Big Sur to Monterey: Is it Worth an Upgrade?

macOS Monterey is the much-awaited new Mac software update, and it looks appealing. It is the 12th version after Big Sur, and the official software is expected to release this year in the fall. The public beta builds are available for installation, but people are skeptical. However, those who live dangerously have installed the beta version and complained of few issues related to compatibility, system slowdown, apps crashing and so on. 

However, there are also a few advantages to the update. Industry insiders believe Monterey is an update aimed to refine and improve macOS. It is not a big update like Big Sur, but the new features included in Monterey hope to enhance the overall Mac experience. So keep reading to know if its time to upgrade to macOS 12. But if you are comfortable with Big Sur, you can downgrade macOS Monterey without any hassle. 

Big Sur to Monterey: New features and changes 

macOS 12 is focused on unifying Apple devices. Most of its features are either shared with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 or aimed at synchronizing your devices. The features are exciting; therefore, macOS 12 feels like a huge win at face value. Check out below some of the features of Monterey. 

  • Safari tab groups – It is a way to organize and sort tabs in Safari to eliminate clutter. 
  • Universal Control – Universal Control is a brand new feature allowing Mac users to use their iPad and computer with the same keyboard and mouse. 
  • AirPlay – The new feature of AirPlay allows you to cast from your other devices to your Mac. 
  • FaceTime updates – The FaceTime app includes Spatial Audio, which mimics the distribution of sound you experience when talking to multiple people. You can also enjoy Voice Isolation features and use Portrait mode in FaceTime. 
  • Shortcuts – App shortcuts on your Mac is created easily with Monterey. 
  • Focus – Set up a customized Do Not Disturb setting across your Apple devices using Focus. 
  • Notification changes – Monterey allows Mac users to mute notifications based on smart suggestions or see time-sensitive notifications. 
  • Quick Note – Jot down something important no matter the application you are in using Quick Note. There’s no need to leave the webpage or app you are using. 
  • Live text – Now, your device can read texts from images. It helps with tagging, searching or even calling phone numbers displayed in a picture. 
  • iCloud+ – Do you have a paid iCloud storage plan? You can expect additional privacy features at no extra cost. 

There’s a bunch of amazing new features. But there are still a few things to consider before deciding to make the switch. 

  • Is your Mac compatible with the new update?

Monterey isn’t available to everyone. If your Mac is too old, you cannot update to Monterey at all. It is compatible with:

1. Late 2013 and later Mac Pro

2. Late 2014 and later Mac Mini

3. Late 2015 and later iMac

4. 2015 and later MacBook

5. Early 2015 and later MacBook Pro

6. Early 2015 and later MacBook Air

7. 2017 and later iMac Pro

8. 2019 and later Mac Pro

  • Downloading the beta software – should you?

Presently, the macOS beta version is available. It is the pre-release version that people can install to test out. But you may encounter glitches, bugs and other issues. In general, beta versions are never perfect, and Apple will use the feedback to smooth out the OS before its official release. 

Note here that while you can uninstall the beta profile from your Mac, the macOS beta itself won’t be deleted until the next update. A full factory reset is required to delete it from your device completely. So, commit to Monterey if you are absolutely sure and ensure to backup your Mac. 

  • Beta software: bugs and glitches 

Beta testers are experiencing some glitches and bugs with the macOS 12 beta version. These bugs include issues with FaceTime, lag, app crashes, problems connecting external monitors and problems with some third-party applications. So if your Mac is used for work, wait for the official release of Monterey. 

The verdict: Is it worth upgrading to Monterey from Big Sur?

Apple has promised upgrades, and exciting new features with the upcoming OS and the best move right now is to update your OS. But before you make the switch, ensure to backup your data. 

However, if you are happy with Big Sur’s performance, hold back on the update. Let Apple release the official version of macOS Monterey during the fall. The exact date of the release will probably be revealed in upcoming Apple’s September 14th event. Even after Monterey is officially released, you can wait a week or so to install it. By that time, you’ll get the reviews, feedback and know what to expect.