MacOS Big Sur Announced with New UI – Screenshots & Features
Apple has announced the next major system software release for Mac; MacOS Big Sur. The release is named after Big Sur, a stunning stretch of coast line in Central California south of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Versioned as Mac OS 11 (or 10.16, depending), macOS Big Sur includes a visual overhaul and a variety of new features and capabilities that further blur the lines between Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Let’s check out some of the new features of MacOS Big Sur.
Redesigned Visual User Interface in MacOS Big Sur
Arguably the biggest change to macOS Big Sur is visual, as the user interface (UI) has received another facelift.
Visually, MacOS Big Sur looks quite a bit more like iOS 14 for iPhone and iPadOS 14 for iPad, except on the Mac of course, with a more spacious design, more curves, and more transparency in UI elements.
There’s obvious design cue sharing between MacOS and iPadOS now with an extra bright stark white interface (dark mode is still supported for those who are not a fan of bright white), shared iconography, rounding of Dock icons, the inclusion of Control Center, an updated Notification Center with widget support, shared symbols, and much more.
There are also updated UI sound effects too.
Control Center on the Mac
Control Center comes to the Mac with MacOS Big Sur, and much like on iOS and iPadOS it’s also customizable.
iOS & iPadOS Apps in MacOS Big Sur
Apple is allowing MacOS Big Sur to run iOS and ipadOS apps directly on the Mac desktop. That means you can run your favorite iPhone apps on the Mac.
This feature may be tied to the Mac transition to ARM processors which was also announced at WWDC 2020, and how it works with Intel Macs remains to be seen.
Updated Notification Center
Notification Center in MacOS Big Sur gets an overhaul visually with widget support and interactive notifications.
Safari gains the ability to set custom backgrounds of the start page, a new tabs view with thumbnail previews, improvements to browser speed and battery performance, and a new Safari Privacy Report feature that aims to help user privacy.
Safari for MacOS Big Sur also gains language translation features, that allow you to instantly translate foreign languages on web pages.
Messages on the Mac is finally getting features that were previously only available to iOS and iPadOS Messages users, including support for Memoji, GIF picker, and more.
Messages for Mac also gains features from Messages in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, including pinned messages, group messaging improvements, and better search features.
The Maps app is redesigned for MacOS Big Sur, and aside form the visual changes you will also find a new Guides feature that pulls data from sources like Lonely Planet.
You can also make your own Maps ‘guides’ and share them with other people.
Privacy & Security Features
Improved security and privacy features arrive on MacOS Big Sur, including privacy reports in Safari, and privacy details on apps downloaded from the Mac App Store.
macOS Big Sur also includes as a cryptographically signed system volume to protect tampering of the core OS.
MacOS 11 or MacOS 10.16?
During the WWDC 2020 keynote for MacOS Big Sur, a screenshot displayed macOS Big Sur as version MacOS 11, however developer betas are labeled as MacOS 10.16.
What will be the official version is perhaps still in the air, but labeling it as macOS 11 seems likely.
MacOS Big Sur Release Set for Fall 2020
Currently, macOS Big Sur is in developer beta, and a public beta is expected to debut in July.