Written byJenny Zeng
macOS Monterey: Release Date, Compatibility List and Features
Summary: This post will walk you through the release date of macOS Monterey, a list of Macs compatible with it, and its major features.
Named after Monterey Bay in California, macOS Monterey is the 18th major release of the Mac operating system. Compared to its predecessor macOS Big Sur, macOS Monterey is a smaller update (around 12GB), but it contains many notable new features aiming to improve the Mac experience.
Here, we will discuss everything you need to know about this previous macOS and help you answer your question: 'Should I upgrade to Monterey'.
Guide to macOS Monterey:
- 1. macOS Monterey Release Date
- 2. macOS Monterey Compatibility List
- 3. macOS Monterey New Features
- 4. macOS Monterey Exclusive Features to M1 Macs
- 5. FAQ about macOS Monterey
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.
Here are the details of the macOS Monterey release date:
- macOS Monterey announcement: at WWDC, on June 7, 2021
- macOS Monterey Developer beta 1: June 7, 2021
- macOS Monterey Public beta 9: October 6, 2021
- Official release: October 25, 2021
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:
- MacBook (Early 2016 and later)
- MacBook Air (Early 2015 and later)
- MacBook Pro (Early 2015 and later)
- iMac (Late 2015 and later)
- iMac Pro (2017 and later)
- Mac mini (Late 2014 and later)
- 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.
If you encounter any troubles while updating to macOS Monterey, read our guide on macOS Monterey problems and fixes.
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, Power Mode, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Android and PC users by creating a link to the FaceTime call.
If you are interested in other macOS 12 features, read macOS 12 Monterey powerful features.
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
To update your Mac to macOS Monterey, you need to click the Apple logo > System Preferences > Software Update. If your Mac is eligible for the update, tap on Update Now, then your Mac will start to download the installer.
Once the installer is ready, your Mac will ask you to choose a startup disk, choose Macintosh HD, then follow the instruction. Note that your Mac will restart several times while updating.
The next macOS after Big Sur is macOS 12 Monterey.
Yes, macOS Monterey is officially launched on October 25, 2021. If your Mac model is compatible with it, you can now update to macOS Monterey from System Preferences > Software Update.
The most current Mac operating system is macOS Ventura.