Apple announced its new macOS Big Sur back in June, and since then, it has been evolving until its final version, which has just been released today. The new OS comes with a new design and new apps, including the Messages updates that we saw in iOS 14, but that’s not everything we are getting.
The new macOS Big Sur includes depth shading and translucency, reducing visual complexity to focus on content and new symbols. Further, the buttons only appear when you need them and hide when you don’t. We also get a new unified space for notifications and widgets and new sounds and consistency between iOS and macOS icons.
Apple has also added a redesigned photo picker to make sharing pictures and videos easier. It allows users to create Memoji on a Mac and introduces message effects such as balloons and confetti. Users will also have the ability to pin conversations that are synced across all devices. The Map app has also received a new design and several new features, which let users create a custom guide for specific landmarks, see a 360-degree image of any place with Look Around, and check indoor maps for places like shopping malls and airports.
Apple is also introducing changes to Safari to make it faster and more battery efficient, and we also get a new start page that can be customized with wallpapers. Photos is getting a better Retouch tool, and the Apple Music For You section has now been replaced by the Listen Now section. However, there are things you have to consider before upgrading. Some important apps like Final Cut haven’t been updated to work with macOS Big Sur, so proceed with caution.
Now, Microsoft has released a new version of its Mac Office 2019 software, including support for macOS Big Sir and compatibility with Apple Silicon devices.
“The first launch of each Office app will take longer as the operating system has to generate optimized code for the Apple Silicon processor. Users will notice that the apps’ bounce’ in the dock for approximately 20 seconds while this process completes. Subsequent app launches will be fast.”
Microsoft is also advising its users to install the November 2020 release (build 16.43), or later, which includes the latest optimizations for macOS 11 Big Sur, which wouldn’t be a problem considering that the new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini are expected to arrive on November 17. Still, there’s evidence from UPS showing that some of these MacBook Air orders are already ‘in transit’, meaning that they could arrive sooner.