With each iteration of macOS, Apple introduces new features, software improvements, and security enhancements. In October 2021, Apple started rolling out macOS Monterey to the general public, and the company was quite adamant that people update to its latest offering.
macOS Monterey came with a slew of new features, but many users have been hesitant to update their devices. But is it worth upgrading to macOS Monterey now? Let’s find out.
What Is macOS Monterey?
macOS Monterey is the 18th major release of macOS, the desktop operating system that powers all of Apple’s computers. It was the next major update after Big Sur, and like most other major releases, it introduced lots of new functionality.
macOS Monterey supports the new Apple silicon chips, though the company dropped support for all Macs with Nvidia GPUs. Those who upgraded early on reported a bunch of macOS Monterey problems, which is probably why so many were hesitant to upgrade immediately.
But, if your Mac is your daily driver, it’s imperative that you weigh the pros and cons before making the upgrade.
4 Reasons You Should Upgrade to macOS Monterey
If you’re still on the fence about making the upgrade, here are four reasons that might convince you.
1. New Features
Apple introduced several new features with macOS Monterey. The Focus mode in macOS makes it easier for users to minimize distractions. It lets users define what notifications to allow and which ones to block, and define specific time intervals.
Another excellent feature is the all-new Shortcuts app that made its way to the Mac from iOS devices. As the name suggests, you can create visual scripts to tie a series of actions that are triggered one after the other after a specific event.
The Shortcuts app also has various templates that you can use for different task automations. For instance, you can define a series of actions that will be triggered automatically after an event, such as launching a time tracker when you’re working with specific apps.
Another popular feature introduced in Monterey was Quick Note. If you move the cursor to the bottom-right corner of the screen, you’ll see a small window pop out. Click on it, and you’ll be able to take a note quickly, no matter how many windows you have open. Some of the other new features in macOS Monterey include:
- Privacy indicator on the menu bar showing mic or camera activity
- Portrait Mode for FaceTime
- Live Text, which lets users copy, paste, and translate text from images
- Low Power Mode to improve battery life
- TestFlight, for testing new app installations over-the-air
2. Universal Control
Universal Control (still in beta) is a nifty feature that lets you use a single keyboard and mouse on your iPad and Mac. You can seamlessly drag and drop files or move text between your Mac or your iPad.
Learning how to use Universal Control is incredibly easy, and it opens up a whole world of new possibilities for power users. If you have an iPad, you can effectively turn it into a second screen.
3. Hide My Email on iCloud+
If you pay for iCloud and value your privacy, this addition may convince you to take the plunge. Hide My Email is available in the Mail app with macOS Monterey, but only for iCloud+ subscribers. You can access it if someone in your Family Sharing group also has a subscription.
Hide My Email lets you generate randomized email addresses and use them when filling out web forms. Now, you don’t have to worry about being bombarded with spam on your personal email anymore.
All emails on these random addresses are forwarded to your personal account, and you never have to worry about your personal email ID being exposed. You can easily generate, view, and manage your IDs with Hide My Email, all within iCloud.
4. Security Updates
Like all major releases, macOS Monterey also included several security updates. You can now manage your passwords in the Password Manager, available in System Preferences.
A dedicated two-factor authentication feature is also available, letting you generate 2FA codes on your Mac and negating the need for other authentication apps.
The company also patched various kernel vulnerabilities and made improvements to other systems it uses, like PackageKit.
4 Reasons You Should Not Upgrade to macOS Monterey
While it may seem tempting to upgrade right away, there are a few issues that you should know about if you choose to update to macOS Monterey.
1. Excessive Battery Drain
Many users have reported serious battery issues after upgrading to macOS Monterey. Many stated a sharp drop-off in charge levels, especially when they put their Macs to sleep for a prolonged period.
This is mostly caused by apps that haven’t yet optimized for the new release. Some users also reported a Bluetooth bug that would wake the Macbook constantly in sleep mode, causing significant battery drain.
A few bugs are almost always expected with every new release, but some of them might be a deal-breaker. For instance, Macs with a T2 security chip were bricking after upgrading to macOS Monterey, though this was later fixed.
A commonly reported was installation failure. Many users reported that the process would fail midway through their macOS Monterey installation, making it impossible to upgrade.
Early adopters also reported a serious input lag when using an external mouse or a trackpad. In some cases, the scrolling direction would invert after some time, which might be a bit disorienting.
3. Charging Issues
Many reported a particularly concerning issue after the upgrade: their Macs stopped charging altogether. Even when plugged in, the battery status would simply say “Not Charging.” Sounds dreadful, right?
In some cases, it’s because your computer pauses charging to prevent damage to your battery. Apple states that it could also be due to your computer running at a higher power level mode or if the power source just isn’t providing enough juice to charge the battery.
4. Problems Unlocking the Mac With Apple Watch
Unlocking your Mac with an Apple Watch is one of the wearable’s best features. You can even use it to unlock other apps without having to enter your password all the time. However, many reported that this functionality no longer worked after the update.
Should You Upgrade to macOS Monterey? Yes!
Upgrading to macOS Monterey is highly recommended, especially if you have a newer Mac powered by one of the Apple silicon chips, such as the M1 or M2 processors.
Not only will you get better performance, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of all the new features, some of which are really helpful.
That said, note that Apple has started rolling out the newer macOS Ventura update as of October 2022, though it’s likely that many will hold off before updating to avoid early adopter issues.