Apple has just announced macOS 11 Big Sur, the new version of its operating system for desktops and laptops that arrives to take over from Catalina macOS, the previous big update for Macs. With this release comes exciting new features to push our MacBook, iMac, Mac mini or Mac Pro even further. Here are all the new features and software functions.
macOS 11 Big Sur: great redesign, Messages and Maps with Catalyst, and more private and secure Safari
At Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC 2020), conducted entirely by streaming, the company has announced new versions of the operating systems for its devices. One of the protagonists, of course, has been macOS 10.16 Big Sur, the latest major update for desktop and laptop computers from the Bite Apple.
The most striking aspect of the Big Sur macOS 11 is its design. Although we keep the classic elements such as the Dock or the top menu bar, several changes have been introduced in the interface to make it more elegant and modern , more similar to what we can find in the iOS and iPadOS operating systems.
Both the colour palette and the curvature of the windows have been refined and new elements have been added to provide more information. The icons and Dock have been redesigned, the buttons and controls appear when needed and disappear when not needed. All in all, it feels like a breath of fresh air for the platform.
Apart from this, we have new customizable features, such as a new Control Center , which provides shortcuts to items from the desktop. There is also a revamped Notification Center with more interactive notifications and resizable widgets.
Beyond the design, there is news related to applications. There are changes in the Messages and Maps apps to integrate the new features that Apple has also added to its iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 equivalents. In fact, these two applications have been developed under Catalyst, so it’s as if we were using the iPad versions.
The Safari web browser continues to improve . For starters, the tab layout has been redesigned to make browsing faster and displaying more at once. This is achieved by displaying the favicon , which makes it easier to recognize at a glance, and also shows a preview of the content.
User privacy is another important section that improves with every major update. Tools have been added to avoid tracking the crawlers of the websites you visit. It also facilitates the migration of extensions from other browsers, as well as their behaviour, and can even determine how long we want them to be active, and the possibility of translation to read content that is in another language.
“Historic day”: Apple silicon and Rosetta 2
Of all the new developments in macOS, possibly the most important and that marks a point of reflection is the transition from Intel to Apple’s chips. Just as the company already does with its mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch), Apple TV and HomePod, Cupertino’s have decided to take the step and migrate to their own chips in the Mac computer sector as well.
This transition establishes a common point for all Apple devices, making it easier for developers to write and optimize new applications . Developers can now start working on these applications, as Apple has made available a series of help documentation, the Big Sur and Xcode 12 macOS betas.
During the WWDC 2020, Microsoft (Office) and Adobe (Photoshop) applications, as well as Final Cut Pro, have been shown to perform on a Mac mini using the Apple A12Z Bionic processor, the same one that incorporates the iPad Pro (2020), 512 GB of internal SSD storage and 16 GB of RAM. The transition will last two years , and the first to arrive will be at the end of this same 2020.
At Apple, this is the Developer Transition Kit: a Mac mini with an A12Z processor inside
Another key element of this transition from Intel processors to Apple chips is Rosetta 2 , which is very fast and “translates” an application that has not been ported at the time of installation. In addition, all iOS and iPadOS games will work directly and seamlessly on these Macs.