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

What to expect from iOS 16, macOS 13, iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9

By

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

We’re less than a month away from WWDC22, an excellent time to 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 developers 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

iOS 16 will not introduce a major redesign, according to information that leaked out of Apple. The user interface will look much like the current version.

The most significant change known at this point is that Apple plans to launch an updated notification management system. However, the exact nature of the update remains unknown.

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. And the top-tier models could add a 48MP rear camera.

There will surely be other improvements, but Apple has done a remarkable job at keeping a lid on leaks this year.

Some iPhone users are hoping for interactive Home screen widgets, an always-on lock screen 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.

macOS 13 features are a mystery

Speaking of keeping a tight lid on leaks, virtually nothing is known about the next version of the Mac operating system. It’ll almost certainly be called macOS 13, but beyond that is just speculation.

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 one source got even more specific, predicting that support for applications in floating windows is in development and might appear this year.

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. 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. (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. And there’s always the outside chance that Apple might show off its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Fresh references to “realityOS,” likely the operating system that will power the wearable, leaked in source code earlier this year.