Apple WWDC 2022 rumors, iOS 16, MacBook Air and everything to expect

Apple Event
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's annual conference for developers, WWDC 2022, kicks off today (June 6) — and it promises a bigger-than-usual showcase that could even include hardware. We'll bring you all the news as it happens in our WWDC 2022 live blog, so follow that for all the latest rumors ahead of the event.

The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is an event where Apple execs show off the next generation of the operating systems that run all of its iPhones, Macs, iPads, Apple Watches and Apple TVs.

Just like with previous recent Apple events, WWDC will be held online. This announcement is basically the blast of the starting pistol when it comes to speculating what big new features Apple will add in 2022.

Not only will Apple reveal the next major features for its new software, but it typically uploads developer betas for each big OS update shortly after the keynote. More-stable public betas come in the following months and weeks, and the fall sees the final versions released alongside new hardware.

But we could see some new hardware at WWDC 2022, with the MacBook Air 2022 and a possible tease of the Apple VR/AR headset at the top of the list. 

WWDC 2022 news and rumors (Updated June 6)

WWDC 2022 dates

WWDC 2022 starts on today, June 6, and ends on June 10. The annual keynote and State of the Union videos will debut today. The keynote is the more public-facing video of the two, while the State of the Union is more geared at developers.

Image of Memoji's with a laptop in front of them for WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

The WWDC 2022 keynote will be the star of the conference. It's set for today, Monday, June 6 and will start at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET, and 6 p.m. BST. We have a rundown on how to watch WWDC 2022 live stream

The keynote invitation posted above features silhouettes of five people in the colors of the Apple logo, along with the words "Swiftly Approaching." That's a riff on the Swift programming language developers use to build things for Apple's various software programs.

Apple has included an easter egg on their events website, where if you tap on the memoji's on the page on your iPad or iPhone — it will throw up AR card's with different memoji's on them. The AR cards could hint at Apple's focus on mixed reality efforts at WWDC this year.

The Apple Design Awards will also be given out during WWDC 2022.

WWDC announcements: iOS 16

iphone 13 pro display on leaning against books

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

iOS 16 will reportedly get some major upgrades to both the Health app and how iPhone's handle notifications. This is according to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg

iOS 16 will likely share many of its top features with other Apple OS devices, as was the case with iOS 15. Take Live Text (which allows you to select text in images) and SharePlay (which allows users to co-watch a show or movie remotely); both of these features are just as much Apple features as they are iPhone features. He's also teased new Apple apps for iOS 16 in a follow-up report. Here's a round-up of potential iOS 16 features.

iPhone owners often brag about how their iPhones get updates for years and years. And a leak suggests that the 6-plus year iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus may not be invited to iOS 16.

iOS 16 might contain mentions of the long-rumored Apple AR/VR headset. While we don't know what features this would involve, having official confirmation of the headset would still be big news.

Apple also announced its new Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) offering. Apple Pay Later will be coming to the Apple Wallet app in iOS 16 and will allow users to split any Apple Pay purchase into four equal payments over six weeks.

WWDC announcements: macOS 13

The MacBook Pro 2021 (14-inch)

(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

Recent years have seen Macs fit into the Apple ecosystem more than ever. That doesn't just happen with iPad apps working on Apple Silicon Macs, but with Universal Control allowing users to use Macs and iPads with the same mouse and keyboard.

Tired of having to let every website know that you're not a robot? macOS Ventura and iOS 16 are both getting Automatic Verification, which allows Apple users to bypass CAPTCHAs on numerous websites. This feature could be a real-time saver as it continues to roll out. 

How else will macOS 13 up the ante? We're not sure, but if there's any clear pattern to be seen, it's that Apple will continue to give you reasons to stay in the macOS ecosystem.

WWDC announcements: watchOS 9

Apple Watch 6 with watchOS 8 find devices app

(Image credit: Future)

When we've written about watchOS 9, we've speculated that you should expect more health and fitness upgrades, and integrations with Apple's HomeKit, Apple Wallet and Apple Fitness Plus. But what watchOS 9 features do we want Apple to announce at WWDC 2022?

We're really hoping that the Health app from the iPhone gets a sizable presence on the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch already collects a lot of the data for this app, so this is a perfect home for it.

An Apple Watch Notes App would make a ton of sense, too. Taking notes on the fly with Siri, and checking your shopping list are two big things some of the TG staff use third-party apps for, and we're curious why Apple hasn't yet.

Also: let us take a break, Apple. Some of us are so dedicated to keep our Fitness app streaks going that it's almost stressing us out. Giving users the ability to take a day off here and there would go a huge way for mental health.

WWDC announcements: iPadOS 16

iPad Air 5

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

This one's interesting. Multitasking improved in iPadOS 15, and widgets were a finally moment, but a lot of people may have been disappointed by the iPad's resistance to become more Mac-like.

But now that even the iPad Air 2022 has an M1 chip, WWDC 2022 seems like as good a day as ever to announce that iPads can run Mac apps now. Macs can run iPad apps, so what's the hold up?

The good news is that there's a rumor that the new multitasking features slated for iPadOS 16 include resizable windows for a more desktop-like experience. In addition, plugging in a keyboard and mouse could instantly shrink down apps, which would feel more laptop-like. In other words, with iPadOS 16, the iPad could finally replace your laptop. 

WWDC announcements: tvOS 16

TG Awards 2021

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

No rumors have popped up about what tvOS 16 will offer, but we've got two requests. First, can Apple build in external webcam support for the Apple TV? Without that, FaceTime SharePlay makes you juggle your Apple devices.

Secondly, bring split view mode over from the Mac and iPad. Think about it as picture-in-picture, but on steroids. Fubo TV has multi-stream view, and if you talk to any sports fan, or anyone trying to follow two or more channels at once, they'll tell you this is something that would be a huge boon.

Also, add Find My support to the Apple TV remote, somehow.

Hardware: MacBook Air or Apple AR/VR headset?

WWDC and hardware go together like Apple and Epic Games: dreaming about a big product reveal doesn't often work. That said, people do get their hopes up all the time, and this year has two devices that we think are definitely possible.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, we could see a MacBook Air 2022 launch at WWDC 2022 along with one other Mac. The new MacBook Air 2022 will reportedly be powered by a new M2 chip and come in a wide range of bold colors. We'll have to see what actually appears at the conference. For more, read about the top MacBook Air 2022 features we expect to see.

Then there's the new Apple Silicon-powered Mac Pro. Teased at the end of Apple's March 2022 event, this new powerful Mac would likely have many fans in the developer community, making WWDC as good a time as any to show a hint at what's to come. Again, nobody's saying it's going to happen, but it would be nice.

The Apple VR/AR headset isn't shouting for a WWDC 2022 reveal, but we have to wonder how much time Apple will give third-party app developers to prepare apps. Recent rumors point to a 2023 release, so we don't think we'd see final hardware at WWDC 202, but Apple could very well tease the rumored realityOS that would run on the headset. And iO6 16 reportedly has plenty of links to Apple's upcoming AR/VR headset

In addition, we've learned that Apple could file a trademark for realityOS on June 8, which is just two days after WWDC 2022 kicks off. So it's possible Apple could give us a sneak preview of its AR/VR headset. 

However Ming-Chi Kuo has downplayed the speculation. The analyst claims that revealing the headset and its software too early would give Apple's competitors chance to develop copycat products. The New York Times reports that the Apple AR/VR headset will not appear until 2023, but we may see some AR software news at WWDC 2022. And the Apple headset may get content from big Hollywood directors like Jon Favreau

Meanwhile Mark Gurman has said any WWDC hardware will likely be Mac-oriented. And while a headset is not likely, Apple did drop a WWDC easter egg in the form of AR cards, which could hint at their focus on AR.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.