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WWDC 2022 recap: iOS 16, new MacBook Air, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9 and more

See all the big news from WWDC 2022 in one place

tim cook apple wwdc 2022
(Image: © Future)

Apple's WWDC 2022 keynote didn't disappoint. Everything from iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to watchOS 9 and macOS Ventura will be debuting this fall with tons of new features, and new hardware arrives before then, as Apple is updating the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro with the latest Apple M2 chip.

WWDC 2022 comes packed with a number of substantial updates that will dramatically impact the Apple products you use. For an hour and 40 minutes, Apple ticked off a list of enhancements and changes aimed at making its devices work better together while also supporting new capabilities.

Here's all the big WWDC 2022 news. 

iOS 16: The updated iPhone software coming in the fall introduces a redesigned lock screen that gives you more customization options. You'll also be able to include widgets on the lock screen. Messages gives you the ability to edit and even recall texts; you'll be able to watch videos using SharePlay from within Apple's messaging app, too.

Wallet, Maps and Photos all see new features and enhancements, including Apple's new Buy Now Pay Later service Apple Pay Later. But the biggest change will be Car Play is working with car makers on a revamped interface due out next year. Be sure to check our list of iOS 16 supported devices to see which iPhones make the cut. 

MacBook Air 2022: The new MacBook Air 2022 is here, and it looks very impressive. You get a bigger and brighter 13.6-inch display, a faster M2 chip and a better 1080p webcam in a much more compact design that's 20% smaller. And the four color options add a dash of style to this powerful laptop. The only real catch? It starts at $1,199 / AU$1,899, which is steep. The new MacBook Pro 2022 13-inch is also getting the M2 chip.

macOS Ventura: macOS 13 also sees a surprising number of changes, including a new name after the Southern California coastal city. The highlight here is Stage Manager, a new way of multitasking that puts the app you're working on front and center. We're also impressed by a feature that will let you seamlessly use your iPhone as a webcam on video calls in macOS Ventura.

iPadOS 16: The iPad supports multitasking through Stage Manager, too. A Freeform app creates a shared whiteboard to help with group collaboration and Apple is touting boosted gaming features on the iPad.

watchOS 9: Compared to the other software updates coming this year, WatchOS 9 feels more like a run-of-the-mill version, introducing new watchfaces. But there are improved health-tracking features like the ability to monitor sleep stages and log your history with irregular heartbeats, too.

Want to catch all of the WWDC announcements? The embedded stream replaying Apple's keynote is below.

Meanwhile, here's our WWDC 2022 keynote live blog where we reacted to Apple's announcements as they happened.

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Good morning and welcome to Tom's Guide's WWDC 2022 live blog. 

We'll be rounding up all the last-minute rumors and leaks ahead of today's event — and there are plenty of those — then bringing you all the news as it happens from 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. BST. Stick with us and you won't miss a thing.

Like the last two years, WWDC is a virtual event, with the presentations — including today’s keynote — streaming online. But it would be more accurate to describe WWDC as mostly virtual.

A handful of developers will be attending the WWDC keynote in-person, and Apple’s on-campus presentations aren’t just limited to the keynote. The company is also showing off its new Developer Center.

Apple touts the Developer Center, which is located near the Apple Park campus, as a place where developers can meet with and learn from the company’s engineers and designers. There are enough little touches to warm the heart of even the most jaded Apple Geek, including rooms named after the different macOS versions.

iphone 14 pro render

(Image credit: Front Page Tech / Ian Zelbo)

The biggest expected change coming to iOS 16 this year could be the ability to add widgets to the lock screen. 

Specifically, Apple is going to create new wallpapers you can select for your lock screen, and some will include widgets that presumably show the current temperature, upcoming appointments or any of the other at-a-glance info you’ve been able to place on your home screen since iOS 14.

iOS 16 logo on iPhone

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

But that’s not the only rumored change to iOS 16, which sounds like quite a substantial update. 

We’ve got a round-up of the top rumored features for iOS 16 including updates to notifications and Messages. We’ve also heard that new apps could be appearing in iOS 16, though there are no specifics on what these apps might address. That didn’t stop us from making a few guesses about some iOS 16 changes.

iPhone 14 Pro design vs iPhone 14 design

(Image credit: EverythingApplePro/YouTube)

The lock screen with widgets feature could set the stage for Apple to add always-on display support to some iPhone 14 models in the fall. (The guess is this might be an iPhone 14 Pro-only capability.) But even if that’s the case, Apple is unlikely to mention the iPhone 14 by name. A teaser like the one Google pulled off at Google I/O for the Pixel 7 just isn’t part of Apple’s playbook.

Which is not to save that there may not be hints about what’s coming in the fall contained in Apple’s iOS 16 preview. Here’s a look at what WWDC could tell us about the upcoming iPhone.

iPad Pro 2021 (12.9-inch) review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide/Henry T. Casey)

In the buildup to WWDC, one of the most talked-about rumors is new multitasking features for the iPad, coming via iPadOS 16. Apple routinely beefs up the multitasking capabilities of its tablets — last year’s iPadOS 15 update made it easier to jump into Split Screen or Slide Out views with different apps — but this year’s effort sounds a little bit different.

Specifically, Apple insiders are expecting a more desktop-like experience for running multiple apps at once and jumping between the different apps. One rumor points to resizable app windows, exactly like the ones you have on the Mac. 

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg has the most complete look at iPadOS 16’s rumored multitasking revamp, at least until Apple fills in the details during today’s keynote.

apple mixed reality headset render

(Image credit: Ian Zelbo)

There’s another possible announcement at WWDC 2022, and it relates to Apple’s efforts in mixed reality. Rumors suggest there’s an Apple VR/AR headset in the works, and while few expect a demonstration of the device — it’s supposedly not shipping until 2023 — Apple could still unveil tools for building apps that take advantage of AR.

Such a move could be as simple as releasing a new version of ARKit, the developer tools Apple already offers for creating AR-friendly iPhone apps. But there’s also a possibility of a preview of realityOS, the rumored software that would power any Apple VR/AR gear.

It’s worth paying attention to any AR news at WWDC as it could give us a better idea of just what Apple is planning for next year.

MacBook Air 2022 render

(Image credit: ZoneOfTech)

Of course the strongest hardware rumor around WWDC concerns the new MacBook Air 2022.

This is tipped to get a major design overhaul for the first time in years, with thinner display bezels, a rectangular rounded chassis, new color options and more. But there could be more to this upgrade than just a design refresh; it's also rumored to get a new Apple M2 chip, a Mini-LED display and new ports, among other treats.

We've rounded up all the top rumored MacBook Air 2022 features ahead of today's WWDC keynote.

 

Breaking: OK, this is big — the Apple Store is down right now

This is important, because as MacRumors' Sami Fathi tweets above, this only tends to happen when new hardware is on the way.

So, that MacBook Air 2022 is looking like a lock, right?

Apple Store screen before WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

Here's a look at the screen the Apple Store is currently showing. There's no further info on this beyond what Apple says, which is unsurprisingly vague: "Developing news. We’re making updates to the Apple Store. Check back after the event, streaming on apple.com or on the Apple TV app."

MacBook Air 2022 renders

(Image credit: Darvik Patel)

Coincidentally, we saw another rumor earlier today suggesting a new MacBook Air could be on the way. This was based on store pages found on B&H Photo's site that mentioned a 14-inch MacBook Air and a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, plus a Mac mini M2 and a mysterious "Mac mini tower" using an Apple M1 Pro chip. 

However, these rumors have now been dismissed, with B&H's senior manager of web creative content Shawn C. Steiner saying the images aren't real and were "Preemptively made before the last event and not properly removed. All guesses based on rumors."

MacBook Pro 2020 13-inch

(Image credit: Future)

If the MacBook Air 2022 increasingly looks like a surefire thing for WWDC 2022, what about other Mac hardware? 

Well, there had also been rumors that we could see a new 13-inch MacBook Pro 2022 today. This would be an entry-level machine that would sit between the Air and the MacBook Pro 14- and 16-inch models that were launched last year. 

However, that now seems less likely. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claims that the new MacBook Pro 2022 was due to launch alongside the Air today, but that lockdowns in China have disrupted manufacturing plans. A shame, if so, but we can still expect to see it later this year.

Steve Jobs

(Image credit: Gettyimages)

If Apple does reveal new hardware at WWDC, it would hardly be without precedent. While it is primarily a software-focused conference, WWDC has been the venue for some pretty important launches in the past — including phones, laptops, desktops, audio products and peripherals.

To catch you up, Tom's Guide's computing writer Tony Polanco has compiled a breakdown of all the hardware Apple's ever launched at WWDC.

a concept render of the Apple Mixed Reality Headset

(Image credit: Antonio DeRosa)

Sticking with hardware, let's return to the rumored Apple AR/VR headset. The smart money says we won't see this at WWDC 2022 — but who knows? 

We certainly hope it could be Apple's One More Thing today — in fact, Tom's Guide's news editor Sanjana Prakash has written an article about exactly why Apple should reveal its AR/VR headset at WWDC 2022.

Apple M2 chip

(Image credit: Apple)

So, what do we know about the Apple M2 chip that everyone thinks would power the hardware rumored to arrive today? Well, as you might expect, it will likely be found up and down the Apple hardware lineup. Apple's reportedly been testing it in "at least nine" Macs that it's working on. And just like the M1, there are four versions of the M2 in testing — again, this would match the M1's vanilla Pro, Max and Ultra variants.

Previously reported rumors show leaks of it being tested in a MacBook Air 2022 (J413), a Mac mini 2022 (J473) and an entry-level MacBook Pro 2022 (J493). Said MacBook Pro would likely be an update to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which isn't the port-rich model that debuted in 2022. This would again mirror how the M1 debuted. But we've got some potential bad news, though: Apple leaker Ming-Chi Kuo said the M2 may not be much more powerful than the M1

tvOS

(Image credit: Apple)

WWDC 2021 gave very little (practically no) time to talk about tvOS 15. We're hoping that tvOS 16 is newsworthy enough to get a little more attention this year, as my colleague Philip Michaels noted that multi-account management should improve for better recommendations and an improved Up Next row.

Personally, I (Tom's Guide Streaming Editor) Henry T. Casey want to see tvOS 16 take a page from the iPad and fuboTV, with a a MultiView mode so you can see multiple apps at the same time.

Image showing iPhone with iMessage app open

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

One rumor about Messages that has me openly hoping for something new came from Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, who gave us the notion that Messages may become more social media-like. He wrote that "In Messages, I’d expect more social network-like functionality, particularly around audio messages," but I'm hoping that's not the only way.

Right now, the Focus Modes on Apple devices let you signal to others that you're trying to live a distraction-free life at the moment — with a message that explains how a user "has notifications silenced." I'd love for them to go a step further: let me set a personalized message that explains what I'm doing. Yes, as Lauren Goode wrote for Wired, it's time to bring back AOL away messages.

MacBook Pro with M1 in front of a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

So, as you may have seen, rumors about that 13-inch MacBook Pro 2022 have been ping-ponging around, and right now people think we shouldn't expect to see it. And since we're talking about this laptop, it's a good time to talk about the potential issue at hand with it: a lackluster update.

As my colleague Mark Spoonauer wrote, the MacBook Pro 2022 could be a big letdown for him. That's because the M2 chip is the only big rumored improvement. Yes, this 13-inch MacBook Pro would continue to create confusion, as the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros would continue to be more-Pro than this model, as this new model would continue that terrible USB-C-only design ethos. So, if and when Apple does update the 13-inch MacBook Pro, we're curious what they're going to do to make it that much better than the MacBook Air, which still feels like a better buy for most.

MacBook Air 2022 render front and back

(Image credit: Darvik Patel)

As much as we're excited for the new MacBook Air 2022, there's a bit of concern about availability. Yesterday, Mark Gurman at Bloomberg noted that "If the new Air is indeed announced at the conference, I’d expect shortages or a non-immediate release date."

More details about this laptop: it may get a notched screen to match the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, and its four predicted colors are dark blue, "champagne-like gold," space gray and silver. 

Apple Park at WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Future)

We are live from Apple Park (where breakfast is being served), waiting to enter the venue for WWDC 2022. We're checking our Apple Watches and other timepieces for how much longer we'll be waiting to go in. 

Apple Park at WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Tim Cook at Apple WWDC 2020

(Image credit: Apple)

How will you watch WWDC 2022 live streams? In an alternate reality where I don't actually work for a tech news site, I see a variant of myself watching it casually on the Apple TV 4K's TV app (remember the Apple Events app? RIP).

If it's been a while since you watched an Apple event live online, you may not know about the one very good change to the streams. Apple's YouTube channel now has a live feed from the event, as you can now watch Apple events on any devices. Years ago, you needed an Apple device to watch in Safari.

Apple Watch app view

(Image credit: Future)

As an Apple Watch owner, I'm happy to read my colleague Kate Kozuch explain that watchOS 9 compatibility likely won't skip past my precious Apple Watch Series 5. I know it's getting long in the tooth, but I don't feel a need to upgrade yet. The big question around supported models is for the Apple Watch 3, which may not get the new watchOS update.

Kate also details how watchOS 9 will likely deliver new faces, and how rumors suggest a new sleep-tracking feature is coming. We'd hope Apple's sleep tracking gets more precise and granular, instead of just focusing on the start and stop of your sleepy-time.

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Our TikTok guru Kate Kozuch is talking WWDC with this brief roundup of what today is all about. And she's right that the online Apple Store going down is almost code for new hardware around the corner.

Or at least it's a good excuse for everyone to be yelling "the MacBook Air 2022 is coming! the MacBook Air 2022 is coming! the MacBook Air 2022 is coming!"

People entering Apple Park at WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Philip Michaels here, taking over our WWDC 2022 live blog for the duration. Our men on the inside are... moving inside, as the people attending WWDC in person are heading into the venue on the Apple Park campus.

Here's a quick video capturing the scene before today's WWDC keynote.

macOS Monterey

(Image credit: Apple)

As a native Californian, one of my favorite WWDC games to play is "What California landmark or city will Apple name this year's macOS update after?" It's certainly more entertaining to me than when Apple was going through its Name Everything After Big Cats phase.

Past California-inspired macOS code names have included Yosemite, El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave and Catalina. Since the switch to macOS 11, Apple seems to be inching its way up the California coast with Big Sur (macOS 11), followed by Monterey (macOS 12).

My prediction is that Apple sticks to the coast, given that the lack of major macOS 13 rumors points to the next update not being a major overhaul. That's why I'm predicting macOS Santa Cruz makes its debut today. And if I'm wrong, at least I have the nearby Monterey Bay to provide solace.

wwdc 2022 keynote stage

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Here's your first look at the WWDC 2022 keynote stage — or at least a stage where the folks on the Apple Park campus will be able to watch the proceedings. It's unclear from here whether Apple's going to have a live presentation or whether this year's WWDC keynote will be a pre-recorded broadcast as has been the case since Covid eliminated in-person events.

WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

The keynote will get the most attention today, but it's not the only event on the WWDC keynote docket. According to Apple's guide for developers attending WWDC virtually, there's also a Platforms State of the Union at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. Expect a  deeper dive into tools and technologies that developers need; it's definitely a geekier look at what Apple's working on, as opposed to the main keynote, which is aimed at a more general audience.

At 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, Apple's announcing its Apple Design Awards for the best apps on its various platforms in all these categories: Inclusivity, Delight and Fun, Interaction, Social Impact, Visuals and Graphics, and Innovation.

Both events are presumably streaming on the WWDC website.

More people entering the WWDC 2022 staging area an hour ahead of the big event. And if you haven't already, why not grab a healthy breakfast like your friends attending WWDC are enjoying?

WWDC 2022 breakfast

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple iPhone 3GS

(Image credit: Apple)

As anyone will tell you, WWDC is not a big hardware show, except for the times that it is. Just like how we could see a MacBook Air update today, we've seen other hardware make its debut during Apple's developer show.

We've compiled a list of all the hardware ever announced at WWDC, and it's an eclectic mix. Yes, Apple used to show off iPhones at this event, back before the company settled on the fall as the best iPhone release date.

The consistent factor on whether hardware gets announced at WWDC seems to be if it's a device that will appeal to developers. Apple also has been known to show off hardware the benefits from new technology like Apple silicon which is why the MacBook Air 2022 feels like a likely candidate to join the above list.

wwdc-2021-platforms

(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

By the way, I made some predictions on what I hope to see at WWDC 2022. You can read the full piece while we're waiting for WWDC to begin, but the short summary is I hope there's an M2 announcement in our future as well as hints that the always-on display is set for the iPhone. Most of all though, I want Apple to convince me, an AR/VR skeptic, that an AR/VR headset like the one the company is supposedly working on is good, actually.

apple vr and mixed reality headset fan render front view on blue background

(Image credit: Ian Zelbo)

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg is out with his pre-WWDC predictions, and like most other observers, he's predicting notable software upgrades for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac. He says a MacBook Air release is possible, though lockdowns in China may mean the actual release date for the laptop is far in the future. There's a possibility that the Covid delays have pushed back the laptop's arrival so far, that Apple doesn't mention it during the keynote; that fate apparently befell a 13-inch MacBook Pro that won't be on the agenda today.

Gurman repeated his forecast that we won't see the rumored Apple VR/AR headset today, though its presence will definitely be felt. He is expecting plenty of clues and AR-related revelations, though.

"Apple’s headset initiative isn’t simply the device and its operating system," Gurman writes. "It’s an entire set of new VR- and AR-powered Apple apps and experiences, a slew of input paradigms never seen before on the company’s products and a completely new platform for third-party developers."

Read the whole thing if you can.

WWDC 2022 on Apple campus

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

My colleague Mark Spoonauer is on his way downstairs to the WWDC 2022 keynote. But before he began the journey, he left us with this WWDC preview video.

Apple's new developer center is getting a lot of attention from the folks visiting the Apple Park campus. Here's another collection of photos showing off the place where developers can get face time with Apple engineers and developers.

WWCC 2022 pre-keynote crowd

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Hope those WWDC attendees brought sunscreen, as we share the view from Mark Spoonauer's seat at WWDC 2022.

wwdc 2022 keynote live stream

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The view of the WWDC 2022 keynote at stately Michaels Manor is a bit more shaded if somewhat low-key as I am live streaming the keynote via the TV app on my Apple TV. Your current view: lots of colors while a thumping beat plays.

The drones are in the house.

The word from Cupertino: We're about to get started.