Revealed to the public in June 202 at WWDC, macOS Big Sur was Apple’s new version of macOS that took the first spot in the macOS 11 line up. Apple’s new macOS brought massive changes to the operating system in features, performance, and visuals with updates to a lot of built-in apps, especially Safari.
There are several notable key feature enhancements, and Apple has done it in a way to give a fresh new look to macOS while retaining familiarity. A lot of notable changes are present in the overall visuals, safari, and a new control center. In conjunction, Apple has focused on integrating the mac platform with the new Apple Silicon that promises to bring exceptional performance to the Mac lineup.
To summarize, many features are introduced in macOS Big Sur. The major one is an updated design. The new macOS features a redesigned icon with rounded corners that are also uniform with all built-in icons. Windows also have a lighter appearance, with rounded edges. There are also changes to system sounds that are much more pleasing to the ears, but since it is created using “snippets of the originals,” all of the new system sounds will be familiar to past users. The new macOS also boasts a redesigned menu bar that is much more transparent, with a bigger pull-down menu and menu icons that disappear unless needed that is also customizable.
There is a port of the control center, a staple of iOS into macOS that can be used to change system parameters and reduce the menu bar clutter as well, and it is aesthetically pleasing. Similarly, the notification center also received an update that introduced iOS-Styled widgets and can be customized. Most apps have also received a performance and design overhaul, and these include, Messages, Maps, and most notably, Safari.
More can be read on Apple’s website: https://www.apple.com/macos/big-sur/features/
A very big change that is introduced in this new version of macOS is Safari. There is a big redesign to the user interface, the start page can be customizable and presenting the users with frequently visited websites, reading list, and privacy report, but this can all be changed. There is an introduction of favicons in the tabs which is a feature that allows users to see which tabs are open. Website preview is also a new feature, to get a brief preview of websites before clicking on the website. Another important feature is the Privacy Report, which, according to apple, “uses Intelligent Tracking Prevention to identify trackers and help prevent them from profiling or following you around the web.” In addition, password monitoring, which is a common feature in a lot of password managers, has been added to Safari, to see if passwords have been involved in data breaches.
How to upgrade
Currently, the supported models of mac models are:
- MacBook (2015 or later)
- MacBook Air (2013 or later)
- MacBook Pro (Late 2013 or later)
- Mac mini (2014 or later)
- iMac (2014 or later)
- iMac Pro (2017 or later)
- Mac Pro (2013 or later)
The following specs are required:
- OS X 10.9 or later
- 4GB of memory
- 35.5GB available storage on macOS Sierra or later*
Following apple’s steps, upgrading is pretty straightforward. For macOS 10.14 and up (Mojave and Catalina), heading to System Preferences, clicking Software Update and click upgrade now and follow the onscreen instructions. For macOS below 10.14 (Mojave), macOS Big Sur can be downloaded from the Mac app store. Keep in mind, users on Mountain Lion will need to upgrade to at least, El Capitan (10.11).
Apple has progressed very well in the software space, as this new release of macOS is a very upgrade that all users will enjoy. Integration with the new Apple Silicon will also provide users with better integration and performance. The new redesigned interface is much more pleasing and is certainly a stepping stone for newer versions to come.