After a few years of ho-hum macOS announcements, the recent WWDC keynotes brought some major Mac announcements, bringing some much-needed excitement to the Mac platform. Now that WWDC 2022 is almost here, Apple is looking to build on the Mac momentum in a big way.
Of course, it will be hard to top Apple’s 2020 Silicon announcement, but Apple is likely to make some major reveals that will continue to turn the spotlight on the Mac. Here are the Mac announcements we hope to see at WWDC 2022 in order of preference.
For more on WWDC, check out our full preview of the keynote, which will take place on Monday, June 6 at 10 a.m. PT.
When Apple began the Mac transition from an Intel CPU to its own M1 system-on-a-chip (SoC), the company said it would be a two-year process. WWDC 2022 is the two-year mark, and as Apple senior vice president John Ternus pointed out during March’s Mac Studio event, there’s only one Mac left for the transition, the Mac Pro.
However, expectations for the Mac Pro are less about the SoC (more on that in the next section) and more about the machine itself and what Apple will do to meet Mac Pro user needs. Will Apple build a Tower Mac? What are the capabilities of the components? What kind of access will users have to the interiors? How renewable will it be?
So many questions that we hope to answer on June 6th. I can’t help but think that Apple wants to limit this transition to a large extent, so my hopes are high for this announcement.
Next generation Apple silicon
Apple is finishing one transition, but another is about to begin: the transition from the M1 series to the M2 series SoCs. The Mac Pro will probably have some configuration that powers the M1 Ultra, its fastest Mac SoC, so the company has reached its peak for the M1 series. Apple seems to be on a two-year cycle with its Mac silicon, so the timing seems right to launch the next series, although recent rumors suggest the wait could be a little longer.
But if Apple decides to unveil the M2 at WWDC, it will probably be more of a “preview” than a fully detailed reveal with product announcements. John Ternus could do another string of hype about it – any kind of recognition would help continue the M-Series’ marketing momentum. Apple launched the M1 Macs in the fall of 2020, so expect the entry-level M2 to arrive in the fall. That’s when we get chip chip.
(While I’ve personally lost interest in what Intel does, chip geeks and people who enjoy tech debate are very focused on the largest PC chipmaker. Intel’s Raptor Lake and Meteor Lake CPUs are on the horizon, so Apple says (Something. M2 will add some spark to the once-in-a-lifetime marketing game.)
WWDC isn’t usually the place for consumer notebooks, but the MacBook Air may be an exception. It’s been rumored for over a year that it’s getting a massive redesign with thinner bezels, even smaller sizes, and colors other than space gray, silver, and gold. The MacBook Air hasn’t been all that exciting for a while — even the 2018 model was a rehash of the previous version — but if the rumors are true, the new model will be one of the most exciting laptops in years.
We’re hoping for a return to the original iBook, just as the 24-inch iMac was a touch of the original iMac. The M1 MacBook Air is a great machine, but it’s not exciting. An updated model, with or without the M2 processor, would be a fantastic way to bring back the excitement.
macOS 13 features, fixes and correct name
We’ve released our macOS 13 wish list and will be keeping a close eye on the keynote to see if any of our wishes come true. There are a few items on the list that we want more than others – namely desktop widgets (the ability to remove a widget from the Notification Center and place it on the desktop) and a more robust Control Center that’s customizable and has more plugins. — maybe even from third-party developers.
One thing Apple really needs to do for macOS is fix long-standing bugs and optimize the system. As I said in the macOS 13 wishlist, if that’s all Apple did and nothing else – no new features – I’d be very happy.
The macOS name may indicate how big the update is. For example, macOS Monterey is named after Monterey Bay, which is part of the larger Big Sur region in central California – and the version of macOS before Monterey was called Big Sur. And Big Sur, with its UI changes, support for iOS and iPadOS apps on M1 Macs, and more, was a bigger upgrade than Monterey.
But if you’re not familiar with the California locations Apple uses, it’s lost. It’s just a name then, and in the case of macOS, it doesn’t really mean much other than being an alternate reference point for the version number.
Still, Mac users are invested in the macOS name, and this is a highly anticipated announcement. When Apple Senior Vice President Craig Federig hits this point of the WWDC keynote, anticipation and excitement builds, and the name forces the vague idea of an OS update to coalesce and become a reality. Once a name is established, there is a vociferous debate about whether it is a good choice or not.
Based on Apple’s trademark filings, the money seems to be on “Mammoth,” which will be the next name for macOS. Besides being located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, the word itself implies that macOS 13 has some big changes and features for the Mac. The rumor mill hasn’t been full of macOS 13 reports of major changes, so I don’t think “Mammoth” is the name. I think they are saving it for a bigger release.
M1 Pro/M1 Max Mac mini
When Apple’s John Ternus said the Mac Pro is the only Mac to switch to Apple’s silicon, he was specifically referring to the Mac Pro, but it’s not the only Mac left. There’s also a high-end Mac mini – this $1,099 model still uses an Intel CPU.
There’s a gap between the iMac and Mac Studio in Apple’s M1 lineup, and the pro-level Mac mini fits perfectly into that slot. Reports suggest that this Mac mini could be upgraded with the M1 Pro and M1 Max, and could also have more GPU cores and support for more RAM.
Apple discontinued the iMac Pro last year, but reports seem to indicate that Apple may be bringing it back. It could have a 27-inch display and the M1 Pro and M1 Max SoC, and it could have a design similar to the 24-inch iMac, but not in the silver and space gray Pro color palette.
There have also been reports of a 27-inch stand-alone mini-LED display, but could this be a display mix-in with the iMac Pro? This is what happened at the studio screen; The whistleblowers mistook the studio display for an iMac. Either way, Apple seems to be working on a 27-inch screen somethingAnd hopefully it will be revealed at WWDC.