We’re now just a couple of weeks away from Apple’s biggest event of the year, and I don’t know about you, but I’m approaching it with a very open mindset.
Over the last few years, I’ve got rather fed up with raising my expectations to the point at which they are inevitably dashed. Whether it be the potential for big hardware announcements, or much-needed steps forward with certain operating systems, Apple has a habit of doing the exact opposite of what we all want.
In fairness, they do spring the odd surprise on us, from time to time, and some of them are very welcome indeed. For instance who saw Universal Control coming?
So, today, I thought I’d give you my predictions for WWDC 2022, and in preparation, I’ve decided to steer clear of as many rumours as possible.
Will there be hardware at WWDC 2022?
When I say “steer clear of as many rumours as possible”, there’s one rumour mill which is nigh-on impossible to avoid: potential new Apple hardware.
Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference is primarily geared towards operating system and software announcements. But we’re living in rather different times, and with 2022 being the year of the full transition to Apple silicon across the entire Mac product line, I’m confident we’ll see something on June 6th.
I don’t think we’ll see a new MacBook Air or a revised Mac mini. Any updates to the MacBook Pro are also likely to wait until later this year. And if you’re still holding out hope for a big M1 iMac, I think you’ll be sorely disappointed.
What I’m pretty sure we will see during the WWDC keynote is the first glimpse of the refreshed, Apple Silicon-powered Mac Pro. It will be a numbers porn fest, with Apple mercilessly throwing shade at the PC competition. We’ll hear about teraflops, biblical core counts, and more power-per-watt efficiency than you can shake a tin of thermal paste at.
For most of us, it’ll be a Mac whose power we’ll never have the budget, need, or expertise to experience. But boy is it going to be a popcorn moment.
I’m going to stir a few feathers and suggest that iOS isn’t in a particularly bad place at the moment. It’ll never be as customisable as Android, nor will the Home Screen ever receive any significant updates.
This year, iOS 16 will probably be granted the usual visual refresh, minor tweaks, and improvements to widget functionality. This is fine – I have no problem with Apple simply fettling their mobile operating system every year; we’ve reached a point where smartphones are such capable devices that it’s hard to think of any seismic leaps forward that would make a difference to everyday life.
I’d love ‘jiggle mode’ to be made 100% less irritating. I’d love to have some form of useful newsfeed when swiping right from the Home Screen (as Android does so brilliantly). Some more interesting wallpaper wouldn’t go amiss, either.
Apple might surprise us, of course; this could be the year of a huge iOS update. I just can’t think what that might look like, or what’s currently broken that needs fixing.
This is the big one for me. If Apple ditched every other announcement and focused the entirety of the WWDC keynote on iPadOS, I’d be a very happy man.
Enough is enough. Multitasking remains inherently undiscoverable and teeth-itchingly fiddly when you accidentally bump into it. The Home Screen makes laughably poor use of the screen estate on offer. There’s no multi-user support. More importantly, iPadOS fails to make use of the copious amounts of power contained within every iPad you can buy today.
I want iPadOS to ‘grow a pair’ and remove itself from the ties of iOS. It is, I’m afraid, still just a slightly bigger version of iOS.
Give us proper windowed multitasking. Let us decide how many apps we want to have open at once and where we want to place them. Make it possible for more than one person to share the same iPad with their own preferences and app access. Redesign the Home Screen to give us the ‘it’s not a computer’ experience you keep teasing.
Lastly, please, please give us pro apps. Final Cut Pro will do for starters, but glimpses at what might be on the horizon with the likes of Logic Pro and Xcode will give us all hope that the iPad isn’t simply the Mac’s cool-but-inexperienced younger sibling.
They can’t let us down again, can they?
Regular readers will know that I’ve recently dived wholeheartedly into the world of the Apple TV, and I’m very much enjoying the experience.
tvOS itself isn’t a bad operating system. It still needs a bit of refinement, and I’d dearly love a slightly more logical way of dividing your time between the main Home Screen and the ‘Up Next’ section, but it has come on leaps and bounds in recent years.
There’s only one thing I want from tvOS at the moment, but I think it’s largely out of Apple’s hands. In the UK, we have no option for integrating a TV service into our Apple TVs. Plenty of other countries do, and I think it’s the missing piece of the jigsaw for what is so nearly a complete home TV system for my household. If Apple takes to the stage and announces a raft of new media company partnerships in this country, I’ll be very happy indeed.
That ain’t gonna happen, though.
I think watchOS is great. Honestly – it has grown into such a finely-tuned fitness companion that it’s hard to think what Apple might do next with it.
I guess they could add a few more workout types, and maybe give us some new fitness-focused watch faces, but that’s about it.
Beyond fitness, I use my Apple Watch for Apple Pay, timers, and… that’s about it. I’m happy with that relatively limited use case, too, and I’d guess that it matches how the vast majority of users have integrated Apple’s wearable into their everyday lives.
What I want is more interesting Apple Watch hardware, which I hope arrives later this year. We certainly won’t see it at WWDC, although I’ll be keeping an eagle eye out for any watchOS updates that might hint at future hardware developments.
One more thing (from me)
This year’s WWDC clashes with arguably the biggest event of my life.
On June 7th, we’ll be heading to our local hospital so that my girlfriend can be induced – unless anything happens before that date, of course.
There is, obviously, no competition. Tim and co. will have to take second fiddle while I bask in the glory of becoming a father for the first time. In turn, this might result in a delay to my post-keynote coverage of WWDC, but rest assured I’ll return as quickly as possible to give you my full, sleep-deprived thoughts.
In the meantime, and as always, I’d love to hear from you. What’s the one thing you want from WWDC 2022? Get involved in the comments!