Though Apple's first media event of the year was just a month ago, all eyes are already on the company's next major shindig: WWDC.
Now that WWDC 2022 has been officially announced, we know exactly when and where (and how) it will take place. That means it's open season for Apple software hopes and dreams as well as rumors of potential new hardware at the event. Let's get into it.
WWDC 2022 dates announced
So, it's official: Apple's 2022 Worldwide Developer Conference will kick off on June 6 and run through June 10.
Once again, the conference will be all-online and the company will unveil the next versions of its various operating systems:
For most Apple observers, WWDC is the first truly exciting event on the calendar each year. Though we just had a March event that unveiled the best iPad for most people in the iPad Air 5, an updated 2022 iPhone SE, and an all-new Mac Studio, WWDC is when Apple shows off the redesigned and reinvented software that we'll be using on all of our devices for the next year.
It's one of my favorite times of the year! #WWDC22. Can’t wait for June 6th. 🥳 pic.twitter.com/98gag4zGeIIt's one of my favorite times of the year! #WWDC22. Can’t wait for June 6th. 🥳 pic.twitter.com/98gag4zGeI— Greg Joswiak (@gregjoz) April 5, 2022April 5, 2022
The week-long conference will begin with the customary keynote where the company will show off exactly what it has been working on.
Of course, we'll have to wait and see what that is but iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, watchOS 9, and tvOS 16 are a shoo-in with the potential for some exciting hardware announcements like an Apple silicon-powered Mac Pro and maybe even a first look at the long-rumored Apple AR/VR headset. Fingers crossed!
Before WWDC, we'll get iOS 15.5
Hot on the heels of WWDC 2022's announcement this week, we also got the first beta release of iOS 15.5. It's not as chock-full of features as iOS 15.4 was, though there are a few interesting tidbits in there.
The beta release appears to reference the upcoming Apple Classical streaming service. The service doesn't yet have an official name or launch date, but we do know that Apple plans to offer "a dedicated classical music app" this year using the user interface of renowned classical music streaming service Primephonic, which Apple acquired last year.
There's also an apparent rebranding of iTunes Pass in the Wallet app in iOS 15.5, with references found to an "Apple Account Card". This brings the feature more closely in line with the unified gift cards Apple has been offering in the U.S. since 2020.
Other under-the-hood updates include a HomePod Wi-Fi signal bar, updates for Apple Pay Cash and Apple Card terminology, and full support for the External Link Account Entitlement granted to reader apps as of last month.
For those not keeping tabs on the various legal proceedings going on regarding Apple's App Store, that last feature relates to a 2021 Japanese Fair Trade Commission investigation into the App Store. That investigation resulted in Apple allowing select apps to link to their own websites in order to create accounts or process payments outside of Apple's in-app payments system.
Apps that offer "magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video" as the primary functionality of the app can apply for an External Link Account Entitlement, meaning apps like Netflix or Spotify could roll their own sign-up flows for iOS users.
We'll be sure to share anything else interesting that version 15.5 brings as the beta process continues.
Friday Night Baseball's first pitch
Apple's Friday Night Baseball also debuted this week on Apple TV+. The reaction was... mixed with outages reported by some users and complaints about the announcers, though others appreciated the quality of the streams and very Apple-y graphics.
Being a Brit, baseball is not really my thing but given this is Apple's first foray into live sports, and live programming in general, it's going to be hugely interesting to see how this plays out over the next several weeks. With the first week out of the way, it remains to be seen how much Apple will iterate on its offering as the baseball season continues.
With more folks cord-cutting and ditching cable for good, live sports and major showpiece events are perhaps the missing piece for a lot of streaming service subscribers. We know Apple has NFL ambitions and other streamers like Amazon Prime Video have been slurping up sports rights over the last few years. This is going to be a hotly-contested battleground in the ongoing streaming wars and Friday Night Baseball is just the beginning for Apple.
What's on your WWDC wish list?
I'm sure we'll be seeing plenty of iOS 16 mockups and iPadOS 16 concepts in the coming weeks and I always love seeing the weird and wonderful ideas that get cooked up at this time of year. We'll also be putting out our own wish lists for WWDC and each of Apple's major operating systems in the run-up to the event, but let us know what you want to see Apple unveil at this year's event!
Until next time!
— Adam Oram
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Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.