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The next macOS is called Big Sur, here’s what you need to know (Updated)

By Kenny Yeo - on 27 Jun 2020, 11:06am

The next macOS is called Big Sur, here’s what you need to know (Updated)

Note: This article was first published on 23 June 2020. It was updated hours after publishing to include the list of devices that will run macOS Big Sur.

The next macOS is called Big Sur and Apple says it’s the biggest update to macOS yet.

This is in a large part due to the fact that Apple also announced that its Macs will soon make the transition to its own custom processors.

macOS Big Sur has a look that's clearly inspired by iOS.

For a start, there’s a big change to the user interface. Menus have changed, sounds have been updated.

From the looks of it, it looks like Big Sur has been heavily inspired by iOS. Some iOS features that are coming to macOS include the Control Center and Widgets.

Control Center comes to the Mac.

And that seems to be no accident because Apple says they wanted to bring more clarity to the design and they wanted more consistency so users can move easily between various Apple devices.

There's a lot of fancy graphics and translucent menus. No doubt to show off the graphics capabilities of Apple's upcoming Macs with custom processors.


There are also other huge app updates. Arguably the most significant, for me at least, is Messages. For too long, the macOS version of Messages has been a sad shadow of the same app on iOS. Now, Messages on macOS will get, what looks to be, the full suite of features that are found on iOS. And that means Memoji, Effects, pinned conversations, and a more powerful search function.

Messages on macOS is finally more similar to the iOS app.

Maps is getting updated too and it looks just like the iPad version. There’s a new design, a sidebar with favourite locations, the ability to create guides, indoor maps, and look around. And if friends share their ETA with you, you’ll be able to see their progress in real-time.

Safari will be able to generate security reports to tell you how secure a website is.

Safari is getting a huge update. To begin, it will be faster. Apple claims it's on average up to 50% faster than Chrome when it comes to opening your frequently visited websites and will deliver “industry-leading” battery life.

There’s also enhanced security features. You can now see a list of what trackers are employed on a website. You can also get a security report when you visit a website. Now, extensions are potential weak links when it comes to security so Apple will be giving greater controls to users. Users will be able to decide which websites can run what extensions, and users can even decide how long to enable extensions on specific websites.

macOS Big Sur will be available as free update this fall.

Other new features in Safari include a customisable start page, redesigned tabs (with favicons), the ability to preview tabs, and native translation.

The developer beta of macOS Big Sur will be available today and a public beta will be coming in July at beta.apple.com.

The final version will be available in fall.

Here are the list of devices that will run macOS Big Sur:



Read some of our other WWDC 2020 coverage:

Read our announcements on iOS 14 here.

Read the updates to watchOS7 here.

Read about the new iPadOS 14 here.

Find out why Apple is saying bye-bye to Intel here