Should You Update To macOS 12 Monterey?

macOS 12 Monterey ThumbnailVisit Photics.TV (YouTube) to see a video of this article. On Monday, October 25, 2021 — Apple launched macOS 12, also known as Monterey. Should you update? Eh, maybe? It’s complicated. First, you have to see if your Mac is compatible with macOS version 12. Quite a few older Macs were dropped in this update. The official website has a list of supported Macs.

Compatibility List

  • iMac — Late 2015 and later
  • iMac Pro — 2017 and later
  • Mac Pro — Late 2013 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

Next, let’s start with how to update your Mac. Launch the System Preferences app and type “Update” in the search bar. That makes it easier to find the “Software Update” section.

macOS System Preferences — Update

This is where you start second-guessing the importance of macOS 12.0.1. At more than 12GB, the size is ridiculous. And if you have more than one Mac, you could lose the whole day updating your Macs. Hopefully you don’t have any bandwidth caps from your Internet provider.

So, why do it? Why upgrade? Well, if you’re a developer like me, there’s really not much of an option. You have to test your apps with the latest stuff. I try to wait until at least the beta is over before upgrading.

But if you’re happy with the way your Mac is running, are there any compelling features to justify wasting hours updating your Mac?

Eh, personally, I’m not that excited with macOS 12. The main feature is the update to FaceTime. Sadly, Apple is late to the party with that one. If you’re doing the teleconferencing thing at work, odds are your organization already chose a solution. You’ve got Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and Zoom.

As for other changes, they screwed up Safari with hideous new tabs. Fortunately, those changes were reverted with the official macOS launch. So, that reason alone was enough for me to update to Monterey.

It’s not like you can avoid updating forever. Apple will start pestering you with alerts. I suppose that is a nice new feature of macOS 12 — Focus.

Now that Photics.TV is starting to grow, I realize that I’ll need to better manage my time. While I love interacting with the community, I can see how constant emails and messages would be very distracting. So, if I’m working on an update to the Widgets app — which I am — I can block out some time to just focus on coding.

That’s pretty neat. I’m usually pretty good at managing my time, but wow, it’s so much fun when I see friendly new comments. I don’t think I’ll be able to resist responding. That’s what “Focus” is also about.

The feature I was most looking forward to was Universal Control. But sadly, it was not available at launch. Dragging a mouse across multiple Apple devices sounds pretty cool. Although, it doesn’t support my iPad Air 2, so I’m not sure if I’ll get much use out of this feature anyway.

The new Maps are really nice. That’s cool. I don’t know if it’s worth rushing an upgrade though.

There’s a new Shortcuts app on the Mac, but I’m not sure what’s so different from Automator. What do you think? Are you interested in this particular topic?

But overall, unless one of these new features is appealing to you, maintaining a wait-and-see attitude might not be such a bad decision.

Although, it’s not like you’ll avoid updates if you stay put. With macOS Big Sur, there’s a security update. Version 11.6.1 is recommended by Apple for all users. I figured if I’m going to waste time running an update anyway, I wanted something substantial.

So, what are you going to do? Are up updating, not updating, or switching to Linux? 😄