macOS Monterey system requirements: Which Macs support macOS 12? - MrLiambi's blog


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Monday, 18 October 2021

macOS Monterey system requirements: Which Macs support macOS 12?

Apple's macOS 12 is almost here.

This version of Apple's Mac operating system is known as macOS Monterey. We've got everything you need to know about the new OS in our complete macOS Monterey guide.  

Whereas last year's Big Sur update didn't leave many older Macs high and dry, this time we're losing a couple of years of compatibility for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro - these now need to be made after early 2015. The iMac, by comparison, only shifts forward ard a year. 

Of course, owners of older Macs can still run a relatively new version of macOS, with last year's Big Sur supporting back to 2013 and Catalina going back to 2012. 

For the avoidance of doubt, Monterey supports both Apple Silicon and Intel Macs, just as Big Sur did before it. Apple is still selling Intel Macs and, while that will change, you have to think that software updates will support Intel models for a few more years at least. 

Which Macs can run macOS 12?

  • 12-inch MacBook (early 2016 and later)
  • MacBook Air (early 2015 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (early 2015 and later)
  • Mac mini (late 2014 and later)
  • iMac (late 2015 and later)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and later)
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 and later)

Check out our guide to every MacBook currently available as well as our review of the most recent iMac. 

Additional Monterey features on Apple Silicon

Apple macOS Monterey will offer Apple Silicon users - those with Apple M1 rather than Intel-based Macs - quite a few extra features above and beyond what is available to the Intel powered Macs. 

Here are all the features that Apple lists on its macOS Monterey preview pages as not working on Intel-based Macs running macOS Monterey. Some of these make more sense than others - why would the Maps features not be possible on Intel, for example? But a lot of these clearly make use of the M1's neural processor. 

Portrait Mode

Inspired by Portrait mode on iPhone and powered by the M1 chip, this new video effect puts the focus on you â€" not what's behind you.

Live Text in photos

Your Mac now lets you interact with text in any image. Click an address and it opens in Maps. Call, message, or save any phone number you see. You can copy and paste just as you would with any other text. And personal details and information from images never leave your device.

All-new city experience

Explore cities with unprecedented detail for roads, neighborhoods, trees, buildings, and more. Visit amazing 3D landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge in both the day and dark mode maps.

Interactive globe

Discover the natural beauty of Earth with a rich and interactive globe. Explore new enhanced details for mountain ranges, deserts, rain forests, oceans, and more.

On-device dictation

Keyboard dictation improves as you use your device, personalizing over time. On-device dictation helps protect your privacy by performing all processing completely offline. Dictation in search uses server-based dictation. 

Continuous dictation

With on-device dictation, you can dictate text of any length without a timeout (previously limited to 60 seconds).

Neural text-to-speech voice in more languages

The latest neural text-to-speech voices are now available in more languages: Swedish (Sweden), Danish (Denmark), Norwegian (Norway), and Finnish (Finland).

Also check out our main guide to the new OS: Apple macOS 12 Monterey: Release date, features, and more

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