Over 20 new iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and watchOS 9 features and improvements are expected to arrive at WWDC 2022

The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple’s annual conference focused on developers and software, will take place in less than two months. Consistent with previous years, Apple is likely to introduce major updates to all of its operating systems, including watchOS 9, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13 and tvOS 16, bringing new features and a more refined experience. to existing devices.

While macOS 13 and tvOS 16 rumors remain purely speculative, there are growing indications from reliable sources about some of the specific features we can expect in watchOS 9, ‌iOS 16‌, and iPadOS 16.

watch OS 9

watchOS 8 brought ID card and keys to Wallet app, redesigned Home app, new workout types, Mindfulness app, sleep tracking updates, Portrait mode watch face, focus modes, etc. From what we know about watchOS 9 so far, it looks like Apple will be focusing on several system features, as well as health monitoring, activity tracking, and Workout app improvements.

The current image of watchOS 9 comes from several reports from Bloombergis Mark Gurman, The Wall Street Journal and Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

System Features

  • Updating existing watch faces
  • Low Power Mode to run certain apps and features using less battery life
  • Collision detection function, similar to fall detection, capable of recognizing a car accident by measuring a sudden change in g-force, contacting emergency services and sending location data

Health monitoring

  • Improved health tracking
  • Improved detection of atrial fibrillation by calculating “load”, a measure of how long a person is in an atrial fibrillation state over a period of time

Improvements to the activity and workout app

  • Improved activity tracking
  • More workout types
  • Additional Measures for Running Workouts

According to Kuo, watchOS 9 might drop support for the Apple Watch Series 3 because its computing power won’t be able to meet the demands of a new operating system. watchOS 9 would therefore only be available for the Apple Watch Series 4 from 2018 or newer.

The Apple Watch Series 3 was released in September 2017, making it almost five years old. It’s the oldest device to support the latest version of ‌watchOS 8‌, but its S3 chip lags significantly behind the S5 chip in the Apple Watch SE and the S7 chip in the Apple Watch Series 7. in terms of performance. The Apple Watch Series 3 is also the only remaining Apple Watch to feature the older, thicker Apple Watch design with large bezels and angular corners around the display.

Following iOS 14.6 and watchOS 7.5 updates last year, Apple Watch Series 3 users need to unpair and re-pair the device from their linked iPhone when updating watchOS because the Apple Watch does not have enough internal storage to update independently.

While the unveiling of major new versions of Apple’s operating systems usually takes place at WWDC in early June, the updates themselves are usually not released until the fall, which would coincide with when Kuo think Apple will discontinue the Apple Watch Series 3 and release new Apple Watch models.


iOS 15 introduced a revamped notifications system and focus modes, Spatial Audio and SharePlay in FaceTime calls, Live Text, ID cards in the Wallet app, and new privacy features, as well as redesigns for Safari, Maps, Weather and Notes. ‌iOS 16‌ is about to deal with notifications again while adding a massive number of improvements to the Health app.

iOS 16 mockup for article
Gurman has been the source of many rumors about the Health app and system features of iOS 16, but there have also been hints of The Wall Street Journal.

System Features

  • Improved Notifications
  • Crash detection function, the same as in watchOS 9
  • Preliminary support for Apple’s mixed reality headset

Health app

  • Extended sleep tracking
  • New medication management feature to scan pills and get reminders to take them
  • New Features for Women’s Health

Apple Music

  • Optional Apple Music app for classical music with specializations for classical music metadata
  • Primephonic based user interface
  • “Visual, auditory and haptic” aspects
  • Option to redirect tracks from ‌Apple Music‌ app to Apple Classical
  • Support for lossless and spatial audio

Signs of the Apple Classical app have been spotted in iOS 15.5 beta code. Apple Classical is almost certain to be in ‌iOS 16‌, but it’s possible it will debut at an earlier date. For example, Apple could unveil the new app at WWDC, but make it available immediately via an update to ‌iOS 15‌.

‌iOS 16‌ will feature built-in support for Apple’s Mixed Reality Headset to lay the groundwork for the new device. Gurman noted that this means Apple “could theoretically preview the technical aspects of the headset or its software, without showing the full device” at WWDC.

‌iOS 15‌ supported the same devices as iOS 13 and iOS 14, with the ‌iPhone‌ 6s, ‌iPhone‌ 6s Plus, and first-generation iPhone SE being the oldest supported devices. It’s unclear if ‌iOS 16‌ will finally drop support for these older devices with the A9 chip.

iPadOS 16

Very little is currently known about iPadOS 16, but it will likely get most of the new features of iOS 16‌, along with several iPad-specific improvements. Gurman is the only source for early iPadOS 16 rumors, with the title change currently focusing on improvements to the multitasking interface.

  • New multitasking interface
  • Improved notifications, same as ‌iOS 16‌
  • Apple Classical app, same as ‌iOS 16‌

Apple has greatly refined the multitasking experience in iPadOS in recent years, improving features like Slide Over, Split View, and the dock. For example, iPadOS 15 added a new multitasking menu at the top of apps, along with a middle window, a new multi-window shelf, and a more intuitive experience with Split View. The exact additional multitasking improvements for iPadOS 16 are still unclear.

Release date

Apple is expected to showcase watchOS 9, ‌iOS 16‌, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, and tvOS 16 at WWDC, which is set to kick off on Monday, June 6. After being showcased at the conference, the new operating systems are expected to be released to developers for same-day testing. Later in the summer, Apple will likely provide it to public beta testers.

Once beta testing is complete, the new operating systems will be released to the public, likely alongside new hardware products such as the iPhone 14, in the fall. While watchOS 9, ‌iOS 16‌ and iPadOS 16 will likely be released simultaneously, the new version of macOS often follows at a later date.


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