For the first time in 1001 Days Apple will welcome people back to Apple Park on Monday in the USA (Tuesday morning Australia) as part of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

Apple almost without fail has three “Special Events” as well as WWDC each year, and that didn’t stop during the COVID-19 Pandemic, but it did, like most things, move online. Now, the third “Digital WWDC” is happening, but with a hint of reality with a select few invited back to Apple Park.

I’m in the City of San Jose as I write this, and it is, as usual a ghost town, but without the banners and flags denoting WWDC.

This year, WWDC will be a digital event, with a keynote everyone can watch online (3am Sydney time on Tuesday), as well as sessions for Developers across the week to expand their knowledge on aspects of the Apple App ecosystem and meetings with Apple Engineers.

Who is at Apple Park for WWDC 2022?

Pre-Covid around 5,000 Developers would decent upon San Jose (and San Francisco before it) for WWDC. As this is an online event again, those numbers won’t be seen.

However, a ballot did take place for a small number of developers to attend a “Viewing Party” at Apple’s spaceship HQ “Apple Park”.

While the number is not yet known, we can assume the number is in the hundreds, not thousands. Additionally, a small group of media from around the world will also be at Apple Park.

What to expect from the Keynote at WWDC

Apple Keynotes are slick productions, even more so in the “virtual” age of the Pandemic.

WWDC keynotes are fundamentally different to all the other Apple Events, because the audience is developers. This is Apple’s chance to tell Developers what they are doing, what’s new and what’s changing in all their base level operating systems.

Of course, Apple knows the world is watching – so they do hype up any big features, particularly for iPhone.

We will get the announcements of new operating systems for iPhone (iOS 16), iPad (iPad OS 16), Apple Watch (Watch OS 9), Apple TV (TVOS 16) and the latest Mac OS which will take the name of a Californian landmark location.

For iPhone, we don’t expect a radical re-design, but there is talk of more changes to how notifications are handled, and most interestingly an “Always On” display. This means when the phone screen is off, it will still show things like the time. This is similar to how the Apple Watch has shown a basic screen to be glanced at without activating the watch by raising and twisting.

However, it isn’t anything new for phones. Samsung has had this since the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 along with plenty of others like Google and Motorola.

There are also rumours of new Apple apps – though what they are – we don’t know.

Interestingly to me, I think some of the best thing’s announced in iOS at WWDC were never leaked, like Do Not Disturb While Driving or Focus Mode. So, we’ll know on Tuesday.

For iPad, updated multi-tasking, really trying to sell the iPad as a device that is a true laptop replacement. Expect new health features for Apple Watch, and expect some more big Apple TV+ content announcements.

Apple Silicon – the M2 Processor?

Two years ago Apple announced the transition to Apple Silicon for its Mac lineup. The M1 processor was then announced at the end of 2020, so we have to expect the next generation will begin soon – likely this week.

Just the base model would be revealed, with any Pro, Max or Ultra chips to come down the track.

Will there be devices announced at WWDC?

With the M2 Silicon likely, it seems a device announcement would make sense.

Likely candidates are an all new MacBook Air – perhaps with a new look, like a white border around the screen like the iMac has.

Another big favourite is a long overdue new Mac Pro. Replacing the “Cheese grater” Mac Pro, this would be the first truely Pro computer featuring Apple Silicon. A dual M1 Ultra or a suped up Ultra – who knows. But the device is well overdue.

What time is the WWDC Keynote in Australia.

The viewing party here at Cupertino kicks off at 10am, which is 3am in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, 1am in Perth.

We’ll bring you all the details from WWDC here at across the day on Tuedsay, plus you can watch The Today Show Tuesday morning, and keep your ear on your local radio station.

Trevor Long is in Cupertino as a guest of Apple