Moving to Monterey? What You Need to Know About Apple’s New macOS

IT professionals know that not all operating system (OS) upgrades are created equal. Some are major, featuring fundamental changes to device operation, security, and performance, and often necessitating significant hardware upgrades as well. Some are minor, involving a few patches, security improvements, and aesthetic enhancements. And many lie somewhere in between.

A business may be an early adopter – upgrading its devices’ operating systems as soon as possible, regardless of the implementation time and resources required. Or it might forgo OS upgrades until absolutely necessary, lagging its competitors and the rest of the industry and potentially putting itself at a competitive disadvantage.

In between those two extremes are businesses that adopt new technologies in a manner aligned with their strategic goals and resources. They evaluate whether an upgrade helps them achieve their goals across the board and, if so, how and when such an implementation might be executed that would maximize potential value.

Understanding what’s in an OS upgrade is the first step in determining what steps your business should take. The new macOS, known alternatively as Monterey or macOS12, is not the company’s biggest update. However, it is a substantial one, offering significant enhancements to Apple’s design and features. And while it is available as a free upgrade, there are certain hardware requirements necessary for macOS Monterey that may require IT admins and business leaders to give the OS a second look before taking the plunge.

What is Monterey and what are its main features?

Named after Monterey, California, macOS Monterey is the latest Mac operating system and the successor to the company’s previous OS, Big Sur. Monterey was announced at the 2021 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 7, 2021, and released on October 25, 2021.

Monterey provides users with several new features that make using Apple devices easier. Among them is a feature known as Universal Control, which allows individuals to use a single keyboard or mouse for multiple Macs or iPads. Monterey also features various Shortcuts that allow individuals to speed up and automate routine tasks. Further, power users can use the Shortcuts Editor on the Mac to establish new shortcuts for their most common tasks.

Monterey also includes enhancements to existing popular programs. For example, FaceTime users will note that not only is the audio in a video call clearer. It appears as if the audio is coming from where each speaker’s mouth is positioned on the screen. The application also eliminates a higher degree of background noise than ever before. Further, FaceTime sports a new Portrait mode which blurs the users’ background, enhancing their image and a new Grid View that displays multiple participants in equally-sized tiles. And SharePlay is now integrated with FaceTime, so that FaceTime users can share their favourite content with others.

AirPlay for Mac also improves the sharing experience by allowing users to locate and share any content in Messages with others easily. The Safari browser also comes refurbished, with a new tab design that increases page visibility and access to frequently visited pages across devices. It also comes with new features, such as Intelligent Tracking Prevention and Privacy Reports to ensure the security of browsing sessions. Further, a new Mail Privacy Protection feature lets email users determine whether marketing emails can collect their activity information to facilitate privacy.

For those wanting an application to jot down quick flashes of inspiration, ideas, and reminders, macOS includes a new feature, Quick Notes, designed expressly for this purpose. Notes is also enhanced, now allowing users to collaborate more easily with others, categorize Notes, and edit more effectively.

Apple has also enhanced its accessibility features. With Monterey, users will find it simpler to create alternative image descriptions, access the keyboard, and customize cursor options. These improvements should make navigating across the Apple ecosystem easier for differently-abled users.

Monterey includes a new immersive Map feature to improve offline navigation. With the new premium iCloud+, users can access a Hide My Email feature, a privacy service known as iCloud Private Relay (allowing you to encrypt all of your outgoing traffic), and more support for HomeKit Secure Video. The non-premium feature, Focus, lets users filter out unrelated notifications and notify others that they are unavailable for those looking to work without distraction.

Finally, Monterey uses machine learning to improve text detection in photos. With this Live Text enhancement, users can access websites, make calls, and copy information from image files.

What devices are compatible with Monterey?

While these improvements add considerable value, Monterey can only be added to the following Mac devices:

  • iMac (2017 and later)
  • iMac (5K Retina 27-inch, Late 2015)
  • iMac Pro
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (6th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later).
  • Mac mini (2018 and later)
  • Mac Pro (2019)
  • MacBook (2016 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2018 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (2016 and later)

Updating Monterey on an iPad and Mac requires both devices to be on separate cellular and Internet networks but logged in to the same Apple ID. Updating can be done wirelessly with Bluetooth, Handoff and Wi-Fi turned on or via USB if your Mac is added as a trusted device on your iPad.

Should my business upgrade to Monterey?

Monterey certainly offers many substantive improvements over the previous OS, Big Sur. Yet, making an immediate switch may require time or resources that are in short supply. For example, if your business uses older Mac devices, upgrading may also necessitate a hardware investment. Or doing so may be time-consuming if you have many decentralized employees and are in the middle of peak season.

Many of Monterey’s features can indeed enhance productivity. But you may also wonder how Monterey may add value to your business and how you may determine its probable ROI. For support in assessing the strategic value of the Monterey upgrade to your business, as well as how to seamlessly transition from Big Sur (or an earlier OS) to Monterey, look no further than Compunet Infotech.

A leading IT support provider in Greater Vancouver, Compunet Infotech has more than three decades of experience leveraging IT to add value to small and medium-sized businesses. Compunet Infotech provides support and computer solutions to businesses in Vancouver and across the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, primarily in the Accounting, Architectural, and Engineering industries. Our clients depend on us for round-the-clock support and both rapid and effective IT solutions to their business problems.

Contact us today if you’re looking for a better understanding of how you may effectively implement Monterey or other software applications.