Some of macOS Monterey’s finest features are incompatible with Intel-based Macs.

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Regrettably, this is what the great majority of its clients have.

The upcoming macOS offers various interesting features, but some of them are only compatible with the new M1 silicon. It’s fairly perplexing given that M1 Macs now account for a minuscule part of Apple’s client base. Leaving Intel-based Mac users high and dry appears to be stupid.

Apple excels at marketing its new hardware and software. Craig Federighi demonstrated this ability when delivering Apple’s opening keynote talk for WWDC 2021. MacOS Monterey promoted Live Text, Universal Control, and rich 3D maps as must-have features. There is, however, a catch.

Many of Monterey’s hype-worthy features are incompatible with Intel-based Macs, despite Federighi’s failure to mention it during the unveiling. This truth was discovered after reading the fine-print footnotes on Apple’s Monterey preview website, which was published on Monday following the presentation.

Treat text within images just as you would if it were in a document with Live Text, but only on M1 Macs.

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While the latest version of the Mac operating system will function on earlier Intel Macs, several functionality, including those stated above, will be missing, with the exception of Universal Control. Other incompatibilities highlighted by Apple include:

  • FaceTime’s portrait mode
  • The interactive globe in Maps
  • No-time-limit on-device dictation

While not life or death, it is sad that only individuals with M1 Macs will have access to Monterey’s full capability. The first Macs with in-house silicon were released last autumn, and Apple has yet to transition the remainder of its lineup to the new SoCs, but they are working hard to do so. Furthermore, users who have just acquired or somewhat older gear now have less of a reason to update to Monterey.

Sure, there are still some other great features that come with Monterey. Control Center now has a recording indicator that tells you when an app is using your mic. The Shortcuts feature for automating tasks will work with Intel silicon, as will “AirPlay to Mac.” However, Federighi didn’t blast these as “must-have” like he did the others.

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Clearly, Apple is moving macOS toward the future of its hardware. It’s just unfortunate that it chose to do so when only a tiny fraction of its user base can enjoy it.


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