Everything You Need to Know About macOS Big Sur

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 2020) this year is a big event for Apple, with a series of updated platforms including iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and tvOS 14. However, the biggest surprise in this event is for the MacBook users. Apple has officially revealed the next version of the macOS operating system called Big Sur.  The biggest change of this year’s macOS is the design. Big Sur has the most changes in interface since the macOS 10.10 Yosemite version launched in 2014.

Streamlined Apps

This version of macOS is considered a complete makeover of the operating system interface. Apple describes the new design as “spacious”, making it easier for users to navigate. The company has tweaked everything from the curvature of the window corners to the color scheme and application icons. Both the full-height sidebars and refreshed toolbars will have a clean new app design, which ensures that your content is always front and center.

mac OS Big Sur

Refreshed Dock

The apps icons on the Dock have been redesigned to better match the icons in the Apple ecosystem. The new dock now has a sleek design and a new uniform shape for app icons. This will add consistency but still allowing the personality of Mac to shine through. Overall, the new design reduces visual complexity, allowing users to access their favorite things easier and faster.

Redesigned Control Center And Notification Center

The new OS interface has a number of elements that take inspiration from the iOS interface. The new customizable Control Center is one of the significant changes. Now you can instantly access the controls you use frequently like Wifi setting, screen brightness, or other settings as needed.  In addition, designed exclusively for Mac, now you can touch any favorite feature in the Control Center then drag and drop it to the menu bar to use faster.

macOS Big Sur also including a new Notification Center design, which contains all your notifications and widgets in a single view. Now you can get more information at a glance. The notifications now can be sorted in by chronological order and grouped by apps. Many of the notifications are interactive which allows you to do things like play new podcast episodes or learn more about calendar invitations. The widgets are also redesigned and can be downloaded from the App Store. They come in three different sizes, so you can arrange them in the best view for you.

All-New Safari

The new macOS also brings the biggest changes for Safari since the browser was launched. The new update will grant you several customization choices, improve on industry-leading performance, and battery life. In addition, it also introduces powerful new features designed to protect your privacy. According to Apple, the new Safari can now load popular websites at 50% faster than Google Chrome but consume less battery.

The tabs’ design is also greatly improved. You now can see more tabs are visible at once as they have a new space-efficient design. When pointing over a tab, a preview image will show up to help you navigate through the tabs easier. When right-clicking on a tab, the user has the option to close all tabs to the right of that tab. The new Safari also allows users to customize the startup page. Now you can set the wallpaper and choose which elements you want to display there. Safari also has an offline automatic translation, allowing the whole website to be translated into 7 languages. 

The new Safari has a Privacy Report feature. It will list inter-page tracking trackers that the browser has blocked in the past 30 days. The browser also gét a user password tracking tool. Safari now will recommend you to update your weak passwords if the browser detects any passwords you have saved that have been discovered in database leaks.

The Safari browser will also support extensions designed for other browsers and has its own extension store within the App Store. You can also easily import browsing history, bookmarks, and passwords from Chrome to Safari.

Messages on Mac. The Ultimate Conversation Starter

The updated Messages app for Big Sur provides you all the tools you need to manage your conversations. Apple adds a new search feature to the app, which lets you sort search results by corresponding links, images, or search keywords in conversations. Similar to iOS and iPadOS, the Messages app on macOS Big Sur is also updated with the ability to reply directly to a message of someone in the chat group and the feature to mention other people in the group via the @ symbol. In addition, you can now make your group chat unique with several customization options, including customizable icons, emoji,memoji, and stickers. You can also pin up to 9 conversations at the top of the message list, and these changes will be synchronized with the Messages app on your devices with iOS and iPadOS.

macOS Big Sur

Redesigned Maps

The Apple Maps app on macOS Big Sur now has new features similar to the versions on iOS 14 and iPad 14. This update including custom directions, 360-degree street display, and showing under-construction roads. Apple has added directions for bicycles or trams. Now you can even electric vehicle charging stations are displayed on the map now. In addition, the update allows users to dan discover new places to eat, shop, and explore with curated Guides their favorite brands.  You can now browse detailed interior layouts of some special places like major airports, shopping malls, or monuments. The new feature – Look Around, allows you to explore select cities in smooth, immersive 3D on your Mac. There will be more detailed maps in some countries such as Canada, Ireland, and England this year.

macOS Big Sur

Privacy Information

Apps in Big Sur’s app store will have to list the types of data it collects, and whether those data is shared with third parties for the purpose of tracking users. New privacy information on the App Store will let you see a summary of the privacy of each app before you decide to download it.  Apple compares this to nutrition labels on food packaging before you buy the food.

Other Features

– Many applications have also been tweaked to the interface according to the new design theme, including Mail, Photos, Notes, and the iWork office suite.

– Retouch tool powered by machine learning will expand your photo editing capabilities

– AirPods now automatically switch between your active devices that sign in to the same iCloud account.

– On the developer side, Apple has upgraded the SwiftUI user interface to help developers easily create applications that work on different platforms of the Apple ecosystem, but can still add features that work exclusively on Mac devices

– HomeKit Secure Video notifications.

– Deeper web knowledge for Siri. Siri is now able to answers a wider, harder set of questions

– Listen Now is the new home for Apple Music. You can check out the new releases, artist interviews, and personalized playlist all in one place.

The Verdict

With tons of new updated tweaked features, macOS Big Sur demonstrates Apple’s stronger efforts to bring the experience on Mac devices running macOS closer to iPhones and iPads, thereby strengthening the unity in the Apple ecosystem.

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