The WWDC 2020 keynote is underway, and alongside iOS 14, Apple has just unveiled the next generation of macOS. Named ‘macOS Big Sur’, the new operating system brings a bunch of features and changes to the Mac. One of the biggest upgrades is the shift away from the macOS 10 branding. Surprisingly, macOS Big Sur is the first macOS 11 release.
macOS 11 Key Features
As was the case with iOS 14, macOS Big Sur also focuses a lot on the design changes. There are a lot of minor design and aesthetic changes to the Mac. For example, the dock now floats on the bottom of the screen, similar to how it shows up on the iPhone and iPad. There are fresh, redesigned icons for most system apps, and more. There’s a new sidebar design in apps like Finder, along with new toolbar that aims to put controls front and center but still out of the way.
New Control Center
macOS Big Sur also brings changes to how you control system settings. The control options are now more iOS-like than ever. What’s more, there’s a Control Center in macoS Big Sur. The Notification Center is also redesigned now. You get notifications and widgets all in one pane. That’s in contrast to the two pane system macOS has used for years before this.
The macOS Messages app is more powerful now. In fact, it has all the features that Messages has on iOS 14. You get memoji stickers, pinning conversations, inline replies and more.
There’s also a new search, a redesigned photo picker, and support for message effects on the Mac.
Safari is also visually overhauled in Big Sur. More importantly, finding new Safari extensions will now be easy because they have a dedicated section in the new App Store. Extensions will also be more secure. You will be able to give an extension access on just a single website, or on all websites for just a single day. These are important privacy features being added to Safari in macOS 11.
There are also a bunch of other changes in the Mail app, Photos app, and more.
macOS 11 Release Date
macOS 11 Big Sur has a developer beta out now, and if you’re interested, a public beta will be released in July. Apple has not given a date for a stable release of macOS Big Sur, but it should be sometime this fall.