macOS Big Sur: a design overhaul
This is probably the biggest design upgrade Apple has given to macOS in years. The changes are more visible and not so subtle. For example, Doc has found new icons for apps – they are more squarish as Apple has dropped the more rounded look. The apps present in the dock feel well spread and feel less strung. The menu bar text is also now presence based. If you are using your Macbook In dark mode then the menu bar text also becomes dark, which was not there before.
One of the best features – borrowed from the iPhone – that MacOS brings to Big Sur is the Control Center. The control center is now placed on the top right from where you can manage Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections and sound and brightness levels.
Another iOS lending feature is the All-New Notification Center, which allows you to respond to notifications without opening a particular app.
macOS Big Sur: Messages, Safari offers more features
Messages on the Mac have always been neglected compared to the iPhone and iPad. Not macOS as Big Sur gets that completely right. You get features like pinned messages, group messages and even memosis. An India-focused feature is support for expressive messaging. For example, if you wish someone Happy Diwali through messages, you will see fireworks in the background. This facility will be applicable for greetings sent in 23 Indian languages.
Apple has also added 20 new document fonts which are designed for India only.
Privacy has always been on Apple’s mind and with macOS Big Sur, Safari gets new features. The Privacy Report will tell users of the feature trackers that Safari prevented them from creating profiles on various websites. This is a good feature and you will be surprised to see in a week how many sites are looking to track your information and data. More customizations are available on Safari including a new start page where you can also add a personal background image. Safari also gets a built-in translation feature – finally after several years – under which it can locate and translate entire web pages in seven languages.
macOS Big Sur: New Battery Features, More
The optimized battery charging feature MacBook also comes with Mac for Big Mac. As seen with earlier versions of iOS, the feature radically improves battery health as it ‘holds’ the battery after 80% charging levels. So if you plug in your Mac for more hours, it optimizes battery life in the long run. You can also view a detailed battery usage history of up to 10 days in the last 24 hours. Note that this feature is available on the MacBook which comes with Thunderbolt 3.
Photo app on Mac includes editing tools for video. Features such as filters, adjustments can now be applied for video editing as well.
Other important things to know
macOS Big Sur is around 11-12GB in size and may take an hour or more to download depending on your data speed. Models compatible with MacOS Big Sur are: MacBook 2013 and later; MacBook Pro (late 2013 and later); iMac 2014 and later, iMac Pro 2017 and later. MacBooks 2015, Mac Pro 2013 and later, and Mac Mini 2014 and later are also compatible with MacOS Big Sur.
Overall, MacOS Big Sur gets a facelift, a host of new features that are more fun and useful using the MacBook.