Apple’s newest operating system, macOS Big Sur is coming. It’s version 11 replacing macOS 10.15 Catalina. Big Sur is a major update with 5 best new features that Mac fans would surely love.
The long-awaited update is about to come to an end. Thanks to Apple’s release of its new operating system, macOS 11, Big Sur. This new OS update comes with new and redesigned features for a better user experience. This includes updates for Safari, Maps, and Messages.
Moreover, Big Sur is the first OS to run the new generation of Apple MacBooks that are equipped with the M1 silicon chips and the older Intel-based models. Likewise, if you buy a new MacBook Pro, Air, or Mac Mini that are running on the M1 chip, you can rest assured that the macOS Big Sur is fully optimized for these machines.
With that being said, you can rest assured that your apps will run faster and smoother. During a virtual on November 10, Apple officials are confident that these devices will have increased performance and security. Are you excited about the new macOS Big Sur?
Are you thinking about installing the new update? If you have an older version Mac computer, you need to make sure that it’s compatible with the new update. Here are the Mac models that will run on macOS Big Sur:
- MacBook: 2015 and later versions
- MacBook Air: 2013 and later
- MacBook Pro: Late 2013 and later
- Mac Mini: 2014 and later
- iMac: 2014 and later
- iMac Pro: 2017 and later
- Mac Pro: 2013 and later
The new features
Improved user interface
The user interface between Apple smartphones and desktop OS is impressive. However, there are inconsistencies. For one, macOS looks more dated compared to iOS. With that being said, Big Sur has improved macOS UI which is the first obvious change you will see since Mac OS X.
This is what Alan Dye, VP Human Interface during WWDC20 had to say, “To create hierarchy, you need depth, shading, and translucency. The new materials have it all. They are rich and vibrant.”
Furthermore, Apple changed the icons of the built-in apps making them look identical to iOS icons but they made sure the “Mac personality” remains intact. The Dock where app icons are displayed appears to be floating on the screen while the Toolbars and Sidebars look cleaner. Also, the buttons automatically hide when not in use.
Apple also improved the menu bar which they made more useful. With the new update, it has become translucent, the menus are cleaner and more spacious to look at. They also added a Control Center that works similar to iOS. In addition, you can customize the controls according to your preference and drag and drop feature where you want to place it.
One of the most notable changes with Big Sur is, they took out the Notifications menu bar. However, you can access it by clicking on the time in the menu bar. Additionally, Big Sur added a gallery that displays widgets including a third-party to the Notification Center. Apple also tweaked the sounds. While these sound variations are familiar, they added some fresh touch to them.
Unfortunately, the previous macOS lags behind the iOS message version, feature-wise. However, Apple changed all that in Big Sur. It now uses the Mac Catalyst to convert the iOS message version into the Mac. Likewise, Messages has improved search for easy finding of anything you might be looking for. Thanks to the search results being grouped into Conversations. This includes highlighted search terms, links, and photos.
Apple made significant improvements with the tools on the messages. Another one is the improved photo picker which makes it quicker for users to find photos and videos you want to send to the other person or someone on your contact list. In addition, Apple has a Memoji editor if you want a custom look, use it to communicate how you feel or what you’re thinking, etc. Also, there’s the #images feature to make it easy for you to find GIFs and images on the internet.
Also, other features on the Messages are focused on organizing your conversations. In fact, it lets you pin up to nine conversations from the top of your list. Likewise, your pins will appear on your iPhone and iPad. You can also reply to specific messages even if you’re in a group conversation. This helps you respond to any specific message without being out of place in the conversation.
According to Apple, they optimized Safari in Big Sur so that it should run faster than ever before. Apple officials say that the new and improved Safari is up to 50% faster compared to Google Chrome. It also comes with a Privacy toolbar button that shows web trackers and displays a full privacy report up to the last 30 days. You can even add a Privacy Report on your start page. If you’re constantly using the web, you faced a lot of password logins to different sites and services. For this reason, Safari features a password monitoring system that lets you generate new passwords if necessary.
Additionally, Apple allows extension from third parties. Developers use these tools to convert Google Chrome extensions for Safari. This allows users to use these extensions in the App Store including their descriptions. Likewise, you can designate a particular extension if it works on a website.
They also included a more customizable option on Safari’s start page. Favicons appear in page tabs, and you can preview the webpage if you hold your cursor over a tab. Safari is also equipped with translation tools for Spanish, English, Brazilian, German, Russian, French and Chinese websites.
Photos is one of the most-used apps on the Mac. This makes the new features on Photos extra useful. macOS Big Sur has added editing tools. There’s the Vibrance effect that lets you adjust the intensity of the filters and Portrait Lighting. It also has a Retouch tool to enhance machine learning when making adjustments look even better. Notably, you can use these tools on videos.
Photos lets you add and edit captions to provide context on your media. You can then sync them with your iPhone and iPad using iCloud.
Apple hopes that the improvements made into the Maps app will make it more useful especially when planning trips using your Mac. According to Apple officials, the new Maps was inspired by the iOS version which they converted using Mac Catalyst for the Mac computer.
It allows you to save locations as Favorites. It’s one of the features that is available on your iPhone and iPad but isn’t available on the Mac before. Additionally, the new Guides feature provides information about locations on display. This is very handy for travelers. Moreover, Guides is a work in progress and it lets you create your own guide.
Furthermore, new route planning is a feature for cyclists and electric vehicles. It displays elevation, traffic, and potential obstacles on cycling routes. For electric cars, it lets drivers track their car’s charge and show them available charging stations. These routes can be sent from your Mac to your iPhone.
Other map features:
- Indoor maps
- Congestion zones
- ETA of friends
- Monitor a person’s commute
- Look Around, gives you an eye-level photo of a location
The current Notes app lets you pin notes as they appear on top of your listing. However, in macOS Big Sur, you’re allowed to collapse and expand the list of the pinned notes which is a nice tool if you have a lot of notes on your device.
Likewise, the Big Sur version is more functional thanks to the available text styles that you can apply. You can also see Notes the Top Hits in the search results.