The Latest macOS Update: macOS Monterey

By Jenny | Posted to Home > Wiki, on October 12th, 2021

Summary: This post will walk you through the release date of macOS Monterey, a list of Macs compatible with it and its major features.

major updates of macOS Monterey

The latest version of macOS is Monterey, named after Monterey Bay in California. Comparing to its predecessor macOS Big Sur, macOS Monterey is a smaller update, but it contains many notable new features to improve the Mac experience. Here, we will discuss everything you need to know about this newest macOS.

macOS Monterey Release Date

macOS Monterey is the 18th major Apple update for Mac operating systems. It was introduced at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 7, 2021, the same day the macOS Monterey developer beta program was enrolled.

On July 1, 2021, Apple released the public beta version of macOS Monterey, allowing non-developers to test macOS Monterey before its public release.

Apple is currently testing Monterey beta 9, which showed up on October 6, 2021. A release to the general public is expected in the fall.

  1. macOS Monterey announcement: at WWDC, on June 7, 2021
  2. macOS Monterey Developer beta 1: June 7, 2021
  3. macOS Monterey Public beta 9(latest): October 6, 2021
  4. Official release: later in 2021
macOS Monterey wallpaper

macOS Monterey Compatibility List

Although macOS Monterey is compatible with all Macs with Apple silicon and Intel-based Macs that can run macOS Big Sur, it no longer supports some old MacBook Air and iMac Models produced in 2013 and 2014. Here is a list of Macs that can run macOS Monterey:

  1. MacBook (Early 2016 and later)
  2. ‌MacBook Air‌ (Early 2015 and later)
  3. MacBook Pro (Early 2015 and later)
  4. ‌iMac‌ (Late 2015 and later)
  5. ‌‌iMac‌ Pro (2017 and later)
  6. ‌Mac mini (Late 2014 and later)
  7. ‌Mac Pro (Late 2013 and later)

Is your Mac too old to update to macOS Monterey? Here is how to check your Mac’s version:

Click the Apple logo on the left side of the menu bar and select About This Mac, then you can see the year your Mac is produced and check the compatibility list to see whether it can be upgraded to macOS Monterey.

macOS Monterey New Features

The latest macOS update focuses on improving productivity and user connection, with a new Shortcuts app, Universal Control, Live text, redesigned Safari and FaceTime. We summarized 5 major features for you.

Safari updates: never lose a tab again

On the new Safari, you will experience a streamlined tab bar, which takes up less space, better blends into the background and extends to the edge of the window.

You can also save and organize your tabs into tab groups for later revisit without having these tabs take up space on the tab bar.

tab groups of updated Sfari in macOS Monterey

Share the tab groups easily by dragging your groups into an email, and the links will appear automatically. The tab groups can be accessed by clicking the down arrow next to the reading list and bookmarks.

Shortcuts app: using Shortcuts made on iPhone on Mac

The Shortcuts app, the first step of Apple’s multi-year transition, provides you access on Mac to all your favorite shortcuts created on iPhone and vice versa. Apple has designed some pre-built shortcuts in the Gallery, but you can make your own easily which is facilitated by Next Action Suggestions. Shortcuts can be run from Spotlight, Finder, Dock, Menu bar or using Siri.

macOS Shortcuts app

Live text: detecting all texts on photos

Live text features text recognition in photos and screenshots. You can select, copy, paste, look up, and translate texts detected from photos, be it typed or handwritten.

copy texts in photos in macOS Monterey

Universal control: managing multiple Apple devices at once

Arguably, Universal control is the most exciting feature coming with macOS Monterey. Just put a Mac and other Apple devices like an iPad next to each other, then you can control them automatically with a single mouse and keyboard. Moving the cursor from the Mac to the iPad will transition it to your iPad’s display, and you can drag and drop documents from one to another.

control multiple Apple devices with Univesal Control in macOS Monterey

FaceTime: making distant conversation more entertaining

Mirroring features on the new iOS 15, FaceTime equips with the group-friendly SharePlay, which allows you to synchronize content with FaceTime friends. You can share your screen and start a movie night with your distant friends on a FaceTime call, and they will have synced playback and controls.

watch movies in a FaceTime with friends

It is even better that FaceTime supports spatial audio, which makes the individual voice sound like they are coming from their position on the screen.

In macOS 12 Monterey, you can even FaceTime with Andriod and PC users by creating a link to the FaceTime call.

macOS Monterey Exclusive Features to M1 Macs

Apple has made multiple macOS Monterey features only available on Apple Silicon Macs. Here is the roundup.

Unlimited On-device keyboard dictation: It performs all processing offline to protect user privacy.

Portrait Mode: Users can blur the background on a FaceTime call to better focus on the person.

Object Capture: People can turn a 2D image into a 3D object optimized for AR in a few minutes.

Siri: Text-to-speech has more languages, including Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish.

Maps: Users can interact with a 3D globe and explore cities like New York and London with details such as roads, buildings, landmarks, etc.

FAQ about macOS Monterey

1. How do I update my Mac to Monterey?

You can upgrade macOS Monterey through Mac's System Preferences menu or App Store when it is officially released.

Currently, you can download and upgrade your macOS to macOS Monterey Public beta 9. We don't recommend you try it with your main machine because there may be bugs. You can create a partition on your Mac hard drive or use a USB bootable installer to test the software.

2. What is the next macOS after Big Sur?

macOS 12 Monterey

3. Is Mac OS Monterey available?

The public release of macOS Monterey isn’t available now, but there are public beta versions for users to try.

4. What is the most current Mac OS?

macOS Big Sur