Monday, Oct 25, 2021, 19:52 Mac: Software

macOS Monterey Is Out! What's New & What Are The Requirements?

Finally, four and a half months after 2021's Worldwide Developer Conference, and the first developer version of macOS Monterey has been released to the public. Following macOS 10.15 and 11 comes macOS 12 – Monterey (Apple changed the numbering method with macOS 11 Big Sur).
Monterey keeps the same tradition from previous updates and carries well-known features from iOS over to macOS, along with providing iOS app compatibility for Macs with M1 chips. One example: the new "Shortcuts" feature, taken from the recently released iOS 15.

New Features In macOS Monterey
  • SharePlay, which we covered in this article, will be making its way over to macOS 12 from iOS 15, along with 3D audio.
  • macOS 12 also comes with a new version of Safari, already released for macOS Catalina and macOS Big Sur – covered here.
  • "Shared with you", one of a a number of the new features introduced in iOS 15, will also be making an appearance. The feature works in the following manner: say you receive a photo or message with a link leading to an internet site or podcast, the correct corresponding app will then automatically preview information concerning the content (e.g.: Safari for an internet link, Podcasts for a "podcast link", and Apple Music for a song shared from Apple Music).
  • Notes with tags and highlights: As far as most of the features on this list, this one's pretty straightforward. The feature allows notes recorded in the "Notes" app to be arranged into smart folders consisting of tags (#'s, arranging shopping lists by starting separate notes with #shopping to organize different shopping lists within the app). The new "highlights" feature in the Notes app allows users to view edits made by various individuals in shared Notes documents, similarly to in applications such as Google Docs.
  • New Universal Control Features: At the WWDC, Apple revealed a new feature, even further blending the iPad and macOS systems together. The feature allows aspects of one device to control another, for example, controlling your iPad with the built-in trackpad and keyboard on your MacBook Pro. However, only relatively newer Macs are compatible (2016 or newer).



  • AirPlay: The Mac can now be used to "airplay" or stream content from other devices and not simply as a sender.
  • The "Live Text in photos" feature from iOS 15 covered here will also be making an arrival on macOS 12.
  • "Shortcuts" from iOS 15 will be making its way over to macOS. "Automator" hasn't been abandoned, but the future is "Shortcuts", according to Apple, which emphasizes compatibility and the ability to import previous Automator projects. This is a transitional phase "designed to last for years," according to the company.
  • New updates to the "Maps" app, explained here by Apple, allowing users to "explore major cities in 3D" with "enhanced navigation, immersive walking directions, and more".
  • iCloud+ & Private Relay (still in beta): this feature is essentially an in-house VPN from Apple, we covered it here.

Download & Installation
As usual, installing macOS Monterey can be done by clicking on the "Apple" symbol at the top left of your Mac's screen, then click on "System Preferences" in the pop-up menu. This open the "System Preferences" application where you should see a notification under "Software Update". Click on that, and you should be taken to a screen allowing you to "Upgrade Now" to the latest version of macOS. As always, we recommend users to backup their devices before installing a new version of macOS, to protect data in the case of any errors during the installation process.

System Requirements
Not all Macs that were compatible with Big Sur are compatible with macOS Monterey. The official word from Apple is that only the following Macs are compatible:

  • iMac 2015 and later
  • iMac Pro
  • MacBook Early 2016 and later
  • MacBook Pro 2015 and later
  • MacBook Air 2015 and later
  • Mac mini 2014 and later
  • Mac Pro 2013

To Install Or Not To Install
Thank to the relatively long beta phase for macOS Monterey, we more or less all know what to expect. The operating system's release candidate made a good impression and the software is, accordingly, not expected to arrive with any serious issues. However, as always and as is with any software or product release, a few errors are sure to have slipped through the cracks and an installation now might lead to a less perfect system than if one were to wait a few weeks before installing the new macOS Monterey. By December, Apple will have surely released at least one or two bug fixes. For more cautious users, it might be better to wait until the first few bugs have been fully found and fleshed out before installing the new OS. Those who decide against upgrading and who are determined to stick with macOS 11 Big Sur will get at least 2 more years of free safety updates for the now "older" OS.

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