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Although Apple announced its 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) early last month, it didn’t share any specific details on the schedule at that time.
However, with WWDC expected to kick off in just under two weeks, Apple has announced the highlights, including the Apple Keynote, Platforms State of the Union, and Apple Design Awards.
Of course, the highlight of the event for most Apple fans is the Keynote address, which opens the week-long collection of developer-focused sessions and workshops.
Apple’s WWDC Keynote will start on June 6 at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT). Apple is promising “a first look at groundbreaking updates coming to Apple platforms later this year.”
The WWDC Keynote will be live-streamed in all the usual spots, including Apple’s website, the Apple Developer app, the Apple TV app, and YouTube.
For those who can’t watch live, an on-demand playback will be available later on, and naturally, you’ll also be able to catch the highlights in our coverage here at iDrop News.
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What’s Coming at WWDC?
Apple’s WWDC Keynote traditionally focuses on major software updates for all of Apple’s mobile, desktop, and home operating systems. It is an event primarily targeted at developers, so Apple’s primary goal is to get them ready for all the new features their apps will be able to take advantage of in the new operating system releases.
However, that doesn’t mean the company won’t have a few other surprises up its sleeve. Since Apple is taking the stage anyway, WWDC often serves as an excellent opportunity to announce new hardware products. That’s especially true for developer-related things, like when the new Mac Pro debuted in 2019, but it’s not exclusive to that category.
For example, in 2017, Apple used WWDC to pre-announce the original HomePod, which was definitely not developer-related. That same year also saw the arrival of a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, the iMac Pro, and updates to the iMac and MacBook lineups.
Still, hardware announcements are the exception rather than the rule. So despite some sources suggesting up to four new Macs could appear, we’d recommend not getting your hopes up. After all, we’ve heard this song before.
There were some reports that a new Apple Silicon powered Mac Pro and “Apple Studio Display Pro” could have made their debut next month. That may have been true, but recent updates from the same sources have suggested that the new 27-inch mini LED display is still a few more months away.
However, there is a real possibility that Apple could showcase its next-generation M-series chip, likely dubbed the “M2.” Some sources say that if Apple does this, it will have some new Macs to showcase with the M2 chip, but that’s far from a sure thing.
Remember that when Apple first showcased Apple Silicon at WWDC 2020, it didn’t announce any specific Macs with the new chip. Even the Developer Transition Kit (DTK), an Apple Silicon-powered Mac mini that Apple offered to help Mac developers build their apps, actually used an A-series chip.
Even if Apple has some new Macs to show off, those could take a back seat to Apple’s most significant software announcement in years.
Apple’s “mixed-reality” AR/VR Headset is getting real enough that it was ready to be shown to Apple’s Board of Directors last month. While sources are divided on whether Apple will be ready to show it off at WWDC, since it reportedly still has some hurdles to overcome, it could be ready to announce the software side of the experience.
Apple’s headset is expected to be powered by a derivative of iOS that’s been colloquially referred to as “realityOS” or “rOS” (although, as always, we can’t say for sure that’s what Apple will officially call it). If Apple is planning to release its headset between now and WWDC 2023, it will want to make sure that developers are ready for it.
There’s too much at stake with a major product release like this for Apple to put it on sale without having a rich app ecosystem. That may have worked in 2007 with the original iPhone, but that was a very different era.
The only thing that might prevent Apple from showing off “rOS” is the status of the actual headset. It’s hard to conceptualize how to build apps for a device that doesn’t yet exist, especially something as sophisticated as an AR/VR headset. Apple could provide a simulator experience, but that would likely be underwhelming compared to what the actual headset will deliver, so it may be reluctant to go there.
Even if the so-called realityOS doesn’t make an appearance, it’s safe to say that we’re going to see lots of new developments in iOS 16 that hint at Apple’s plans for augmented reality. You likely won’t have to read between too many lines to see the fingerprints of Apple’s headset all over iOS 16.