Update: Apple's WWDC products and updates have all been revealed. Check out everything Apple announced at the event here.
Apple's next big event, its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), kicks off today. This is typically a software event where Apple announces the new operating systems (and all the new features) coming to your various Apple devices later in the fall.
It's not totally out of the question for Apple to announce new hardware at WWDC, but it is unlikely. The last hardware announced at WWDC was the Mac Pro in 2019 and the HomePod in 2017, both since discontinued. That said, there are murmurings that Apple could announce its long-rumored VR headset, a new larger HomePod or maybe even a new Mac Pro.
We've rounded up the biggest rumors surrounding WWDC 2022. Here's what to expect.
The iPhone and iPad could get a more functional Lock Screen
To date, the Lock Screen on your iPhone has really just been a place for you to check the date, time and whatever other notifications you've received. With iOS 16 — which Apple will no doubt announce at WWDC — the Lock Screen will get quite a bit more functional. Specifically, Apple is expected to introduce custom widgets that are specifically designed for the Lock Screen and make information, such as from your calendar and weather apps, accessible without you having to unlock your iPhone.
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, iOS 16 could introduce an always-on Lock Screen. However, it's unsure if this feature will be available on your current iPhone or reserved for the iPhone 14s that will be revealed this fall.
More multi-tasking features on the iPad
The iPad currently has more multitasking features compared to the iPhone, such as Split View (which lets you view two windows side-by-side at the same time) and Slide Over (which allows you to use a small version of app without leaving the app you're currently in), to take advantage of its larger display.
With iPadOS 16, Apple is expected to bring even more advanced multitasking features, such as new windows management and sizing tools, that make using the iPad have a more desktop-like experience.
A new Settings app for the Mac
It's still unknown which mountain range Apple is going to name the upcoming macOS 13 after. As far as new features, however, the big rumor is that the new operating system is going to completely redesign System Preferences so that it looks and works more similarly to the Settings app on your iPhone and iPad. This means you'll be able to access specific apps within System Preferences and then tweak their individual settings.
The Apple Watch could get a new low-power mode
Battery life has been the major drawback of the Apple Watch for years. It's true that Apple introduced a new fast-charging ability with the Series 7, which is a start, but all Apple Watch models are still limited to Apple's "all-day" battery life. That's not expected to change with the next-gen watchOS, but Apple is expected to introduce an improved low-power mode that works similarly to the low-power mode on your iPhone (it just shows the time) so that wearers can choose to extend their Apple Watch's life without turning it off.
A redesigned MacBook Air
Again, it's unlikely that Apple is going to introduce new hardware this year at WWDC 2022, but one rumor that has been floating around is that of a new MacBook Air. Apple last announced a new MacBook Air in late 2020, with its big improvement being the addition of Apple's M1 chip. If it does get announced, this new MacBook Air is expected to get more of a redesign, with a larger display that has a notch for the webcam. Apple would likely deck it out with the next-gen version of its M1 processor (likely called M2).
A new MacPro? Maaaaybe!
Having just launched the new Mac Studio standalone hardware line, it seems unlikely that Apple would be ready to announce a new Mac Pro quite yet. But considering the price premium for the most powerful Mac desktop hardware continues to increase, and that the Mac Studio is already quite powerful, we could see a white-hot-thermal M1-based Mac Pro priced in a new tier. The Mac Pro hardware is technically interesting—and the current aluminum case is a beautiful piece of engineering—but unless you’re making big money with your Mac Pro, there’s little to recommend them for the average human.
A VR/AR headset is a long shot, but there's still a shot
Apple has long been rumored to be working on a mixed reality headset (which is different from Apple Glasses and probably more closely related to the latest Oculus Quest or PlayStation VR headsets). Recently, this rumor has only been perpetuated by the fact that it appears that Apple is filing for the trademark "RealityOS" next week. Not a lot is known about this potential headset, however, and I wouldn't get my hopes up; well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated that this headset is more likely to get announced later this year and not at WWDC 2022.