[Update: Nov. 29] 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.

big-sur-inline

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.

Expected name

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.

macos-catalina

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.

macbook pro 16

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.

Update 3 (July 28)

05:05 pm (IST): Apple has reportedly started rolling out the macOS Monterey beta 4 update for developers. The update can be downloaded from the company’s Developer website as long as you’ve got a developer account. The update does not bring any major new features to the table.

Update 4 (August 12)

11:56 am (IST): Apple is reportedly seeding out the 5th Beta of macOS 12 to developers and users in the beta channel. Registered developers can download the beta through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences.

Update 5 (August 13)

11:19 am (IST): Following the update to macOS 12 Monterey Beta 5, users now note that the new iWork icons have been included.

Click/Tap to zoom

Update 6 (August 31)

12:49 pm (IST): macOS 12 Monterey Beta 6 is out and still, users are reporting that the universal control feature is still not supported. Frustration among users continues to mount. More on that here.

Update 7 (September 23)

12:00 pm (IST): Apple has recently released a new public beta build for macOS 12 Monterey. More on that here.

Update 8 (September 29)

9:50 am (IST): Apple released the eighth beta of macOS 12 Monterey for developers. Check more about it here.

1:27 pm (IST): Apple has announced a few updates to its iWork suite of applications for macOS 12 with new features to enhance remote presentations and streamline working on the go.

Update 9 (September 30)

12:43 pm (IST): Apple has just released a new macOS 12 Monterey Public Beta update. This build was previously released to developers and now it’s available to public beta testers too.

Update 10 (October 07)

09:40 am (IST): Apple releases the ninth beta of macOS 12 Monterey for developers. For more details, head here.

Update 11 (October 07)

11:54 am (IST): macOS Monterey 12 Beta 10 is out and aside from the addition of new Safari Tweaks, this latest macOS Monterey Beta doesn’t have much to offer.

Much to the disappointment of excited mac users, this build doesn’t being Universal Control. More in the release notes.

Update 12 (October 19)

11:21 am (IST): Apple is seeding out macOS Monterey Release Candidate to Developers ahead of the expected launch on the week of October 25.

Update 13 (October 22)

11:21 am (IST): Apple is now seeding the second Release Candidate of macOS Monterey, with the version number 12.0.1.

It is already available for download for those who registered fro the via Apple Developer Center. More on that here.

Update 14 (October 25)

12:21 pm (IST): macOS Monterey is set to be publicly rolled out soon. With that, there are features that Intel Macs won’t support. These include:

– Portrait Mode in FaceTime
– Maps Interactive Globe
– More Detailed Cities in Maps
– Object Capture
– Siri Text-to-Speech
– On-Device Keyboard Dictation
Source

Update 15 (October 26)

11:46 am (IST): Finally, macOS Monterey is now available. Along with the headlining features we’ve seen before including SharePlay, this build brings additional features like:

Additional Features
– Shared with You makes it easy to enjoy content shared through Messages right in Photos, Safari, Apple Podcasts, Apple News, and the Apple TV app. Users can easily find shared content, see who recommended it, and reply inline on the original thread it was shared.

– Maps offers an all-new immersive experience with extraordinary detail for roads, neighborhoods, trees, buildings, and more, all brought to life right on Mac’s stunning display.

– iCloud+ combines everything users love about iCloud with new premium features, including Hide My Email, expanded HomeKit Secure Video support, and an innovative new internet privacy service, iCloud Private Relay, at no additional cost. All iCloud+ plans can be shared with people in the same Family Sharing group, so everyone can enjoy the new features, storage, and elevated experience that comes with the service. Current iCloud storage subscribers will be upgraded to iCloud+ automatically at no additional cost.4

– Spatial audio comes to Macs with the M1 chip, delivering a theatre-like experience with AirPods (3rd generation), AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. And with dynamic head tracking, the sound stays fixed to the Mac even as the user moves their head.

– Mail Privacy Protection prevents senders from learning whether an email has been opened, and hides IP addresses so senders can’t learn a user’s location or use it to build a profile on them.

– New accessibility features let anyone add alternative image descriptions right from Markup, and improved Full Keyboard Access and new cursor customization options provide more flexibility when navigating Mac.
macOS Monterey using Shared with You to share media over Messages on a MacBook Air.
macOS Monterey using the updated Maps app on a MacBook Air.
Source

Update 16 (October 29)

01:52 pm (IST): Apple released the macOS Monterey 12.1 beta update to developers which now lets you use graphics cards that integrate the AMD Radeon 6600XT GPU. Of course, a few fixes also tag along.

The main highlight, however, is the addition of SharePlay.

Update 17 (October 30)

12:07 pm (IST): Some users are complaining that they unable to recognize the USB docking station after they upgraded to macOS Monterey. More on that here.

Update 18 (November 02)

10:32 am (IST): PSA: New reports now indicate that macOS 12 Monterey is bricking some older Macs. As such, you may want to hold off on the update, at least for now.

Update 19 (November 03)

09:32 am (IST): Some M1 Mac users are reporting that Spatial Audio is not working for them with Apple Music after macOS 12 Monterey update. More on that here.

Update 20 (November 05)

05:11 pm (IST): Users report that Quick look feature is not working well on macOS 12 Finder.

Before, it showed a full screen preview of images and videos. Now it only shows a small thumbnail in low quality. But there is a workaround:

macOS-12-Monterey-Quick-Look-preview-not-working-workaround-1

06:15 pm (IST): Another issue with the macOS 12 Monterey Finder app has popped up. Users complain that when they try opening multiple PDFs, the app opens it in Preview mode instead of Tabs. More on that here.

07:15 pm (IST): Many are having trouble installing macOS 12 Monterey on their machines and are getting “An error occurred while preparing the installation. Try running this application again.” error. Head here for a potential workaround

Update 21 (November 06)

04:42 pm (IST): Some Mac owners report that Apple is charging them a large amount of money for the repair of the ‘brick’ after macOS 12 Monterey update.

apple-charge-you-repair-bricked-mac-macos-12-update-1
Source

Update 22 (November 08)

06:30 pm (IST): It looks like those who upgraded to macOS 12 Monterey are facing an issue where Time Machine is taking forever to complete. Head here for a possible workaround.

Update 23 (November 10)

10:42 am (IST): Apple is reportedly seeding out the Second Beta of macOS Monterey 12.1 to Developers.

Update 24 (November 12)

10:58 am (IST): macOS 12 Monterey users are reporting that the latest Final Cut Pro 10.6 has serious performance issues. The software is slow, unresponsive, and crashing.

However, Final Cut Pro 10.5.4 would be running smoothly. So, downgrade is a temporary solution if you need to use the software.

12:58 pm (IST): Apple has reportedly fixed the issue where opening multiple PDF files in finder opens in preview windows instead of tabs. More on that here.

15:45 pm (IST): MacOS 12 Monterey users report not being able to set an image of their choice as a screen saver. Also, after setting a dynamic desktop wallpaper, it reverts to the stock wallpaper.

Update 25 (November 16)

12:49 am (IST): Some users are reporting issues with universal clipboard and AirDrop features after updating to macOS 12 Monterey.

In some cases, they can transfer text or files between Apple devices in a one-way way (for example, they can from an iPhone to a Mac, but from a Mac to an iPhone). But, in other cases, they can’t in any way.

Update 26 (November 18)

12:53 pm (IST): Some macOS 12.1 beta 3 users are reporting that the update breaks the custom ICC color profiles. The built-in color profiles would work correctly.

macos-12-1-beta-3-custom-icc-color-profiles-1
Source

Update 27 (November 19)

02:08 pm (IST): Some users are reporting that SanDisk external drives are not working on macOS 12 Monterey. The drive can’t be accessed via SecureAccess app and throws an error. More on that here.

05:33pm (IST): Some macOS users report not being able to AirPlay video from their devices to Smart TVs.

Unable to see video on Samsung Q6DAA TV.

I just got a new smart tv (Samsung Q6DAA). Attempted to use AirPlay to put a video from my MacBook Pro on the bigger screen. Paired up OK, on the same network – but the video won’t play and all I see on the TV screen is the settings dialogue. Help?
Source

Update 28 (November 20)

06:58 pm (IST): Some users are complaining that the Adobe Photoshop Elements 21 and 22 versions are crashing or not working after they upgrade to the latest macOS 12 Monterey. More on that here.

Update 29 (November 22)

05:00 pm (IST): macOS users say that the Magic Mouse scroll and trackpad gestures stop working randomly after users updated to Monterey. Head here for some workarounds.

Update 30 (November 29)

05:00 pm (IST): Some users are reporting slow internet speed and Wi-Fi disconnection issue after updating to the latest macOS Monterey. Check more on that here.

06:40 pm (IST): The Export as PDF function of macOS Monterey is not working or greyed out for some users. Moreover, there is a workaround you can try to fix this issue. Check more here.

06:45 pm (IST): Some users running ArchiCAD 25 on macOS Monterey say that the save and open dialog is wider than the screen itself. Head here for a potential workaround.

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Zohaib Ahmed

Simply love being surrounded by technology as it's a constant reminder of how far humans have advanced as a race. Every new development feels exciting, which I convey to others through writing. And after a day's work, gaming just feels therapeutic.