The list of new features in macOS 12 Monterey is very long and full of detail. If you make it down to its foot, you’ll have noticed a series of important notes explaining which features are only available on certain models of Mac. As I needed to clarify for myself exactly which will be available, I thought that I’d distill them into a list for reference:
As this is just a Numbers spreadsheet, here’s the original in Numbers native format: MontereyCompatibility1
According to Apple’s list, all other features should be available on all Macs which are supported for Monterey.
This is, for many, one of the most attractive new features, which takes your iPad beyond Sidecar. However, it’s far from universal in Macs which can run Monterey. For those which aren’t supported by Universal Control, I’m afraid that you’ll have to make do with Sidecar. From what I hear of the beta-release versions so far, Universal Control has been a relatively late addition, so be prepared that it may still be a bit rough around its edges when macOS 12 is released.
Another of the most impressive features is Live Text. According to public information given by Apple, this is only expected to work on M1 Macs. However, those testing Monterey betas report that this has now been enabled for all models on which Monterey is supported. Apple could still revert to its original plan and restrict it to M1 models in the final release, though.
For the moment, until plans become clearer, I have left Live Text as one of the features which may only be available on M1 Macs, but my fingers are crossed that will prove wrong.
AirPlay to Mac
The current plan is that this will also be restricted, although models should include more recent Intel systems such as iMacs from 2019 onwards, as well as M1 models.
For some, this may be a big advance, but for Intel models it’s currently dependent on both physical RAM and the amount of VRAM installed in your Mac’s graphics card: Apple gives the RAM requirement as 16 GB minimum, with 4 GB VRAM, which narrows it down even further. It’s also apparently available on all M1 models, even if they only have 8 GB RAM (although Apple’s own information isn’t entirely consistent on this point). If this is an important feature for you, keep a watch on reports from beta-releases in the hope that Apple can get this working on a wider range of Macs.
Apple has indicated that the new Memories features for Photos may not be ready in time for the initial release of Monterey, and they may be added in an update towards the end of the year.
Unsupported Macs and Hackintoshes
Apple’s official list doesn’t of course include any references to those older models of Mac which it won’t officially support for macOS 12. I don’t know how much progress will be made in getting Monterey running on unsupported hardware, but it’s unlikely to be able offer the additional features listed in this table. Good luck to those trying to make them work.
For those who prefer to see the table in high-contrast monochrome: