New features of macOS Big Sur

Milan Panchal
5 min readJun 25, 2020
macOS Big Sur

macOS Big Sur brings a refined new design, powerful controls, and intuitive customization options to the most advanced desktop operating system in the world.

macOS Big Sur — Apple next-generation Macintosh operating system

At #WWDC2020 on June 22, Apple previewed next-generation macOS Big Sur (Veriosn 11.0) the successor to macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Big Sur comes with the brand new design which also includes the biggest Safari update ever and powerful enhancements to Messages, Maps, and privacy.

It is named after the coastal region of Big Sur in the Central Coast of California.

System Requirements

Before jumping into the features of Big Sur, here is the list of a supported system that can be upgraded to macOS Big Sur.

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

Big Sur is a major upgrade with several features and enhancements that users can take advantage of.

The following are the list of features and enhancements that Apple highlighted during #WWDC20 keynote.

Key Features and Enhancements

Refined User Interface

Until macOS Catalina, Apple has inconsistency between its Mobile OS and Desktop OS. With the help of macOS Big Sur, Apply has finally addressed that issue and fill that gap by implementing major UI changes.

  • Floating Dock
  • New icons for apps
  • Lighter window appearance
  • Redesigned sheets
  • New and updated sounds
  • Full-height sidebars
  • New symbols throughout macOS
Apple macOS Big Sur → Redesigned Apps & Floating Dock

Control Center

Designed just for Mac, the new Control Center consolidates your favorite menu bar items into a single place to give you instant access to the controls you use most. Just click the Control Center icon in the menu bar and adjust Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, and other settings — without opening System Preferences.

Apple macOS Big Sur → Control Center

Notification Center

A redesigned Notification Center puts all your notifications and widgets into a single, dedicated column. Notifications are automatically sorted by most recent, and redesigned Today widgets deliver information at a glance.

  • Interactive notifications
  • Grouped notifications
  • Redesigned widgets
  • Customize widgets
  • Discover more third-party widgets
Apple macOS Big Sur → Notification Center

Safari

  • Customizable start page
  • Improved tab design (More tabs at once, favicon in tabs and website preview)
  • Import passwords and settings from Chrome; Easily import history, bookmarks, and saved passwords from Chrome into Safari.
  • Built-in webpage translation into English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Russian, or Brazilian Portuguese. [Currently in Beta]
  • Password monitoring
  • Improved performance and power efficiency
  • Enhanced privacy features such as “Privacy Report”
  • Extension privacy management
  • Safari extensions on the App Store
  • WebExtensions API support
Apple macOS Big Sur → Safari Startup Page, Improved Tab Designs & Safari Privacy Report

Messages

The new Messages app is now based on the Mac Catalyst technology. This enables the app to have feature parity with its iOS counterpart. Alongside a refined design, the messages app brings:

  • Pin conversations: You can have up to nine pinned conversations that sync across Messages in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
  • Message searching
  • Name and photo sharing:
  • Group photos
  • Mentions
  • Inline replies
  • Message effects
  • Memoji stickers & Memoji editor
  • Enhanced Photo Editor
Apple macOS Big Sur → Pin Conversations & Image Search

Maps

  • Create your own guides
  • Ability to save locations as favorites
  • Look Around
  • Cycling routes
  • Electric vehicle routing
  • Indoor maps
  • Live updates for shared ETA
  • New maps available in more countries
  • Congestion zones
  • License plate restrictions
Apple macOS Big Sur → Curated Guide

App Store

macOS Big Sur brings includes following new features include to Mac App Store:

  • A section dedicated to the privacy information of an app
  • A new Safari extensions category
  • Third-party Notification Center widgets
  • Family sharing of app subscriptions

Notes

  • Collapsible pinned section
  • Top Hits in search
  • Quick text style and formatting options
  • Scanning enhancements

Photos

  • Enhanced photo/video editing capabilities
  • Improved Retouch tool
  • Easy, fluid navigation
  • Memories enhancement
  • Add context to photos and videos with captions

Other changes

  • New fonts for Indian users
  • Podcasts “Listen Now” feature
  • FaceTime sign language prominence
  • Option to re-enable macOS startup sound
  • Signed system volume
  • Faster updates: Once macOS Big Sur is installed, software updates begin in the background and complete faster than before — so it’s easier than ever to keep your Mac up to date and secure.
  • Optimized Battery Charging & Battery usage history

Questions?

Please feel free to comment below, if you have any questions.

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Milan Panchal

iOS Team Lead ǁ Swift ǁ Objective-C ǁ Lifelong Learner ǁ Blogger — Join Medium from the following link: https://medium.com/@milanpanchal24/membership