Apple’s latest Mac operating system, macOS Ventura, was released in October 2022. It comes with some exciting new features like Stage Manager, Continuity Camera, and improvements to apps like Mail, Spotlight, and Safari. However, with any new OS release, there are questions around whether you should update right away or wait. Here we’ll go through the key factors to help you decide if upgrading from macOS Monterey to Ventura is right for your needs.
The Top New Features in Ventura
Let’s start by looking at some of the most notable new features and changes in Ventura:
- Stage Manager – This is a new multitasking system that automatically organizes your open apps and windows into a single view. It allows you to concentrate on your main app while keeping other apps handy on the side.
- Continuity Camera – Use your iPhone as a webcam for your Mac. This allows you to take advantage of the iPhone’s camera quality and features like Center Stage and Portrait mode.
- Visual Lookup – Select text or objects in photos and Spotlight will provide relevant information, making research quicker.
- Shared Photo Library – Share a photo library with up to five other people. Everyone can add, edit, favorite, and delete photos.
- Collaboration – Improved collaboration capabilities in apps like Mail, Messages, and Safari through updates like @mentions and shared notes.
- Gaming – MetalFX Upscaling improves graphics and performance when playing games.
There are also improvements to stock apps like Mail, Spotlight, Safari, FaceTime, and more. Overall, Ventura introduces useful new capabilities that enhance productivity, collaboration, and the general experience of using a Mac.
Factors to Consider Before Updating
While Ventura has a lot of great new features, there are some important considerations around updating your OS:
Ventura only supports Macs from 2017 onward. Specifically, you need one of the following:
- iMac: 2017 and later
- iMac Pro: 2017 and later
- MacBook: Early 2015 and later
- MacBook Air: Mid 2015 and later
- MacBook Pro: Mid 2015 and later
- Mac mini: Late 2014 and later
- Mac Pro: Late 2013 and later
So if you have an older Mac that’s still running well, Ventura won’t be supported. You’ll have to stick with Monterey or earlier versions.
While most apps should work fine on Ventura, there’s always the possibility of compatibility issues with major OS updates. Some apps may not be optimized for Ventura yet. This is especially true for older apps or niche professional software. Check your critical apps for Ventura support before updating.
Bugs and Stability
The early .0 releases of new operating systems often come with stability issues and bugs. It may be wise to wait for the first major bug fix update (e.g. Ventura 13.1) before upgrading your critical work machine. Give Apple some time to iron out common issues reported by early adopters.
Consider which of the new Ventura features are appealing or useful to you. For example, Stage Manager may not be beneficial if you don’t need advanced window/workspace management. Make sure the major additions are worthwhile upgrades for your personal workflow before jumping in.
Apple typically patches a lot of security flaws and holes with each new macOS release. Ventura will come with boosted security over Monterey. If you’re very security conscious, this may be a compelling reason to upgrade sooner rather than later.
Should You Upgrade Now or Wait?
So based on these factors, should you upgrade to Ventura now or wait?
In general, here are some best practice recommendations:
|Average consumer user||Safe to upgrade for new features and security, but wait 1-2 months for bug fix updates|
|Professional user/creative workflows||Wait to see feedback from others in your field, stay on Monterey if critical apps are not supported yet|
|Enterprise/business environments||Do not upgrade production machines right away, thoroughly test Ventura first|
|Mac enthusiast/early adopter||Go ahead and upgrade to get access to new features immediately|
Here are some general tips for transitioning to Ventura:
- Do a full Monterey backup first with Time Machine
- Check hardware and app compatibility before installing
- Review new Ventura features and changes to see if they benefit your workflow
- Install on a non-critical test machine before your primary device
- Look out for Ventura 13.1 or 13.2 to address initial bugs before fully upgrading
- Reset SMC and clear NVRAM after upgrading to Ventura to optimize performance
The Bottom Line
Ventura delivers some exciting improvements that make the Mac experience even better. But as with any major OS release, there are good reasons to exercise some caution before rushing to upgrade.
For most users, it’s probably wise to wait at least a month or two to give Apple time to release incremental updates that improve stability and compatibility. Jumping in on day one can be risky if you rely on your Mac for critical work or school use.
However, Ventura is a solid update overall that refines the core Mac operating system in meaningful ways. Once any early bugs are ironed out, upgrading should provide a noticeably improved experience for everyday use.
Take your time and evaluate the potential benefits vs. risks of upgrading based on Apple’s track record and your own usage needs. Following best practices like backing up your system, checking app compatibility, and reviewing new features will ensure the smoothest transition possible to Ventura.