With the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) just a few weeks away, it's getting to be that time on the calendar when sites like iMore start predicting the changes expected to come to Apple's biggest operating systems. Today it's macOS 13, which should be announced alongside iOS 16, iPadOS 16, tvOS 16, and watchOS 9 on Monday, June 6.
Guessing Apple's plans for Mac seems to get more difficult each year. Two years ago, no one expected the massive changes that came with macOS Big Sur. A year later, macOS Monterey turned out to be a much bigger update than many of us had predicted, especially following Big Sur, although it was still a minor update.
For macOS 13, I'm only making five general predictions. Admittingly, many of these are being made by others across other tech sites. But, no, we're not copying one another. Instead, after 13 macOS iterations, there are only so many headline-grabbing changes Apple has yet to make on this long-running operating system. And predictions like these are always about possible game-changers, not the minor updates Apple also always packs into new macOS versions of the best Macs.
1. macOS name: Mammoth
Since 2013, Apple has named macOS versions after breathtaking locations in California, such as Yosemite, Mojave, and Catalina. In the past, the iPhone maker has trademarked the names of other places that haven't yet been used as a macOS name, such as Redwood, Condor, and Skyline.
As 9to5Mac explained in 2021, over the years Apple has abandoned most of those trademarks. At the time, two names remained alive at the U.S. Trademark Office: Monterey and Mammoth. With the former taken for macOS 12, the even-money says we could be introduced to "macOS 13 Mammoth" sometime after 10 a.m. PDT on June 6. Mammoth refers to the Mammoth Lakes region of California, which is known for its skiing and outdoor recreational activities.
If Apple chooses this naming route, macOS Mammoth will likely be an undoubtedly more extensive update than macOS Monterey.
2. Big changes to Time Machine and backups
Apple's built-in backup system still gets the job done, although it's not the most user-friendly feature Mac offers. And it lags behind how backups get handled on iPhones and iPad, which is arguably a much speedier process. Perhaps 2022 will be the year Apple brings iCloud Backup to Mac through a reinvention of Time Machine. However, what this would mean for the price of iCloud+ subscription plans remains unknown.
3. Better widgets
Macs have widgets and have for some time. Unfortunately, they lag far behind what's offered on iPhone and iPad. That will probably change with macOS 13. Expect better widgets with more flexibility; which could mean that the new widgets will be moveable anywhere on the desktop and offer more interactivity options. Currently, they serve as a speedy way to glance over notifications or a condensed version of information. For example, the Calendar widget will give you a peek into your week's upcoming events and reminders.
4. Please give us the weather, Apple
It's hard to believe there isn't a native Weather app on macOS. Although my heart will forever remain with Carrot Weather, a Weather App directly from Cupertino for Mac would be well-received by the public and would look gorgeous on MacBook Pro and Studio Displays. Currently, you can quickly check the weather on a Mac by using the Weather widget in the notifications center, but there is no actual app for it. When you click on the widget to discover more, it leads you to Weather.com in the browser.
5. One Mammoth new feature
There's a reason Apple has been holding back on using the word Mammoth in a macOS name — and it probably wasn't so it could fully develop a Time Machine option that includes iCloud Backups. So instead, I'll predict what's mammoth about this year's update is just how much closer it'll bring macOS to iOS/iPadOS from a design and feature standpoint. This could mean getting App Library and Apple Health on Mac for the first time, more Control Center options, etc.
Will macOS look exactly like iPadOS? Nope, but the similarities will be striking and will tell us a lot about where Apple plans on taking iPad and Mac in the coming years.
macOS — always getting better
MacOS will continue to evolve with each update, bringing minor tweaks such as security fixes to massive updates such as better widgets and brand new apps. With the exciting WWDC around the corner, it'll be interesting to see what we've gotten right about the new update and what we missed. What would you like to see in macOS 13?