What is the Name of macOS 12 Going to Be?
Ah, speculation and rumors - the high point of every tech writer's life! Jokes apart, speculation and rumors are all we have when it comes to the eve of a major macOS release. Apple has certainly surprised us in the past with major moves such as Catalina and Big Sur, but it has also disappointed with more minor releases like El Capitan and High Sierra, which were primarily performance enhancements and fixes rather than feature-rich releases. This time could be the same because Big Sur was certainly no minor release. It brought it a slew of interface changes, not to mention supporting Apple's very first desktop silicon System-on-Chip (SOC), the M1. Can Apple take another leap with macOS 12, the name of which is yet unknown? Or will it merely be, as Apple described El Capitan, "Refinements to the Mac Experience" and "Improvements to System Performance"? While that remains to be seen, the possible macOS 12 name is grabbing all the attention of late. Let's see why.
macOS 12 - What's in a Name?
The name of a release is actually not a big deal because it has little to do with the action operating system or its features. However, Apple has created such a mysterious aura around its product and OS releases that nearly every tech site is talking about it. From pulling out social posts from 2015 by Apple executives to scouring through trademark name application statuses, they're going all-in on investigating the potential name of macOS 12.
So, what do we have so far?
The first and most likely name that comes up is Monterey. It has a nice ring to it, it follows the general trend of California locations, and there are hints of the name across various reports dating back all the way to 2015. Apparently, Apple's VP in charge of macOS, Craig Federighi, planned a trip back then that included both Big Sur and Monterey. While Big Sur made the headlines in 2020 as a major jump from the traditional 10.x releases for macOS, Monterey still hasn't made it into the spotlight. Could 2021 be the year of macOS 12 Monterey? Well, it's one possibility.
The second name that comes up is Mammoth. macOS 12 Mammoth is a front-runner for several reasons. First of all, if macOS 12 is a major release with tons of UI and UX enhancements and feature additions, it makes sense to call it Mammoth. Secondly, we've seen reports about the tentatively named M2 chip already being in mass production in Taipei. These chips will likely feature in a few 2021 MacBook models, which means the OS that runs on it needs to have special capabilities to handle what will be a blazing fast SOC. We've already seen several issues with Big Sur on M1 devices, so Apple won't want to repeat that with macOS 12 and M2. They'll need to work extra hard to make sure that doesn't happen.
The third possibility is Skyline. macOS 12 Skyline has a very forward-looking and positive ring to it. After the madness of the pandemic, this might be the perfect name for a forward-looking product. It will also help water down the fact that the release doesn't bring any major feature additions or UI/UX changes. In fact, it's the perfect name for a minor update that is future-ready and can ably handle the M2 chip in terms of matching the chip's performance and speed. It's optimistic, light-hearted, and likely to be received well. The only problem is that the trademark status for Skyline lapsed at the end of April 2021 and Apple hasn't applied for an extension. While that could mean they're not considering it, it's equally true that Big Sur, Catalina, and other major releases didn't have trademarks granted when those versions were released. Is Apple doing this on purpose to throw everyone off the scent? It's possible.
What is the Idea or Concept behind macOS 12?
We don't just see macOS 12 as a necessary follow-up to macOS 11. If that were the case, Apple may as well call it macOS 11.5 and be done with it. As a matter of fact, 11.5 has just gone into its second beta. However, we believe that there's more than meets the eye here.
[Image Credit: Apple, Inc. | Source: Tom's Guide]
First of all, the matter of the M2 chip. Apple might not want Big Sur to be the main OS for the new chip since there are still errors being fixed that cause Big Sur to hang or crash occasionally on M1 devices. That means they need a new version that will be able to handle the even-faster performance of the M2 because Big Sur might not make the cut. The problem is that adding new features will mean sacrificing on performance, and that's definitely not what Apple wants to do at this point in time.
Rather, we think that Apple will use macOS 12 as a major step up from Big Sur - not in terms of features but in terms of how well a desktop OS can work with an ARM chip. That's the code Apple will want to crack with macOS 12.
That's one part of the puzzle.
The other part that needs to be solved is the integration with the upcoming iOS 15. More iOS-like apps need to be added to macOS and a deeper integration needs to be achieved. That's the direction Apple has been moving with ever since the release of Big Sur last year.
As such, we believe that macOS 12 will be a bridge between traditional desktop operating systems and mobile operating systems, bringing macOS and iOS ever closer to each other. The bonus is that macOS 12 will work better with the M2 ARM chip, which is expected to have 12 CPU cores and a whopping 16 GPU cores. That indicates not only faster responsiveness but also much better handling of resource-intensive graphics processing tasks.
Since the M2 is reportedly already in mass production, Apple will likely introduce it to the world alongside macOS 12, whatever the name of the latter might be. That's how we see it unfolding on June 7 at WWDC21.
Do You Have the Best UI/UX Design Tool for macOS 12?
Regardless of the name, if you're a UI/UX designer, you'll need the best design and prototyping tool to handle the power of the M2 chip when it comes out this year. The best option for that is to use a browser-based utility that's light on resources but heavy on performance and features.
Introducing Wondershare Mockitt, the best design tool for macOS 12. This lightweight SaaS application belies the power it carries under the hood. Bringing a rich feature-set to traditional design and prototyping, the software comes fully loaded with design assets, a vector design tool, a flow chart creator, a mind-mapping tool (coming soon), and everything you need for rapid prototyping and a smooth developer handoff. The collaborative nature of the platform allows designers to easily communicate in real-time with project stakeholders and even co-edit the same design with other design team members in multiple global locations.
Mockitt builds on the strong features of products like Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, and other platforms to bring a highly intuitive platform where you can do everything from wireframing to creating a fully interactive hi-fi prototype. Try it today and see how it handles huge design projects with ease. And when the time comes, Mockitt's performance will be enhanced further by leveraging the new features and faster performance of macOS 12 on the M2 chip. In other words, Mockitt is ready to rock it, designers!