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macOS 12 Monterey announced - here's what's coming to MacBooks later in 2021

Apple has officially announced macOS 12 Monterey for both Macs and MacBooks at this year's WWDC . After macOS Big Sur introduced a ref...

Apple has officially announced macOS 12 Monterey for both Macs and MacBooks at this year's WWDC.

After macOS Big Sur introduced a refreshed user interface and support for its M1 Macs, macOS 12 looks set to be a bit of a smaller update, but Apple has still promised some major updates.

As with all other macOS releases, macOS 12 will be a free upgrade for owners of Macs and MacBooks later this year. There will also be early 'beta' versions of macOS 12 that will be released for people to test it before it gets properly launched.

At first, only developers will be able to download the early version of macOS 12. There will then be a public beta released in a few week's time for anyone who wants to try out the software early. However, most people will want to hold on until macOS 12 gets fully released later on, as most bugs and problems will have been identified and fixed by early testers.

This news is still breaking, so we'll update it as soon as we know more.

This story is developing...

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? macOS 12 Monterey, the successor to macOS 11 Big Sur
  • When is it out? It will be available towards the end of the year
  • How much will it cost? Nothing. Apple software updates are always free

macOS 12 name - Monterey

Apple has announced macOS 12's new name: Monterey, picked due to it being part of Big Sur by the Californian coast.

WWDC 2021 screenshot

Upcoming MacBook Pros are now in doubt after an infamous leaker stated there may be no new hardware at this year's WWDC. (Image credit: Apple)

macOS 12 features

Apple has revealed what we can expect from macOS 12 when it comes to new features.

It doesn't look like we're getting a Big Sur-like huge update, though. Instead, macOS 12 seems to be a release to fix up bugs and refine the operating system further.

Think of this release as more the Snow Leopard of macOS releases. Back in 2009, Apple made efforts to push the fact that it was a refined release, and no new features.

With a move to a completely different chip last year, it makes sense for macOS to be refined again to be even faster on the new Apple Silicon chips.

macOS 12 release date

The next version of macOS was announced at WWDC, but not released. There will be a version for developers released soon, and a public beta version for you to try out will probably be available in July.

As usual, this will be a free update for everyone with a compatible system. If you're not sure if your Mac or MacBook is compatible, check out the system requirements below.

When will macOS 12 be available to download?

The macOS 12 update should be available for download through your Mac's System Preferences menu, or you can download it through the Mac App Store application once its released towards the end of the year, most likely mirroring past releases of macOS.

macOS 12 system requirements

While the requirements for macOS 12 have yet to be announced, we've listed the compatible Mac systems below that work with macOS 11 Big Sur:

  • 12-inch MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2013 and later)
  • MacBook Air M1 (Late 2020 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Late 2013 and later)
  • MacBook Pro M1 (Late 2020 and later)
  • Mac mini (2014 and later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2020 and later)
  • iMac (2014 and later)
  • iMac M1 (2021 and later)
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)

iMac (24-inch, 2021)

We expect macOS 12 to be a small update this year, full of fixes and refinements. (Image credit: Future)


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