Find Out Everything about macOS 12: Release Date, Possible Name, and New Feature Predictions
One of the most highly anticipated and eagerly awaited software releases this year will come from Apple Inc. on June 7, 2021: macOS 12. The company shocked everyone last year with a major release, calling it macOS 11 Big Sur. The question now is whether or not we can expect another major release in the form of mac OS 12 or just a refinement of Big Sur in the new OS version. All the clues point to updates that build on Big Sur features, but Apple is famous for having a few aces up its sleeve that are usually revealed at the Worldwide Developers Conference every year. This year at WWDC21, we're hoping for something that takes macOS to an entirely new level but won't complain if macOS 12 brings some real stability to its predecessor. Will Apple disappoint? We certainly hope not! Here's everything about macOS 12 that is currently known.
macOS 12 Expected Release Date
The typical timeline of macOS releases in the past tells us that after the unveiling of the new desktop platform on June 7 at WWDC21, macOS 12 will be released to developers in an initial beta. This should happen within two weeks of the event, so between June 7 and June 21 is our best guesstimate. Users need to know that this is likely to be a very unstable version with tons of bugs, which means you should not try to install it if you're not a developer. Following the two weeks of aggressive testing and feedback collection from the developer community, we expect a number of public betas. These will be a little more stable but you should still be prepared to roll back to Big Sur if something major goes wrong.
Depending on whether or not this is a major release, the developer beta phase could be prolonged, which means the public beta versions may not see the light of day until July or so. Nevertheless, since last year already had a big release, we expect macOS 12 to be more of a refinement of Big Sur's capabilities; specifically, we hope it will address some of the issues that Big Sur users are facing on the hugely popular M1 MacBooks, such as the lags and occasional crashes they experience.
Once the public beta is released, which should be around summertime, we'll see a regular cadence of betas back to back, with a final public release around September or October. That's the trend we've seen thus far, with El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, and Mojave all being released in September. Lately, however, the timeline has been stretching further out into the fall, with Catalina being released in October and Big Sur in November. However, if macOS 12 is a refinement of Big Sur's capabilities, then September is probably a good estimate. That will also coincide with the release of the new iPhone, other new hardware, and other operations systems like iOS 15, etc. That's the best-case scenario for now.
What Will Apple Use as the macOS 12 Name?
That's the other big question. For now, we don't even know for sure that it's going to be called macOS 12. That assumption is based on the fact that Big Sur is already on version 11.5 (beta 2) so a grand launch at WWDC21 would hardly be worthwhile if Apple released macOS 11.6. On the other hand, a macOS 11.6 is what most users need, and that's probably what macOS 12 is going to end up as since the company needs to urgently address the needs of its M1 chip and make it the Gold Standard for future Mac devices. To do that and handle a major OS transformation is probably too much to expect at this point, so don't have your hopes up for too many feature additions and new capabilities. One or two to woo the crowd and keep Apple fans happy for sure, but not a lot.
As for the branding, rumors are flying all over the place, but the top two considerations right now are Monterey or Mammoth. The former makes more sense at this point because Mammoth would indicate a major upgrade, and we're not sure that's going to happen so quickly after a major release like Big Sur, which was already a game-changer that toppled the macOS X nomenclature trend.
The majority of the vote apparently goes to Monterey for now but it's anyone's guess. What also makes Monterey a likely name is that Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering and the man overseeing the development of macOS, was spotted planning trips to both Big Sur and Monterey back in 2015. The first one certainly came through. Will the second one make it to the annals of fame as well? That remains to be seen.
That said, there's also a case to be made for Mammoth. Recent reports from Taipei reveal that Apple has started mass-producing the follow-up to the M1 chip, tentatively dubbed the M2, that will reportedly be used in this year's MacBook Pro model. If that's true, then Mammoth could be the name they pick. However, it would have to be a significant upgrade from Big Sur to hold any true value to users. Though limited to some users only, Apple cannot afford a repeat of Big Sur-M1 issues on the possible Mammoth-M2 combination of OS and silicon.
And that's where it stands right now: Monterey vs. Mammoth. Of course, it could be neither of these, since none of the recent versions like Big Sur, Catalina, High Sierra, or El Capitan had active trademark ownerships by Apple at the times they were used. It could very well be called macOS 12 Skyline, the trademark status for which was renewed in September 2020. Besides, Skyline would make for a very positive branding experience considering that we're almost at the back end of the pandemic as far as the U.S. is concerned. It's a forward-looking name that would fit public sentiment perfectly.
Predictions (or Wishlist!) for macOS 12 New Features
For the most part, macOS 12 is very likely to be a stability update for macOS 11 Big Sur. As we mentioned, there are a lot of little things that need to be ironed out and Big Sur 11.5 still hasn't come a full circle. As such, here are the features we expect to see in macOS 12.
- Performance optimization and fixes
- Processing speed
- iCloud Backups in Time Machine
- Deleting messages
- Control Center customization options
- Desktop Widgets moved out of Notification Center
- More Automation via the Shortcuts app
- More iOS-like apps
- A digital wallet for macOS
- Fitness+ and Apple Health on the Mac
- Advanced Siri features
- Unlock Mac with iPhone
Mind you, this is more of a wishlist than a prediction of features, but these make the most sense since they're what users are clamoring for. Apple would do well to have heeded these wishes and worked on them in macOS 12, but we'll have to wait and see.
Overall, we believe that we'll see a lot of performance and UX improvements. The major UI push was already done with Big Sur so it's not likely that Apple will once again overhaul the look, but if the new macOS 12 can be faster with M1 and the upcoming M2, it's worth a major release.
Would you interested in the macOS 12 new features? Click and learn more about the macOS 12 New Features Predictions for WWDC 2021.
The Best UI/UX Design Tool on macOS 12
Speaking of UX, if you're a UX designer, you'll want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to designing apps for macOS 12, iOS 15, and all the other major releases coming this year. That means you'll need a design and prototyping tool to create a realistic experience. We call it Wondershare Mockitt.
Why is Wondershare Mockitt the Best UI/UX Design Tool for macOS 12 and Other Platforms? When it comes to UX design, user flows and rapid prototyping take precedence over everything else. Mockitt offers a rich experience in both these areas, with tools that are intuitive, fast, and easy to use. Let's look at some of these core areas and why Mockitt is the right choice for macOS 12 UX design:
- Flowcharting tool with templates and rich customization options - Aside from the attractive interface, the utility provides a seamless experience for customizing the assets for your user flow diagrams. Custom shape and color palettes can give your user flows a solid visual appeal so you can do a professional-looking presentation to your clients
- Ready-to-use assets that are customizable - Need a large library of assets for macOS 12 app designs? Check. Need special UI kits? Check. Need stunning templates with Pantone-compliant themes? Check. Whatever you need, Mockitt already has it.
- Design tool - If you need to draw vector shapes for logos and other purposes, the Mockitt design tool comes with advanced Boolean operations, Bezier curve paths, and other features to help create captivating design elements.
- Rapid prototyping - Agile software development needs to be… well, agile! That's why Mockitt's versatile and flexible prototyping tool is designed to help you create intricate interactions and animate them in minutes.
- Easy developer handoff - The user flows and the prototype (with HTML and style code) make it easier for developers to understand the logic underlying your interactions, thereby ensuring a smooth and friction-free handoff.
That's everything about macOS 12 that we've been able to discover so far. We're all eagerly awaiting the release of macOS 12 on June 7, 2021, at WWDC21. What gifts will Apple be bearing this time? Let's wait and see.