Mammoth or Monterey? Apple is saving both names for a future version of macOS

On the eve of Apple WWDC event, two names have been registered by the company for a future version of macOS, which will be announced as early as next week.

Apple’s Mac operating system has seen its fair share of names since its debut in 2000. It started out with a series of big name felines such as Panther, Tiger, Leopard and many more, before moving on to to Californian monuments with El Capitan.

There was a slight name change last year, with the version number eventually dropping from 10 to 11, after previous updates would be an x.1 increment. Now it looks like a macOS 12 will be announced at next week’s WWDC developer event.

There are always murmurs about the name of the next version of macOS, and it looks like they were two names, one of them most likely being a red herring.

What features might appear in macOS 12?

Apple wants to give each version of macOS time to shine, starting with the name. With the previous version of Big Sur, this was a huge update that brought an updated user interface, as well as support for its Mac M1.

There is usually a huge update followed by a smaller one the following year. We’ve seen it before with Sierra and High Sierra in 2016, and as far as Leopard and Snow Leopard in 2009.

This year’s update appears to be following the same path, with improvements and bug fixes for macOS 12. Apple is in the middle of a two-year transition for all Mac products to run on M1 chips that is ending in 2022, so it makes sense for the next gigantic update to happen when the whole lineup will not run solely on Intel chips.

Analysis: Our survey says – Monterey

That’s why we don’t think macOS 12 will be called Mammoth. It has connotations that make the new version sound like it’s very substantial, so it could be a name for next year instead.

Apple marks a bunch of names years in advance, and some never even get used. However, Monterey was also filed and renewed no later than December, which suggests that it could be the name of macOS 12.

macOS Monterey trademark

(Image credit: JUSTIA trademarks)

Another factor is that the Big Sur coastline is very close to Monterey County in California. It is almost inevitable to be in the two areas, especially if you go down the coast. With Apple’s naming scheme focused on regions in California in recent years, such as Catalina, High Sierra, and Yosemite, it makes a lot of sense that Monterey is the name of macOS 12.

We don’t have long to wait, with the keynote now confirmed to start at 6 p.m. BST on Monday, where Apple is expected to announce iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, alongside macOS 12.

Going through 9to5Mac

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