With WWDC 2022’s opening keynote exactly three weeks away, a widely respected analyst has spilled the beans on the flagship iOS 16 update expected to headline the presentation.
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman looks ahead to the new version of the iPhone’s operating system software. “There should be major changes across the system,” Gurman predicts, including “new ways of interacting” and “some fresh Apple apps.”
It isn’t clear what precisely Gurman means by these predictions, but the theory of new interactions points to upgrades in the way widgets work in iOS. As MacRumors observes, the home screen widgets originally added in iOS 14 are not currently interactive; that could be about to change.
As for “fresh Apple apps,” Gurman may simply mean that Apple intends to update–or “refresh”–a number of the in-house apps that are bundled with iOS, such as Safari, Messages and so on. But that’s standard fare for an iOS update, and we’re optimistic that Gurman actually means Apple is going to launch entirely new apps, much as it launched Files in iOS 11, Measure in iOS 12, and Translate in iOS 14.
While the functionality of the software is expected to change up significantly, its appearance will stay largely the same, with Gurman explaining that he doesn’t expect a “full redesign.” The last time Apple completely revamped iOS’ appearance was the controversial iOS 7 redesign in 2013–when the quasi-realistic ‘skeuomorphic’ design language gave way to vivid flat colors–and Apple has preferred to make smaller tweaks ever since.
On Monday Apple released iOS 15.5, which could be the last major update for iOS 15. It brings some smaller new features and bug fixes and could hold some clues as to what Apple is planning for iOS 16.
Gurman’s predictions are followed by much of the industry, although he isn’t infallible: AppleTrack currently assigns him an accuracy rating of 86.4%. His iOS 16 predictions, however, seem plausible and fit in with what we already know and what has happened in the past. If anything, indeed, they could be criticized for being too safe.
In a tweet, Gurman reported that the first public beta is scheduled to arrive alongside the third developer beta in July. That’s slightly behind the iOS 15 schedule, which delivered the public beta on June 30, 2021.
iOS 16 will be announced and demonstrated at the WWDC keynote on June 6 and will likely be immediately available as a beta for developers to test. Following a series of evolving beta releases for both devs and members of the public beta test program, iOS 16 will have its full public launch in the fall, most likely in September alongside the iPhone 14.