Friday, Sep 24, 2021, 10:38 Mac: Software

Exclusive: Apple Testing macOS 12.4 - In Preparation for Major Hardware Announcements?

It will probably take a few more weeks until macOS Monterey is released. Apple will probably release the next big system update in November together with the expected M1X Macs. Since June, there have been seven beta versions, the first of which Apple offered directly on the evening of the World Wide Developers Conference. Compared to iOS 15, which was launched just recently, Apple is moving at a much slower pace in the case of Monterey. For example, there were three weeks between beta 6 and beta 7, so we cannot talk about a "fast release cycle" yet. However, Apple is not only working on System 12.0, 12.1 is also already in active internal testing. mTechNews was also able to learn that Apple has begun testing a mid-2022 Monterey update.



macOS 12.1: This was to be expected
As usual, our own access statistics speak volumes, as our services continue to be in Apple's "heavy rotation" of early system testing. As of this week, an increased number of hits with unique Apple IPs can be seen with macOS 12.1. This is quite a common occurrence, as even before the release of a major release, Apple usually starts preparing the first bug fix update. However, it is difficult to estimate whether macOS 12.1 will be released this year. Quite often, Apple had provided updates shortly before Christmas, 12.1 around mid-December would therefore be conceivable.

macOS 12.4: Very surprising find - major changes ahead?
However, another finding is much more interesting. Apple has also started testing macOS 12.4 - a system number that will most likely not be released before early summer 2022. When Apple tests future versions this early, it usually indicates major news. In 2018, for example, Apple had already worked intensively on 10.14.4 as well as 10.15 half a year before the release of macOS 10.14 Mojave. The latter was probably done primarily in preparation for the new "Catalyst" framework, possibly also as an early test of internal M1 Macs.

Testing a system version for mid-2022.
So, if Apple is now already testing 12.4 semi-publicly, we can once again assume important changes. The choice of version number, however, does not mean that the currently tested system version will necessarily be launched as "12.4". Instead, Apple just chose a number that is a bit further in the distance. Rough time estimates are still possible, as mentioned. Looking at the rumors of the past few months, this could be the first system to support Apple's upcoming chip generation.

While the M1X is probably largely an M1 with more cores, the M2 is expected for 2022. It is supposed to be "next generation", differ more clearly from the M1, and will probably also work as "M2X" in an iMac 30" and the Mac Pro towards the end of 2022. However, only one thing is really certain: The semi-public testing of macOS 12.4 is at least quite curious; that system will certainly bring more than just a few bug fixes.

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