While Microsoft is still working on Windows 11, Apple is launching macOS 12 Monterey. The new Mac operating system should finally go live in autumn 2021 and take up the ideas of iOS 15. In addition, there should be a boost for more productivity. CHIP shows the innovations of macOS 12 and which devices get the free update.
Apple made a cut in macOS last year with the launch of its own Mac processors. Instead of increasing the detailed versions of macOS 10, they started with macOS 11. For autumn 2021, macOS 12 Monterey is targeted. The update should be distributed free of charge as usual.
Traditionally, macOS only plays second fiddle behind iOS. So everything in iOS 15 is new and should work across systems at Apple, is also built into macOS 12. MacOS 12 is not a boring update, on the contrary: Apple is changing numerous details.
Use macOS 12 Monterey now
As with iOS, Apple also has macOS a beta program for interested users at the start. First a warning from us: The betas still contain errors and are not intended for productive use. If you want to get macOS 12 in advance, you shouldn’t do so without a backup in hand. The supplied system tool Time Machine is a good solution for this.
Otherwise, installing macOS 12 is no big deal. You’ll need to sign in to Apple’s beta program with your Apple ID and register your Mac. This only works if it meets the hardware requirements (see below). Then download a small beta profile that modifies the update function. Now you can get the betas of macOS 12 via the point “Software update” in the system settings.
macOS 12: Common innovations with iOS 15
Apple tries to combine its ecosystem with as many functions as possible. Who one iPhone buys should also get a lot of arguments to buy money for a Mac. New in macOS 12 are these functions from iOS 15:
- SharePlay: Watching films and series together or listening to music, sharing the screen or working on programs – Apple users with macOS 12 can do this on their computers too. The new function builds on FaceTime so that you can network with friends and family virtually. Incidentally, FaceTime also gets support for 3D audio on the Mac. The practical portrait mode, in which faces are set off from the blurred background, is only available on a Mac with an M1 chip.
- Shared content: iOS 15 makes it easier to view content shared via messages, such as photos, videos, websites or podcasts. The pre-installed programs have a corresponding area for this. macOS 12 implements this idea on the desktop.
- Focus: There are lots of distractions from smartphones, but the Mac also keeps tinkling. If you want to work concentrated, you can also control it better with macOS 12. Focus summarizes notifications here and prioritizes important messages accordingly.
- AirPlay: IOS users probably know AirPlay primarily for sending content from their smartphones to Apple TV. But why not use a Mac as a target for AirPlay content. The function comes with iOS 15 and macOS 12 implements the remote station. Films, games, photos, presentations, pretty much everything can now be output quickly from the iPhone or iPad to the Mac screen without a cable connection.
Improved productivity with macOS 12
But macOS 12 also claims to have improved in terms of productivity. There are the following innovations:
- Safari: The browser receives a comprehensive update that puts content in the foreground. The tab bar is optimized and there are tab groups to keep an overview even with many open websites. These bookmark collections also synchronize across other Apple devices. Security is also provided, Safari tries to switch HTTP connections to HTTPS.
- Shortcuts: iOS users have long known the shortcuts that can be used to automate a wide variety of tasks. This also works with macOS 12 on the Mac. To make it easy to get started, there are many predefined actions, for example to quickly create animated GIFs. Existing Automator workflows can also be imported into the shortcuts.
- Quick Notes: So that no more ideas are lost, macOS 12 picks up the note function. Quick notes can be used system-wide. In addition, notes can be edited together with other users and they can be tagged with keywords.
Share mouse and keyboard with iPad
In our view, iPads are not yet a computer replacement, but they are increasingly taking on functions that were traditionally reserved for a Mac. At the moment, many users have both devices in use and with a new function called Universal Control Both devices can share a mouse and keyboard.
The nice thing is that the input device can be switched automatically between Mac and iPadwithout users having to explicitly set up this function. Content can also be moved back and forth between the devices intuitively using drag and drop.
macOS 12 hardware requirements
With Windows 11 there is currently a big discussion about increased hardware requirements. Of course, Apple has the advantage here that they only have to support their own devices. But that works quite well, partly Monterey still works on Macs from 2013. The following Macs get the update to macOS 12 for free:
- iMac: Models from the end of 2015
- Mac Pro: Models from the end of 2013
- iMac Pro: Models from 2017
- Mac mini: Models from the end of 2014
- MacBook Air: Models from the beginning of 2015
- MacBook: Models from the beginning of 2016
- MacBook Pro: Models from the beginning of 2015