[Update: June 10] Apple macOS 12 update tracker: Everything we know so far
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…
Original story (published on April 14, 2021) follows:
macOS Big Sur is the 17th major release of macOS and was released back in November last year. It succeeded macOS Catalina and carries a version number of 11.
The OS features a user interface redesign that implements new blurs to establish a visual hierarchy. These changes reflect upon the Control Center, menu bar, dock, and even apps like Safari and Messages.
This is combined with a bunch of new features like privacy labels on the App Store, grouped notifications, new widgets, new system sounds, and much more.
macOS Big Sur may have some bugs hither and thither but there’s no doubt that it is an extremely polished, secure, and mature operating system.
Nevertheless, there is always a scope for improvement and new feature additions in even the best of the best software, and macOS Big Sur is no exception.
We will have to wait for the next big macOS update to see what Apple has in store this time. After all, there are several months left for Apple to unveil macOS 12 and we don’t know what to expect just yet.
For a long time, macOS updates were labeled as 10.x. For example, macOS Mohave carried a version number of 10.14 while its successor – macOS Catalina – had 10.15.
Apple changed this pattern with the launch of macOS Big Sur though by ditching the number 10 and jumping on to macOS 11. This means that the next version of macOS will very likely be macOS 12.
This was further confirmed by 9to5Mac that spotted the mentions of iOS 15 and macOS 12 in the open-source WebKit repository. WebKit code typically refers to future versions as “TBA” to hide their actual version, so this is an unusual discovery.
Apple is also likely to uphold their tradition of naming macOS updates after locations in California with macOS 12. This trend started back in 2013 and we do not see any reason for Apple to deviate from it.
Eligible devices for macOS 12 update
Moving on to the devices eligible for the macOS 12 update, there isn’t really an official list available currently but one can still speculate based on past update patterns.
The macOS Big Sur compatibility list goes as the following:
MacBook (2015 or newer)
MacBook Air (2013 or newer)
MacBook Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
Mac mini (2014 or newer)
iMac (2014 or newer)
iMac Pro (from 2017)
Mac Pro (2013 or newer)
When this list is compared with the macOS Catalina eligibility list, one will easily discover that the minimum requirements for compatibility have jumped by a year or so.
A similar pattern can be thus expected from the macOS 12 update as well. Still, it is too early to be sure.
More details about macOS 12 will be given out at the 2021 Worldwide Developers Conference on June 7. We will be updating this tracker as new leaks emerge so stay tuned.
Update 1 (June 08)
01:30 pm (IST): Apple with WWDC announced that the next generation of macOS will be called Monterey and will bring along the following list of features:
1. Universal Control: The feature will allow users to drag and drop items between iPads, MacBooks, iMacs, and more. Not only that but you can also use a single mouse and keyboard and seamlessly switch between Mac and iPad.
2. FaceTime: FaceTime has also received a feature dump including spatial audio support, Voice Isolation, Wide Spectrum, and ability to blur user backgrounds thanks to the Neural Engine on Apple M1 Macs.
3. Airplay: You can now use AirPlay on a Mac, and use your Mac or MacBook as a speaker or video output. This includes AirPlaying your Fitness+ workouts to your Mac.
4. Shortcuts: iOS-like Shortcuts are also coming to Mac. These allow you to automate everyday tasks by setting your own or by using ready-made ones.
5. Notes and Safari updates: Other than the above, you also get Notes and Safari app updates with a bunch of visual changes and new features.
For more details on it all, head here.
Update 2 (June 10)
02:29 pm (IST): If you don’t like the new features, run into problems, or face app compatibility issues on macOS 12 beta, then here’s how to downgrade to Big Sur or Catalina on Intel and M1 Macs.
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