"I am told that beta versions of iOS 16—codenamed Sydney—are chock-full of references to the headset and its interactions with the iPhone.'
Apple originally had big plans to use WWDC 2022 as the launch event for its long-in-the-works mixed-reality headset. But I wrote a few months ago that Apple would likely miss that date for the hardware’s debut and would instead announce the product at the end of this year or next year.
As far as I know, a full-blown introduction of the mixed-reality headset is still probably out of the question in June, but I am told that beta versions of iOS 16—codenamed Sydney—are chock-full of references to the headset and its interactions with the iPhone.
That indicates that the headset will launch during the iOS 16 cycle, which kicks off in June and will last until iOS 17 comes in the fall of 2023. But it may also suggest that Apple could preview some of its upcoming augmented and virtual reality software earlier. Perhaps we could even get a peek at the headset’s rOS, short for reality operating system.
In any case, there could be other hardware news. Apple is gearing up to launch some new Macs in the next few months. What better place to do so than WWDC? That’s the same venue where the Mac’s transition from Intel to Apple’s own chips was announced two years ago.
I’m told there are two new Macs coming around the middle of the year or early in the second half. One of those is likely to be the new MacBook Air. Other models in the works include an updated Mac mini and 24-inch iMac, as well as a low-end MacBook Pro to replace the aging 13-inch model. And let’s not forget that new Mac Pro and iMac Pro models are in development.
But let’s get back to the bigger focus of WWDC: software. Apple’s iOS 16 (Sydney), watchOS 9 (Kincaid), macOS 13 (Rome) and tvOS 16 (Paris) will obviously be the highlights of the conference.
On the iOS side, I’m looking for some fairly significant enhancements across the board, including an update to notifications and new health-tracking features.
I’m not expecting an end-to-end redesign of iOS’s interface, even though it hasn’t changed much since iOS 7 nearly a decade ago. But there might be a new iPadOS multitasking interface. The Apple Watch, meanwhile, may get major upgrades to activity and health tracking.
My take: Terms of inside information, that was pretty thin.