Apple will officially release the macOS Monterey for the public today. But the updated operating system also comes with its fair share of drawbacks as several features will only be available to Apple Silicon chip-powered machines and not Intel-powered Macs.
iOS loyalists are used to a different user experience as each new iPhone model comes with features that aren’t available on the previous year’s iteration.
| Apple to release macOS Monterey as free update on October 25; Check eligible Mac devices, top features
Mac users, however, are not used to such wholesale changes. Except Object Capture, several macOS Monterey features will not be available on Intel-powered machines, even if it was purchased last year.
FaceTime Portrait Mode
The macOS Monterey will allow users to blur the background during a FaceTime call so that the focus is on the person and not what is behind. For Intel-powered Mac users, however, this will not be an option.
Maps Interactive Globe
Apple has enhanced its Maps app on M1-, M1 Pro-, and M1 Max-powered machines to include a new globe view.
| Apple bringing some macOS Monterey features ‘exclusively’ to M1 Macs as it works to slowly transition away from Intel
The globe view also provides more detailed information on geological features such as deserts, mountain ranges, oceans, and forests, and comprehensive maps for the likes of London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. This extra detail, however, will be missing from Intel-based Macs.
Object Capture helps create a photo-realistic, AR-optimised 3D object by stitching a series of photographs together. Apple has integrated the Object Capture API into macOS to make the process faster and easier when using a supported app.
The Text-to-speech feature can read out select portions of text or highlighted documents. Apple Silicon-powered Macs will have the feature in more languages, such as Finnish, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian than the Intel-based iteration.
| iPhone 13 Pro review: Little things make ‘pro’ things happen
On-Device Keyboard Dictation
The feature in the M1-, M1 Pro-, and M1 Max-powered Macs now protects privacy by performing all processing completely offline. On Apple Silicon devices, the dictation can be of any length without a timeout, while Intel-powered Macs have a 60-second time limit.
Apple’s move to pit its own M1-, M1 Pro-, and M1 Max-powered Macs against the Intel-powered models could be a game changer for the tech giant. The exclusive features available on the Apple Silicon chips could see loyalists move away from Intel-based models to M1 ones.
Despite the absence of some features on Intel-based Macs, it remains a tried-and-tested partnership and still worth its weight.
Apple’s transition away from Intel
The Mac is undergoing a unique period in its history, as Apple is in the middle of a transition from Intel processors to the custom silicon chips. The changeover is scheduled to complete by 2022.
The transition period began with the M1, Apple’s first custom-designed chip, in the 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, and MacBook Air last November. The 24-inch iMac followed suit in April. At its ‘Unleashed’ event last week, Apple unveiled the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models powered by the higher performance M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.
Apple will continue to make Intel chips available in desktop machines such as the iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro. However, all these devices are expected to be upgraded next year.