall, Apple Watch Series 8 might include a body temperature sensor that supports some of these new features.)

Like Apple’s other operating systems, expect watchOS 9 to be unveiled on the first day of WWDC22 during the keynote address. The first developer beta should go out that same day. The full public release probably will happen in September, about the same time that Apple Watch Series 8 launches.

Stay tuned for more about WWDC22

Cult of Mac will be ready on June 6 to cover everything about iOS 16, macOS 13, iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9 announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

And while software is generally the focus, hardware announcements are not unknown. There’s been speculation that the world could get its first glimpse at the Apple M2 processor at WWDC22. Or there might be a redesigned MacBook Air,

And there’s always the outside chance that Apple might show off its long-rumored AR/VR headset, though there are some prominent doubters.

Note: This article was originally published on May 12, 2022. It has since been updated with new information and republished.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.