The new features coming in macOS Monterey later in 2021 sound great, but will your Mac be able to take advantage of them?
If you look at the list of innovations in the upcoming Mac operating system, you can see that for some an Intel Mac is not enough.
Many of the new features of the upcoming Mac operating system - and for that matter the new iPhone and iPad operating systems - require Apple's Neural Engine. The Neural Engine, which takes on special tasks using artificial intelligence, first arrived with the A12 Bionic in the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR in 2018, the 2019 iPad Air and iPad mini, the 2020 iPad, and the 2021 Apple TV 4K. It is also a feature of the M1 chip for the Mac.
It's no surprise therefore, that many of the new features in macOS Monterey are only available for Macs with Apple Silicon. It is a similar situation with iOS 15 offering some features that are limited to iPhones and iPads with an A12 chip or later, as we discuss here: Many iOS 15 features only work on newer iPhones.
FaceTime Portrait Mode
This new feature will automatically blur the background for FaceTime calls. It will only be available on the M1 Mac.
The handy recognition of text in images was originally set to only work on M1 Macs. However, Apple seems to have had a change of heart.
As identified in this tweet, the fourth Monterey beta includes Live Text for Intel Macs.
macOS Monterey Beta 4 includes Live Text for Intel Macs 🎉
Sounds like Apple prioritized it based on demand, but it was made much easier by the lack of real-time requirements for a camera system
(So instead of kicking it to the ANE, it'll just process opportunistically) pic.twitter.com/vM5Nd7TGh8— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) July 27, 2021
Interactive globe & 3D cities
The new interactive globe in the Maps app, along with the detailed 3D representations of some cities, can also only be viewed with M1 Macs.
On Device Dictation
The ability to process dictation offline is another new future missing from Intel Macs, as is the elimination of the 60-second time limit when using dictation. Both features will require a Mac with an M1 chip or later (and a mobile device with A12 or later).
Some new features coming Monterey will be available on some Intel Macs, but not on all the models on which macOS Monterey can be installed.
Spatial Audio in FaceTime
This will require a Mac model that dates back to at least 2018.
AirPlay to Mac
If you want to use AirPlay to send content to your Mac from an iPhone, iPad, or another Mac, or to use your Mac as an AirPlay speaker, you'll need a MacBook Pro (2018 and later), MacBook Air (2018 and later), iMac (2019 and later), iMac Pro (2017), Mac mini (2020 and later), Mac Pro (2019), iPhone 7 and later, iPad Pro (2nd generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad (6th generation and later), and iPad mini (5th generation and later). It will be possible to share content at a lower resolution to supported Mac models using older iPhone, iPad, and Mac models if you set 'Allow AirPlay for' to 'Everyone' or 'Anyone on the same network' though.
If you want to operate multiple Macs and iPads with one keyboard, mouse and trackpad you'll also be limited. If your Mac is from 2015 or earlier it's not a feature you will be able to enjoy (unless you have a 27in iMac from that era). The following Macs are supported: MacBook Pro (2016 and later), MacBook (2016 and later), MacBook Air (2018 and later), iMac (2017 and later), iMac (5K Retina 27-inch, Late 2015), iMac Pro, Mac mini (2018 and later), and Mac Pro (2019); and iPad Pro, iPad Air (3rd generation and later), iPad (6th generation and later), and iPad mini (5th generation and later).
This article originally appeared on Macwelt.