Apple has completely revamped the Mac operating system this year with macOS Big Sur, which also adds some cool new features to the Mac. MacOS Big Sur brings Control Center to the Mac for the first time, and just like in iOS 14, Mac users can quickly access rich, dynamic widgets. Read on to learn more about the Control Center and widgets in macOS Big Sur.
Control Center on macOS Big Sur is visually similar to Control Center on iOS but with controls adapted for Mac. Instead of access with just a swipe, you can open Control Center on Mac by clicking a new button on the menu bar .
From there, users can access network settings, brightness settings, AirPlay, and more. Some of these options were already available in the macOS bar menu previously, but there are also new features in the Control Center.
For example, you can change the brightness of the backlit keyboard, Do Not Disturb, Dark Mode, Night Shift, AirDrop, and there are even Now Playing controls. When you click on a specific area, such as sound settings, the Control Center displays more related options, in this case, available sound output devices.
The Bluetooth menu can now display the battery level of connected accessories, in addition to the icons of Apple accessories such as AirPods, Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard. And finally, with the new AirDrop menu, you no longer have to open Finder to change discovery preferences.
What’s also nice about Control Center on macOS is that users can drag controls to the bar menu, making them even easier to access. The reverse is also possible, with a new option to hide menu bar items, making them available only in Control Center.
The new widget experience in macOS Big Sur is similar to the one offered by iPadOS 14. That’s because you can’t fix these widgets on your home screen or desktop. With macOS Big Sur, widgets can be accessed by clicking the time in the menu on the bar where the Notification Center button was previously located.
The Notification Center has been integrated with the widget panel, but for some unknown reason you can’t access it with gestures on the touchpad, I hope it’s just a bug. Widgets and notifications are displayed above the apps, and you can scroll vertically through them.
Admittedly, macOS already had widgets since OS X Yosemite, but this year Apple is doing something better. These widgets you have on macOS Big Sur are the same as those available on iOS 14. That means if you are running a universal iOS app that contains a widget, you will get it on Mac as well.
Pressing the Edit Widgets button opens a new panel where you can select new widgets or reorder existing ones. Right now, these are the widgets available with macOS Big Sur beta 1: Calendar, Clock, Notes, Podcast, Reminders, Screen time, Actions and Weather. You can choose three different sizes of widgets, just like in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14.
Apple says that widgets focus on displaying useful information quickly, so don’t expect deep interactions with them. Most widgets don’t even have buttons. Still, they’re all well-designed, and I think they have the potential to improve further when developers launch their own widgets later this year.
Undoubtedly, Apple is making macOS more similar to iOS in many ways, and while there are many people who like that, others claim that the Mac is losing its own identity.
What do you think about that Do you like the changes made in macOS Big Sur or do you think they are not necessary? Let us know in the comments section below.
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