You may be amazed by macOS Monterey. And if you really wanted to, you could try it out right away, because Apple rolled out the beta shortly after WWDC21. However, we do not recommend installing this early beta for several reasons.
The general public is not getting early access to Apple's software for good reason. Apple is happy to test the software with volunteers to ensure a smooth public rollout. So if you are concerned about waiting, don't install the macOS Monterey beta right now.
Apple's software rollout explains: developer and public betas
Every year Apple announces its latest software at the annual WWDC event in June. Shortly after the keynote speech, Apple is rolling out the first beta version of its new software, regardless of whether it is iOS, iPadOS or macOS.
General users won't get access to the non-beta software until the fall season of the year. You might be wondering what happens in the months leading up to the final launch.
Well it is really easy. Apple uses this time to test its software with several beta builds. This allows app developers and beta testers to report bugs and other issues to Apple in order to iron out the software and prepare it for public release. Thanks to these extensive beta tests, the final rollout is usually relatively smooth.
Apple is rolling out two different beta builds ahead of their official release: one for the app developers and the other for volunteer beta testers. These builds will not be made available at the same time, but will be introduced gradually. This is how it works:
The earliest build of a macOS version is known as the developer beta build. It is only made available to developers to test the software and ensure app compatibility.
After a few weeks of developer testing, Apple is rolling out the public beta build. This build is available to anyone who is part of the Apple Beta Software program.
Once these two beta builds are released, extensive testing will follow for several weeks, after which Apple will roll out the final, stable build of macOS. MacOS Monterey is currently in public beta and the final release is planned for this fall.
Here are the reasons why you should avoid the beta entirely and wait until fall.
1. Performance and stability concerns
This is generally a problem with any beta software. Beta builds are not perfect as they are early experimental versions of the software intended for testing. So please keep in mind that macOS Monterey is far from perfect in its current state. If you install a beta version, you will likely encounter performance and stability issues.
Sure, it would be nice to test macOS Monterey on a Mac lying around, but if it's a Mac you use for work, school, or other important things, that's a big "no" on our part. Some of the issues you encounter can include slowdowns, user interface crashes, battery drains, and more.
Unfortunately, battery drain is the only problem most users complain about after installing beta versions of macOS. You probably wouldn't get the advertised battery life for a MacBook because the software hasn't been polished up and optimized for it.
2. Lack of app compatibility
App support can be a big problem, especially if you're in the early developer beta builds. While this is not a problem with Apple's apps, third-party apps are usually affected. These can be some of the apps that you use for work or school. So why take the risk?
This is exactly why Apple is releasing developer builds. It gives app developers some time to update their apps and make sure everything is working fine before public release. Developers should have time to fix any bugs without worrying about user complaints.
With macOS Monterey now in public beta, compatibility should be better, but we still wouldn't recommend installing it on your primary Mac for the other reasons listed here.
3. You could lose your data
Loss of data can be appalling for many of us. While this problem is not specific to the operating system, it relates to the update process as a whole. A handful of Mac users who test the beta version of macOS usually report iCloud sync issues and data loss after the update. While the chances are slim, most of you don't want to take that risk.
However, you can avoid permanent data loss by backing up your Mac before such a major update. There are several ways to restore data from a Time Machine backup. And if you don't want to bother with Time Machine, you can always manually back up the important files to an external hard drive.
4. The developer beta is riskier than the public beta
If you want to try macOS Monterey early on, at least install the public beta. Developer builds are experimental in nature. There's a reason Apple is only releasing these builds for developers.
Apple doesn't want beta testers to try developer builds. Instead, app developers should ensure stability and support for their apps before ordinary users like you jump on board.
Unfortunately, some regular users sneak in by paying the $ 99 annual fee for the Apple Developer Program. A few others manage to get the beta profile from a third party, which basically gives them access to all developer builds directly from Apple.
When can you safely install macOS Monterey?
The best time to install macOS Monterey is when Apple releases it to the general public this fall. To be on the safe side, we recommend waiting a week or two after the stable release to make sure the software is ironed out and free of bugs.
However, if you want to live dangerously, you can try the public beta that is available now. Public builds are at least more stable than developer builds, so there is less to worry about. However, don't forget to back up your Mac if you decide to go ahead.
Don't risk cracking your Mac
Unless you absolutely have to, there's no need to rush and switch to the beta version of macOS, especially at the risk of bricking your Mac. Public release is not far away, and you may avoid many of the problems beta testers encounter by patiently waiting a few more weeks.
Your first impressions of macOS Monterey are likely to be more positive this way.
10 incredible macOS Monterey features we look forward to
With macOS Monterey slated to be released later this year, here are all of the new features we're looking forward to the most.
About the author
(40 published articles)
Hamlin is a full-time freelancer who has been in the field for over four years. Since 2017 his work has appeared on OSXDaily, Beebom, FoneHow and others. In his spare time, he either trains in the gym or takes big strides in the crypto room.
By Hamlin Rozario
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