Apple has officially announced macOS 12 Monterey for both Macs and MacBooks at this year’s WWDC.
After macOS Big Sur introduced a refreshed user interface and support for its M1 Macs, macOS 12 looks set to be a bit of a smaller update, but Apple has still promised some major updates.
As with all other macOS releases, macOS 12 will be a free upgrade for owners of Macs and MacBooks later this year. There will also be early ‘beta’ versions of macOS 12 that will be released for people to test it before it gets properly launched.
At first, only developers will be able to download the early version of macOS 12. There will then be a public beta released in a few week’s time for anyone who wants to try out the software early. However, most people will want to hold on until macOS 12 gets fully released later on, as most bugs and problems will have been identified and fixed by early testers.
This news is still breaking, so we’ll update it as soon as we know more.
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Cut to the chase
- What is it? macOS 12 Monterey, the successor to macOS 11 Big Sur
- When is it out? It will be available towards the end of the year
- How much will it cost? Nothing. Apple software updates are always free
macOS 12 name – Monterey
Apple has announced macOS 12’s new name: Monterey, picked due to it being part of Big Sur by the Californian coast.
macOS 12 features
Apple has revealed what we can expect from macOS 12 when it comes to new features.
This handy feature means you can use a single mouse and keyboard and switch between Mac and iPad. Use a trackpad on your MacBook and slide over seamlessly to your iPad.
You can also drag and drop files between iPads, MacBooks, iMacs and more.
You can now use AirPlay on a Mac, and use your Mac or MacBook as a speaker or video output.
Shortcuts are also coming to Mac. These allow you to automate everyday tasks. You can set your own, or use ready-made ones.
These can be triggered via Siri without using your hands, and you can import Automator workflows with Shortcuts.
Safari, Apple’s web browser for macOS, has been redesigned for macOS 12 Monterey. Tabs are now more compact, the toolbar is refined and you can use tab groups.
This saves and groups tabs together for easy access. Useful for people who end up browsing with loads of tabs open at once.
You can name the groups, and they can be accessible across all devices. Make a change on a Mac, and the groups on iPad and iPhone will also change.
You can use a search box to find certain websites, and the Tabs bar changes color depending what website you’re on.
It doesn’t look like we’re getting a Big Sur-like huge update, though. Instead, macOS 12 seems to be a release to fix up bugs and refine the operating system further.
Think of this release as more the Snow Leopard of macOS releases. Back in 2009, Apple made efforts to push the fact that it was a refined release, and no new features.
With a move to a completely different chip last year, it makes sense for macOS to be refined again to be even faster on the new Apple Silicon chips.
macOS 12 Monterey release date
The next version of macOS was announced at WWDC, but not released. There will be a version for developers released soon, and a public beta version for you to try out will probably be available in July.
As usual, this will be a free update for everyone with a compatible system. If you’re not sure if your Mac or MacBook is compatible, check out the system requirements below.
When will macOS 12 Monterey be available to download?
The macOS 12 Monterey update should be available for download through your Mac’s System Preferences menu, or you can download it through the Mac App Store application once its released towards the end of the year, most likely mirroring past releases of macOS.
macOS 12 Monterey system requirements
While the requirements for macOS 12 Monterey have yet to be announced, we’ve listed the compatible Mac systems below that work with macOS 11 Big Sur:
- 12-inch MacBook (2015 and later)
- MacBook Air (2013 and later)
- MacBook Air M1 (Late 2020 and later)
- MacBook Pro (Late 2013 and later)
- MacBook Pro M1 (Late 2020 and later)
- Mac mini (2014 and later)
- Mac mini (Late 2020 and later)
- iMac (2014 and later)
- iMac M1 (2021 and later)
- iMac Pro (all models)
- Mac Pro (2013 and later)