Last October 25, Apple announced that it was going to start rolling out the macOS Monterey update to all eligible Mac hardware. Similar to previous macOS updates, Monterey is 100% free and Apple ensured it is compatible with several types of machinery. Monterey will support up iMacs from late 2015, Mac Pros from late 2013, MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros from early 2015, as well as iMac Pros and Mac Minis from 2017 and late 2014, respectively. Monterey even supports discontinued MacBook models from early 2016.
With so many machines supported, it might seem like a no-brainer to upgrade to macOS Monterey, but things aren't so straightforward.
Why you should download macOS Monterey
Kudos to Apple for making macOS Monterey available on several types of machines. Nearly anyone who's purchased an Apple device recently can upgrade to it. But, this begs the question, is it really necessary? For most people, the answer is yes. Apple has done a great job making every macOS update worth upgrading to, and this includes macOS Monterey.
If you use FaceTime a lot, macOS Monterey adds better functionality like spatial audio, new microphone modes, and a grid view. Apple even though of making improvements to Safari as well, making it look sleeker with an optional compact tab, and including tab groups, both of which make it easier to organize your tabs when browsing.
The introduction of Focus modes to minimize distractions while working, a more accessible Notes app, and AirPlay compatibility with iPhones and iPads, all make macOS Monterey well worth upgrading to.
The problem with macOS Monterey
macOS Monterey is great, but it isn't perfect. It's not even a fully realized version of itself. Apple promised a lot of things when it first revealed macOS Monterey, and it hasn't fulfilled all of those earlier commitments yet. For example, Apple hasn't added Universal Control, which is a feature that lets users work across their Mac and iPad using a single keyboard and mouse, which is a huge game-changer for productivity users.
Another missing feature is SharePlay, which allows you to share songs, movies, and TV shows with everyone else in the same call.
According to Apple, these missing features are going to come sometime later this fall. Unfortunately, Apple isn't immune to delaying updates, so who knows when exactly they might come. If you're looking forward to using Universal Control and SharePlay, macOS Monterey might disappoint you.
Speaking of disappointments, macOS Monterey isn't a big leap in terms of functionality and features compared to macOS Big Sur. It's more of a refinement of what's already there, with Apple prioritizing optimization with a dash of improvements. But, all in all, macOS Monterey is worth upgrading to, regardless of whether you'll make use of the more powerful Safari browser or the productivity-focused Focus modes.
The only reason NOT to upgrade to macOS Monterey is if your device isn't compatible. Otherwise, macOS Monterey is great, and if you encounter certain bugs, Apple's constant upgrades should take care of that rather quickly.
If you're the careful type and don't want to risk your Mac to even the slightest bit of downtime, you can always wait for Apple to drop a second or third update for macOS Monterey. This way, Apple has had time to squish most bugs that made it out of the months-long beta period for the tech giant's latest software.