Over the next few weeks, Apple, Google and Microsoft will each hold their developer conferences– virtually of course. Google I/O and Microsoft Build take place in May and Apple’s WWDC follows in June. All three major technology companies will use these developer conferences to reveal new software updates and tools to empower developers as well. Here’s what to expect.
Apple WWDC 2022
WWDC 2022 will kick off on Monday, June 6, with a keynote from Apple CEO Tim Cook. Apple will do everything to prove that it shares a great relationship with developers, despite the App Store drawing antitrust scrutiny from Washington and the EU.
WWDC is the venue Apple uses to reveal the next-generation operating systems for the iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, iPad and HomePod. The iPhone is still generating a ton of cash for Apple and iOS 16 will likely be the most important software update to come out of the conference. Although I don’t expect iOS 16 to be getting an ‘end-to-end redesign’, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman believes the next version of iOS will get a significant upgrade. Cook and the team certainly emphasise user privacy as well.
Apple may also add new features to iPadOS as well, which despite its best effort continues to feel like a forked version of iOS. The newest version of macOS will also be revealed at WWDC. Its name and features are still a mystery. With the release of the M1 chip, Apple has managed to revive its Mac business in a big way.
Bloomberg’s Gurman expects Apple to release two new Mac computers at the developer conference, one of which could be the long-awaited sequel of the MacBook Air, featuring a new design and the updated M2 chipset.
Then there is the WatchOS which ‘may get major upgrades to activity and health tracking.’ It’s possible Apple could also announce homeOS, the operating system for its smart speaker. Apple’s job listing in recent months points out Apple’s seriousness to reimagine its devices that center around home. Is a new HomePod coming? Well, only time will tell.
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of WWDC could be the launch of ‘realityOS’, Apple’s newest operating system for its mysterious mixed reality headset. For months, it’s been speculated that Apple is working on a high-end mixed reality headset that could open up the market for extended reality devices that are yet to see major traction in the consumer market.
Although there were some rumours of Apple showcasing the headset at WWDC, Gurman doubles down that the iPhone-maker is unlikely to announce its mixed reality headset at this year’s developer conference.
Google I/O 2022
Google too likes to hold splashy developer conferences. Although Google makes most of its money from advertising, I/O is all about an exciting developer ecosystem with updates ranging from new software versions to maps and shopping features. This year’s I/O will take place between May 11 to May 12 – and yes, it will be all digital.
What to expect?
Google will definitely unveil Android 13, the next smartphone operating system. A developer preview has already launched with new privacy and security features, and we expect to see more features at I/O.
Apart from that, Google’s WearOS many get some attention. Last year, Google showed off WearOS 3 and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 was the first smartwatch to run the new overhauled OS.
On top of new software features, Google could use its developer conference to announce new hardware. The Pixel 6a is likely to get announced, perhaps the most affordable Pixel smartphone in Google’s smartphone lineup. Rumours of a Pixel watch have started to gain momentum but we are not expecting the device to get released before fall.
Microsoft’s annual Build developer conference is back as a virtual event in 2022. Like the past few years, Build 2022 will be hosted online from May 24 to May 26. Microsoft’s developer conference is all about the latest core technologies, Windows and more. We don’t know much about the developments Microsoft plans to share with developers at this year’s event. Last year, the Redmond-based tech giant used Build to tease Windows 11 and opened up Microsoft Teams to apps.