Which is Right for Me?: A Comparative Guide on macOS Versions

Which is Right for Me?: A Comparative Guide on macOS Versions

12th Jan 2022

[Updated: January 2022]

Apple stands at the top of the tech industry for many different reasons. All the products in their diverse ecosystem are excellently designed and function seamlessly with one another to optimize the user experience. But amidst the sleek design and capable components, productivity would not be possible without a powerful operating system (OS) that encompasses a great overall vision for all products in their assortment.

MacBooks may entice tech enthusiasts with minimalist branding and beautiful display, but it's the macOS that makes Apple loyalists stay through the years.

Unlike PCs that are manufactured by several companies, Apple managed to stay ahead because they have complete control of both hardware and software development. Ultimately, this makes it easier for the brand to maximize the capabilities of its products and introduce updates regularly.

If you're planning to purchase a MacBook, know that you can choose the very latest or from a previous year if you already have an existing software that will not run the latest OS. Every OS is designed for a specific model, so you should know which one would work best for your desired unit.

Not certain of what OS will work on your computer? The infographic below will provide a comparative analysis of all the MacOS versions to let you know which ones are compatible with your MacBook.

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macOS Through The Years

Knowing which macOS version fits your lifestyle and usage will make your Apple experience smoother. These different operating systems have their own strengths and cater to a specific career, industry, or function.

1. High Sierra (2017)

Best known as a revolutionary operating system, High Sierra introduced Siri to MacBooks and gave its users the first taste of a new file system.

Other than improved memory and performance, its new features make it perfect for visual artists. Photographers can organize and edit their works well through an improved Photos application, and videographers can easily compress their clips to 4k resolution.

2. Mojave (2018)

Shortly after High Sierra, Mojave was engineered to complement its predecessor. This macOS is famous for introducing dark mode and several app improvements. As an example, FaceTime now comes with a group call option that lets you get in touch with 32 people at once.

Continuity camera, meanwhile, allows users to scan documents with their iPhones and instantly transport them to their Mac. These features may sound simple, but it makes all the difference for a professional's productivity.

More importantly, MacOS Mojave is the last OS to support 32-bit apps. So, if the apps you are using or wanting to install in your Mac don’t have a 64-bit version, you might want to check your other options or opt not to upgrade at all. Apple has transitioned to a 64-bit technology environment which promises faster performance, and maximizes Mac’s latest technology.

3. Catalina (2019)

macOS Catalina was designed to support your everyday needs. New features like screen time were introduced, while several apps were given major overhauls. For instance, iTunes was replaced by the Music app, Find My is now a single program, and Safari has a new interface.

4. Big Sur (2020)

Big Sur is the latest operating system available. Compared to previous updates, this macOS brought about huge design changes to give users a refreshing experience. The windows are now curved, icons look smoother, and widgets can be placed for an easier time browsing.

Besides the visual aspects, it's interesting to know that Big Sur has new systems sounds that are a lot more pleasing to the ears.

5. Monterey (2021)

Monterey’s major focus on this update is to align and streamline the macOS with its iOS and iPadOS counterparts. It introduced features available on your iPhones and iPads to the Mac such as the Portrait Mode in FaceTime, tags in Notes, and Shortcuts. This is Apple’s effort to provide a more holistic Apple ecosystem for the Apple fans and first-time users.

This macOS update is looking like an update where Apple will surely build around in the future.

Things to Know When You Update Your macOS

Are you ready to update your macOS? Before that, make sure to keep these six tips in mind:

1. The best time to upgrade is after the new macOS has been announced

We recommend updating to a new OS only after the first revision. This way if any small fixes needed to be added, you are on much more solid grounds. At Macs4U, we switch to the newest OS only after the first revision. Apple is generously giving new tools and features with every update, and not making use of them is no different than wasting your money. If you're using an older device, take some time to know the latest macOS compatible with your unit.

2. Upgrades are free

As long as your device still works, switching to Apple technology means that you'll be getting free updates for life. In case a new macOS is available, you won't have to worry about any hidden costs.

3. macOS updates are given annually

To give you a pleasant time with your device, Apple provides software updates annually. This is their way of making sure that your Apple devices will run smoothly in the coming years.

4. Quick and hassle-free software updates

Software updates are quick and easy. It won't take a whole day to finish, and you can even tweak your device's settings to automatically install it overnight, especially if it's a major update.

5. Back up your files before upgrading

Before you update your device, make sure that you copy important files to an external hard drive. Data losses and storage malfunctions don't usually occur, but having a backup will serve as a safety net in case something indeed goes wrong.

6. Follow the recommended settings

Every MacBook is designed to support a specific macOS. If you're using an older model, always follow the recommended settings to ensure its performance.

Wrapping Things Up

Apple has been known for its ability to always think outside the box. By placing their users at the center, the company better understands their needs and introduces features that make lives a lot easier. Ultimately, this ability to innovate is precisely why the brand has a loyal following.

If you're set on switching to Apple, it's essential to know which operating systems are compatible with your desired unit. This will guarantee you a seamless browsing experience and that you get the most out of your hard-earned money.

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