MacOS Big Sur: You’ll want to see these 5 new features

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At their annual World Developer Conference on Monday, Apple executives unveiled the latest version of MacOS, called Big Sur (and also known as MacOS 11). Big Sur will be the first version of the operating system to run on Apple’s upcoming Arm-based Macs, as well as its older Intel-based machines. And it’s packed with new and redesigned features that will enhance the user experience.

MacOS Big Sur is currently available to download as a developer beta (here’s how to download MacOS Big Sur and which Macs you can run it on). If you’re not a developer, we recommend that you wait until the public beta comes out in July, or, best of all, it will generally launch in the fall. The longer you wait, the fewer errors the new system will have.

Here are five new MacOS Big Sur features you’ll want to check out when you make the switch, and how you’ll use them after downloading the beta or major release later.




What’s new: Perhaps the biggest update on MacOS Big Sur comes in Apple’s Safari web browser. Apple said this is the biggest update to Safari since its launch in 2003. The revamped browser will load the websites you visit most frequently and will have better tab management capabilities. You’ll also find enhanced privacy features, including a privacy report button that allows you to see how websites track your data and monitor whether any of your passwords were compromised in a security breach.

A new app store category for Safari extensions will allow you to customize the sites and times each extension is used, instead of all the time. And a customizable Safari home page will let you choose from a group of selected wallpapers or use one of your own photos. Translate languages ​​from seven different languages ​​with a built-in function and manage your tabs more effectively.

How will you use it: Open the Safari browser the same way you did before. Where you go next depends on what you want to do: if you navigate to a website in another language, you can press a button to translate it. If you have multiple tabs open, you will see the website’s favicons by default to detect the one you want faster. You can also preview content on a tab by hovering over it and clicking to remove all tabs to the right of a tab. Touch the privacy report button to see what data is collected on the site you are browsing.




What’s new: The new Messages app in MacOS Big Sur includes ways to post conversations (similar to a feature in the new iOS 14), options for better discussing group messages, a redesigned search function, and new options for designing Memoji and using message effects.

How will you use it: Post important conversations at the top of the app for faster access. Send a direct message to a person in a group and exchange messages within a group, to keep those great chats under control. Write someone’s name in the group to tag directly into the conversation. You can choose to only be notified of new messages in the group when their name is mentioned. Organize your search results by matching links, photos, or terms. Add message effects like balloons and confetti, and create and personalize your Memoji on the Mac.




What’s new: The new Maps app in Big Sur includes more options to help you explore new places and share what you find, view detailed interior maps of major airports and shopping malls, see a 360-degree view of a destination, and use EV routing. .

How will you use it: Explore an area with trusted resource guides, or create your own, by marking your favorite restaurants, parks, and vacation spots that you can share with friends and family. Get a 36-degree view of a destination with a feature called Look Around. See detailed interior maps of major airports and shopping centers. If you have an electric car or scooter, use the EV route, which will take into account factors such as the charging stations, weather, elevation, and current charge level of your electric vehicle on your route.




What’s new: Similar to iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, MacOS Big Sur brings widgets to your home screen. Widgets are large, dynamic icons that display live app information such as weather or daily step count.

How will you use it: Instead of opening weather, calendar, or fitness tracking apps, use widgets to see an overview of your main information displayed in a live stream on your home screen. Display different widgets at different times of the day, so you can see the weather in the morning and the news in the afternoon, for example. Create widgets in small, medium, or large sizes.

iPhone and iPad applications



What’s new: If you buy one of the upcoming Apple Macs that run on the company’s new Apple Silicon chips, your computer will be able to natively run iPhone and iPad applications.

How will you use it: Go to the Mac App Store to install the new applications. Many iOS apps will be able to run alongside MacOS apps. If you’ve already purchased an app on iOS, you won’t need to buy it again for MacOS; It will also download it there.

For more information, see how to download MacOS Big Sur and everything else announced at WWDC 2020.

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