It’s that time of year again. We’re just a few days away from Apple executives (and probably a few others) talking about what’s next for its major platforms at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. And, as usual, there’s a lot of expectations swirling around the company.
There’s something to be said about the fact that Apple still puts people in front of cameras (and, one day, back on stage) to show off the next major software updates. It’s such an event every year, even if some years are not as big as others. And then there’s the fact that some platforms just don’t get the same attention as others.
That will be the same this year. iOS and iPadOS are likely going to see the most attention this year, and privacy and security will be a major focal point as usual. watchOS is probably going to get even more health-focused features (which will be accompanied by new hardware later this year). And then there’s macOS.
We recently heard that Apple could potentially use Monterey or Mammoth as the naming scheme for this year’s update. It’s always fun to watch Apple unveil the new branding for its desktop operating system, and this year probably won’t be any different. But the naming may actually tell us whether or not this is going to be a big update year for macOS, too.
Also, related: Microsoft is unveiling what’s probably going to be Windows 11 at the end of this month. Does that put some pressure on Apple to make this next update, which is definitely not of the same magnitude, a bit more oomph to it? What do you think?
But it’s not macOS that I’m interested most in seeing, even if it’s the software I technically use the most more often than not. (iOS is obviously a very close second.) I think this year is probably going to see some exciting things, but I’m not really expecting Apple to blow the roof off its headquarters (or any buildings, really).
Unless things get real, real interesting with iPadOS. I think there’s a lot of side-eye in Apple’s direction right now regarding its iPad-focused software, which is still a branch of Apple’s iPhone-focused software. There’s no doubt that iPadOS, while powerful in its own right, feels like it’s the only thing holding back the iPad Pro lineup. And if you watched or read reviews for Apple’s latest iPad Pro models, which are equipped with the M1 processor, you saw the same thing: iPadOS needs to evolve.
All of the power and the capabilities of the M1 chip are limited by Apple’s iPad software. And the company is in a unique position because Apple obviously has more than one iPad out there. What’s more, there are more iPad models that don’t need a more powerful operating system than there are that do. So what is Apple supposed to do with that?
We know that Apple doesn’t plan on merging macOS and iPadOS. The company wants these products to remain different. Who knows how long it will stay that way, but, for now, we’ll just keep working under the assumption that’s going to remain the case — at least for this year.
So what about an iPadOS Pro? That is absolutely not what Apple should call it, mind you. That’s real bad. But the idea might be something the company could work with. And it would have to go beyond a reworked Home Screen. Just giving the iPad Pro more abilities with its software, which remains a sticking point for many people out there. And Apple has put itself in a strange position by adopting Apple silicon under the hood of its most powerful iPad. I think a lot of people out there simply expect Apple to do something software related to elevate the iPad Pro.
That’s actually what I’m most curious about. I’m happy enough with the other operating systems; it’s iPadOS that has room to grow more than any other. It will be fun to see if Apple agrees.
What do you want to see Apple announce this year?