macOS Monterey: Is it worth upgrading from Big Sur?


Launched on 25th October 2021, Monterey is the latest version of macOS. It is packed with incredible features and set to replace Big Sur. But are the latest features and improvements enough to topple Big Sur’s might and tempt Mac users to upgrade right away? 

Before you get too excited, please note that your Mac might not run Monterey at all. The devices eligible to run Monterey are iMac (late 2015 onwards), MacBook (early 2016 onwards), Mac Mini (late 2014 onwards), iMac Pro (2017 and later), etc. Ensure to check the list of compatible devices before upgrading to Monterey. 

Additionally, even if your model is on the compatibility list, some advanced features like Portrait Mode in FaceTime are only limited to Macs with M1 Chip. So, if you’re wondering why won’t macOS Monterey install on your device, this might be the reason.

What are the latest features in macOS Monterey?

While Big Sur introduced some truly major changes to the feel and look of macOS, Monterey brings new and improved technical features without changing the clean, polished layout of its predecessors. These are some of the top features why Mac users cannot wait to upgrade their devices. 

  • Focus 

Focus is one of the flagship features of the macOS 12 upgrade. The feature takes the basic Do Not Disturb setting to the next level and potentizes it. Focus goes a step further by giving users the control to manage the appearance of Notifications. 

Users can select from a wide range of Focus modes like Work and Personal. Selecting any of these modes will prevent distracting and annoying notifications from contacts or applications from disturbing you when you’re concentrating on your work or watching a movie. 

Furthermore, Focus displays your status to people trying to reach you on Messages or other applications. So anyone trying to contact you knows you’re busy. 

What’s more, Focus works across Apple devices. So if it’s turned on from your Mac, the same modes will be enabled on your iPhone and iPad. 

  • AirPlay to Mac

The introduction of AirPlay to the Mac is something new and allows users to share and stream content from their Apple devices directly onto their MacBook or iMac screen. The Mac even acts as an AirPlay speaker, and you can play songs from any of your Apple devices. The feature can be used for creating multi-room audio for house parties. 

  • iCloud+ and enhanced privacy 

The improved version of iCloud is iCloud+, which is included in the macOS Monterey update. The features of iCloud+ are tied to the existing iCloud subscription, and therefore, users of older operating systems can also take advantage of some of these updates. 

The new features include the Hide My Email and a Private Relay feature. The former allows users to create disposable email addresses that can be used to sign up for online services, but the emails are forwarded to the real email address and the latter acts as VPN when web browsing. 

  • Shortcuts 

Monterey has stepped things up by adding the Shortcuts feature to the Mac. The feature makes it easy for users to create routines that automatically complete monotonous, repetitive tasks. Users can select from a library of pre-made Shortcuts to complete actions like launching the applications required for work, sorting the downloads folders into file types, etc. Making new shortcuts is also a piece of cake because the editor allows users to drag and drop commands. 

  • Quick Notes 

One of Apple’s most powerful yet underrated features is the Notes application. Thanks to Monterey, the app gets a new feature called Quick Notes. The new feature enables users to quickly create new notes in little pop-up windows while using other applications. Quick Notes is ideal for jotting down notes while editing a document, browsing a website or saving a great eBook that your friend just recommended. Quick Notes can also be attached to compatible applications, which allows you to make notes without leaving the app. 

The verdict: Is the macOS Monterey update worth it?

macOS Monterey builds on the enhancements in design and performance offered by Big Sur, along with some additional features. The upgrade is worth it because it can take your Mac-using experience to the next level with features like Focus and Quick Notes. However, there’s no rush because Apple won’t stop releasing Monterey updates for many months. Also, the marquee features like Universal Control, which lets users connect an iPad to their Mac to use a second screen, aren’t fully ready yet. 

The choice is yours. You can upgrade to Monterey right away and take your time to understand its new features, and then make a move.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here