Live Text and other macOS Monterey features not coming to Intel Macs

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macOS Monterey
Not good news for Intel Mac users.
Photo: Apple

Many of macOS Monterey’s most exciting new features will not be available on Mac models powered by Intel processors. Live Text, Portrait mode for FaceTime video calls and more all require Apple’s own M1 chip.

There are many reasons to upgrade to a new Mac with an M1 chip. The performance boost. The silent operation. The insanely good battery life. Right now, however, macOS is the same on both M1 and Intel machines.

That’s going to change this fall when macOS Monterey rolls out to everyone. While those with a new M1 Mac will be able to enjoy its entire feature set, Intel users are going to miss out on many great upgrades.

Intel Macs miss out on macOS Monterey features

A long list of macOS Monterey features simply won’t be available on Intel Macs. Those include:

  • Live Text in Photos
  • Portrait mode for FaceTime video calls
  • The interactive 3D globe in Apple Maps
  • Text-to-speech for additional languages
  • On-device keyboard dictation
  • Unlimited keyboard dictation
  • More detailed maps for select cities

It’s understandable that some of these things, like Live Text, on-device dictation, and Portrait mode may rely on Apple technologies — like the Neural Engine and new cameras — that aren’t available in Intel machines.

But others seem to have been arbitrarily omitted just to push Mac users toward upgrading. More detailed maps and the 3D globe in Apple Maps, for instance, should work fine on Intel machines. Google Earth does.

But why?

Apple hasn’t yet offered an explanation as to why these features could not be offered on Intel-based machines. It simply says on its macOS Monterey preview page that they require a Mac with an M1 chip.

The move is sure to upset many Mac owners — particularly those who purchased Intel machines relatively recently and are already being excluded in macOS upgrades. Especially after Apple promised during its unveiling of the M1 chip that it would continue to fully support Intel machines for years to come.