macOS Big Sur is the beginning of macOS 11 series

Along with the iOS 14 launch, Apple also confirmed its newest Operating System macOS Big Sur. At the firm’s first virtual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple announced its first official 11 series of Operating System since the launch of OSX (X- 10 in Roman Numbers) on September 13, 2000.

Big Sur is no more just a mountainous region of Central Coast, California but has recorded itself into the Apple OS line.

How big is macOS Big Sur?

According to Apple, macOS Big Sur is the most advanced desktop Operating System that introduces a beautiful redesign that is entirely new yet instantly familiar. 

“macOS Big Sur is a major update that advances the legendary combination of the power of UNIX with the ease of use of the Mac, and delivers our biggest update to design in more than a decade,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “With its modern and clean look, huge improvements to key apps including Safari, Messages, and Maps, and new privacy features, we think everyone is going to love the breakthrough experience that macOS Big Sur offers.”

macOS Big Sur

The new update is said to feature

  • A new redesigned Safari, the default Macintosh Browser packed with new features, including a customisable start page, elegantly designed and more powerful tabs, quick and easy translation, and a new Privacy Report.
  • An updated Messages app lets Mac users send and receive more personal and expressive messages, and easily keep track of and interact within group messages.
  • Maps that offers an all-new experience with immersive features for exploring and navigating the world.

Apple claims it to be the biggest update since Mac OS X

The beta version of macOS Big Sur adds a customisable menu bar that features an all-new Control Center. This feature enables quick access to controls important functions from the desktop itself. This menubar is similar to smartphone notification panel or iOS control panel. Along with an updated Notification Center which includes more interactive notifications and redesigned widgets that come in different sizes, providing users with more relevant information at a glance. And a new design for core apps brings more organisation to multiple open windows and makes interacting with apps even easier.

Safari update might be a game changer

Apple claims that Safari might now be 50% faster than Google Chrome and claims it to be the fastest browser at time. Tabs have now been entirely redesigned to make navigation with Safari faster and efficient by showing more tabs onscreen, displaying favicons by default to easily identify the opened tabs, and giving users a quick preview of a page by simply hovering over the tab.

Safari brings new features for greater personalisation while browsing the web. Users can customise the new start page with a background image and sections like their Reading List and iCloud Tabs. 

Safari Privacy

This feature has definitely redefined the entire browsing system, the new safari introduces Privacy Report which delivers added visibility into how Safari protects browsing activity across the web. Users can choose when and which websites a Safari extension can work with, and tools like data breach password monitoring now does not reveal your password information — not even to Apple.

New Design

With Big Sur, Apple gives macOS an updated look, with more translucent, simplified 2D system icons (which is not likeable to a lot of reviewers), and controls that light up when you use them. It some what resembles the Microsoft’s Fluent design system, though Apple has kept the system unnamed.

Big Sur also updates the OS’s sounds. The Mac startup sound has been unmistakable for over a decade, but the new system sounds have been “remastered and refined,” says Alan Dye, Apple’s VP for Human Interface, while remaining recognizable.

Messages

With Big Sur’s new Messages implementation, your Mac has become something of a big iPhone: You can now create Memoji on the desktop. Pinned conversations keep important chats at the top between devices, and threaded responses make the app more useful. Finally, a new search box lets you find text within messages.

New group messaging features streamline interactions with family, friends, and colleagues. Inline replies enable users to respond directly to a message, and now they can direct a message to an individual in a group conversation by simply typing their name. And users can now set a photo or an emoji for their group conversation that’s shared with all members of the group.

Supporting Devices

Unlike the previous update, MacOS Big Sur has avoided certain Mac devices from getting the macOS Big Sur update.

Apple rigorously tests all new releases of its operating systems for compatibility among existing devices. In recent years, Apple has denoted which devices and its release years are capable–at a minimum–to support the majority of the newest features included in each release of macOS. This method of testing and verification continues with macOS Big Sur, with the official list generated by Apple included below. 

  • MacBook (2015 and newer)
  • MacBook Air (2013 and newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Late-2013 and newer)
  • iMac (2014 and newer)
  • iMac Pro (2017 and newer)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and newer)
  • Mac mini (2014 and newer)

Amal Varghese

A lecturer by profession and an admirer of transitions. I love the way the technological world revolves around me from the introduction of an earpiece to the computing device in a space shuttle, every tiny detail amuses me. I try to put my fascination to words for all the fanatics of this evolution who are ironically hooked to its benefits anyway. Proud to be a part of this generation who saw a tape-recording cassette with 5 songs and a cloud streaming service with a zillion songs inside your pocket.

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