The next major update to macOS is coming this fall, and Apple introduced the operating system during its WWDC keynote this week. Developer previews of macOS Monterey are already available, and public betas are coming next month.

But if you read the fine print on the macOS Monterey preview site, you’ll find that some of the new features Apple showed off this week will only work on newer Macs featuring Apple M1 processors. Have an older model with an Intel processor? You can still run macOS Monterey, but it’ll lack a few bells and whistles available for models with Apple Silicon inside.

MacOS Monterey Live Text

Here’s a list of features that are said to require a Mac with an M1 chip:

  • Portrait Mode in FaceTime (with automatically blurred backgrounds)
  • Live Text in Photos (detect text in photos and allow you to copy and paste, make a phone call, etc)
  • 3D landmarks and other visuals in Maps
  • Interactive Globe in Maps

While macOS Monterey will run on many Macs released as far back as 2013, these features will require a 2020 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13 inch, or Mac Mini or a2021 iMac.

It’s unclear why Apple is limiting availability of some of these features. Other video conferencing solutions such as Zoom and Skype have been offering portrait mode-like background blurring for users with Intel-powered computers for some time, for example. It seems likely that Apple could have done so as well, but I suppose it’s possible the company is leveraging specific features of the M1 processor to implement this feature, which would mean that it’s not that the company can’t offer FaceTime portrait mode for Intel-powered Macs, so much as that the company didn’t bother to do so.

Honestly, the move makes sense for a company that plans to transition to Apple Silicon for all of its computers within the next year or two. But since it’s likely that many customers will continue to hang onto their older Macs with Intel chips for years to come, it may be a bit annoying that some features will only be available with newer hardware.

via MacRumors

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign

or...

Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Join the Conversation

6 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. It’s been done for sometime not just with the intel/M1. In the past, they will provide the latest OS, but not all features will be available to the oldest model that can be updated.

  2. These features require the neural engine which is only available on the M1.
    They probably could try and adapt at least some of them to somehow work on intel based Macs but it’s probably not worth the time and the result would not be good enough.
    This isn’t programmed obsolescence, this is progress.

  3. Subtle planned obsolescence isn’t exactly a new thing for Apple. It’ll happen to the M1 computers one day too.

  4. Work just handed me an M1 Air to test — we do ML and statistical modeling, so we’re a good test case.

    The results have been stunning. This really is a technological leap — a fully decked out MBP16 screams and howl, fans at full blast, underside of case becomes too hot to touch — while the M1 sits on my lap, cool and quiet, unconcerned — and completes the task sooner. It’s not just a matter of single-thread execution either.

  5. These seem like fairly small features to deny to Intel users. It really seems like a lack of willingness to develop new features to be compatible with Intel hardware.

    That should be a HUGE red flag to anyone currently considering buying one of their Intel models, which are still being sold new.

    If Apple won’t put a tiny amount of work into these measly features, why would they include support for anything more significant?

  6. Hmmm… they are still selling Intel-powered macs across multiple product categories today. Seems a bit lame to start denying features from those brand-new macs when they haven’t even been unboxed yet…