Several macOS Monterey Features Unavailable on Intel-Based Macs
While there are many great new features in macOS Monterey, several of them are not available on Intel-based Macs, according to Apple.
On the macOS Monterey features page, fine print indicates that the following features require a Mac with the M1 chip, including any MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac model released since November 2020:
- Portrait Mode blurred backgrounds in FaceTime videos
- Live Text for copying and pasting, looking up, or translating text within photos
- An interactive 3D globe of Earth in the Maps app
- More detailed maps in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London in the Maps app
- Text-to-speech in more languages, including Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Finnish
- On-device keyboard dictation that performs all processing completely offline
- Unlimited keyboard dictation (previously limited to 60 seconds per instance)
Apple has not explained why any of these features are not available on Intel-based Macs. For what it's worth, Google Earth has long offered an interactive 3D globe of the Earth on Intel-based Macs both on the web and in an app.
Apple is currently in the midst of a two-year transition from Intel processors to its custom Apple silicon chips in Macs, with the changeover slated to be completed by WWDC 2022. Macs with the M1 chip have proven to be much faster than their equivalent Intel-based predecessors, with even the base model MacBook Air with the M1 chip outperforming a maxed-out Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro in benchmarks.
Apple is widely rumored to be planning redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models powered by a faster iteration of the M1 chip for later this year.
macOS Monterey is still compatible with a wide variety of Intel-based Macs, and is available now in beta for developers. The software update will likely be publicly released to all users at some point between September and November.
Update: According to Rene Ritchie, Intel-based Macs lack the Neural Engine that many if not all of these features require.