What is macOS Monterey? Apple’s Mac Update Explained



macOS Monterey is no longer the Mac’s latest operating system, but plenty of Macs still run it. Here’s what to know about macOS Monterey!


Apple just released macOS Ventura, the latest operating system for its desktop and laptop Macs. Ventura has plenty of new features, though it’s not as big an upgrade to macOS as in years past.

That, and it being so new, is a reason why many are holding off on updating to macOS Ventura and sticking with macOS Monterey for a while more.

The advantages of sticking with macOS Monterey mainly come down to stability.

As macOS Monterey is more than a year old now, it has received both major and minor upgrades over the last twelve months which means many bugs have been worked out, making it probably the most stable modern macOS until now.

If you’re planning on staying on macOS Monterey, or just want to know more about it, here’s what you know…

What is macOS Monterey? Apple's Mac Update Explained
  • Save

What is macOS Monterey?

macOS Monterey is a desktop and laptop operating system made by Apple. It runs on Mac desktops and laptops.

macOS Monterey was released in October 2021 after months of public beta testing. Upon its release, macOS Monterey was designated with the release number macOS 12.0. Since then, macOS Monterey has been updated multiple times. Its current build number (and likely its final) is macOS Monterey 12.6.1. The version was released the day macOS Ventura was released to the public.

Why Features Did macOS Monterey Introduce?

macOS Monterey introduced many significant new features on macOS. One of the most prominent was a new sharing technology called SharePlay. It allowed users to watch television shows and movies together while apart.

SharePlay accomplishes this by sharing the same stream over a FaceTime call. It’s a very cool way for you to have a shared experience with your friends or family even if you aren’t in the same location.

Another feature macOS Monterey introduced was a redesigned Safari web browser. Safari in macOS Monterey gained group tabs and floating tabs. However, its new look wasn’t a hit with everyone, and Apple backtracked, allowing people to keep some of the old Safari UI.

But perhaps the coolest new feature of macOS Monterey was called Live Text. It essentially builds in optical character recognition (OCR) into macOS Monterey system-wide. Now text in a photo could be selected and copied or more. For example, if a photo had a phone number in it, that number could be called (via FaceTime) by clicking on it. The same goes for web links and other types of data.

macOS Monterey also gained a new Maps look and a 3D globe (on M-series Macs) as well as several other smaller, new features across the operating system.

macOS Monterey shipped alongside iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8, some of which shared some of macOS Monterey’s features.

macOS Monterey Versions

VersionBuildDateRelease notes
12.021A344October 25, 2021N/A
12.0.121A559October 25, 2021Release notes
12.121C52December 13, 2021Release notes Security content
12.221D49January 26, 2022Release notes Security content
12.2.121D62February 10, 2022
12.321E230March 14, 2022Release notes Security Content
12.3.121E258March 31, 2022Release notes Security Content
12.421F79May 16, 2022Release notes Security Content
12.521G72July 20, 2022Release notes Security Content
12.5.121G83August 17, 2022Release notes Security Content
12.621G115September 12, 2022Release notes Security Content
12.6.121G217October 24, 2022Release notes Security Content

Will Apple Continue To Update macOS Monterey?

Unfortunately for macOS Monterey fans, the operating system is pretty much finished from a development standpoint. Apple should continue to issue small bug and security updates for it for a few more years at least, but those hoping for major new features to be added to macOS Monterey are out of luck.

Now that macOS Venture (macOS version 13.0) is out, all new features will be added to that OS for the next year. That means if you want those features, you’ll need to upgrade to macOS Ventura, which is available now.

What Macs Does macOS Monterey Run On?

As macOS Monterey debuted in 2021, it runs on the most recent Mac computers. Those include:

  • iMac Late-2015 and later
  • Mac Pro Late-2013 and later
  • iMac Pro 2017 and later
  • Mac mini Late-2014 and later
  • MacBook Air Early-2015 and later
  • MacBook Early-2016 and later
  • MacBook Pro Early-2015 and later
  • Mac Studio

And check out:

  • Save

Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Keep Reading

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap