At WWDC 2020 this June, Apple has announced some of the biggest changes ever to operating systems for iPhone, iPad, Mac, iWatch and TV. The release of new Macs with Apple Silicon was the biggest show stealer. With the new ARM-based processors and the latest macOS Big Sur, the future of Mac is looking exciting and promising.
macOS Big Sur is macOS version 11.0.
Apple introduced a major revamp with its design to macOS since the introduction of Mac OS X.
macOS Big Sur redesigned everything; from the curvature of window corners, to their colors and dock icon designs. The revamped look was designed to feel both new and familiar at the same time.
macOS Big Sur includes the biggest Safari update ever and powerful enhancements to Messages, Maps, and Privacy.
It is named after the seaside region of Big Sur in the Central Coast of California.
macOS Big Sur is available right now for developers and public beta testers. The public release will be later, Fall 2020, and it will be free for all Mac devices compatible with its system requirements.
For more information on where to download macOS Big Sur, visit their official website below:
Apple Beta Software Program
macOS Big Sur highlights its new major redesign that is modern but familiar and focuses on translucency, firmness, and pleasure since mac OS X.
There are new symbols all over macOS Big Sur in toolbars, sidebars, and controls to make it simple where to click and what happens when you click. Apps that share common tasks, such as viewing the inbox in Mail or Calendar, now share the same symbol for consistency.
At the top of the display, the menu bar is now translucent to blend better with the desktop, plus it can be hidden when not in use, much like the dock. Pull-down menus are easier to read with more spacing between lines.
Apple has improved Maps for Mac, bringing several features that were previously limited to iOS, as well as adding the same new capabilities brought to iOS 14.
Routes with cycling directions can be planned on Mac and sent to iOS, with the directions taking into account elevation, busy roads, stairs, and more, plus there are options for planning routes that incorporate electric vehicle charging stations.
Messages is now a Mac Catalyst app, bringing it more in line with the Messages app on iOS devices with many of the same capabilities, including some of the new features introduced in iOS 14.
Up to nine of your most important conversations can be pinned to the top of the Messages app, with pinned conversations depicted as circular icons at the top of the app. Typing indicators let you know when someone's typing, and new messages and Tapbacks animate right above the pin.
Safari has a new start page that can be customized with a wallpaper, and there are options to add Favorites, Frequently Visited Sites, Siri Suggestions, Reading List, iCloud Tabs, and the new Privacy Report feature.
On the start page, Privacy Report gives a rundown on how many trackers have been blocked from profiling you, and if you click on the shield icon next to the URL bar, you can see trackers on a site by site basis.
Safari tabs have been redesigned and more tabs are visible at once, plus there's a new hover option that lets you hover over a tab to see a page preview. Tabs also have page icons so you can see what's what at a glance.
Safari has a built-in web translator that translates seven languages with just a click, so you can read an entire webpage in another language without having to have an extension installed.
Built-in translation works for English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Russian, and Brazilian Portuguese.
For passwords saved in iCloud Keychain, Safari now monitors to make sure they haven't been compromised in any known data breaches. If a password is leaked, Safari sends an alert so you can change it.
YouTube in 4K
macOS Catalina supports 4K HDR YouTube videos in Safari for the first time, allowing higher quality videos to be watched at full resolution rather than being limited to 1080p.
Be sure to check if your current Mac supports the new system update before you jump in. Here is the official list of supported devices from Apple.
- MacBook 2015 and later
- MacBook Air 2013 and later
- MacBook Pro Late 2013 and later
- Mac Mini 2014 and later
- iMac 2014 and later
- iMac Pro 2017 and later
- Mac Pro 2013 and later
|Memory||4 GB of RAM|
|Processor||Intel Core M Processor 1.1GHz|
|Storage||15-20GB storage space|
Upgrade to Big Sur
- Sign up (or sign in) to the Apple Beta Software Program here using your Apple ID:
Apple Beta Software Program.
You will be directed to the official page of Guide for Public Betas.
- Scroll down to Get Started and click on Enroll your Mac.
Simply follow the official page guide below to download public beta software on your Mac.
- Back up your Mac with Time Machine, which is Mac’s built-in backup utility.
- Now that you are ready with plenty of free disk space and files backed up, go to the Enroll your Mac section and click on Download macOS Developer Beta Utility.
This will prompt the download of the file macOSPublicBetaAccessUtility.dmg.
- Run the dmg file to enrol your Mac to the public Beta program. Once you have completed enrolment, you will be prompted to download the macOS public beta from Software Update in System Preferences. Click Download to get Big Sur Beta.
- The macOS Big Sur installer will launch and guide you to install and set up the new system.
- You will receive a notification from the Software Update if a new public beta is available. Now take your time to explore the new Big Sur system!
If for some reason, you are not enjoying the experience with Big Sur, you can still downgrade to your previous OS version (Catalina or Mojave), depending on your Time Machine backup. You will need to erase your current drive first, and the rest of the process is the same as doing a disk recovery.
Erase your Drive
- Plug your Mac into power as this may take a while.
- Restart your Mac and hold the Command and R on your keyboard until the Utilities menu appears.
- Choose Disk Utility.
- Click Continue, then click Startup Disk (often shown as ‘Macintosh HD’).
- Click Erase.
- Choose GUID Partition Map and confirm.
- MacOS Mojave and Catalina uses APFS, so you won’t need to mess with the Mac OS Extended system that you may have used in previous versions of macOS. It takes a few minutes to erase the drive.
- Wait for this process to finish even if it seems like it is stuck or frozen. Once completed, you can start installing macOS Catalina.
Restore your Backup
Now you can restore your Mac to the previous condition using Time Machine backup.
- Restart your Mac and hold the Command and R on your keyboard until the Utilities menu again.
- Select Restore From Time Machine Backup.
- Click Continue, then choose the backup you want to restore from.
- Click Continue after you choose the latest backup and wait for the restore to complete.
- The restoring process will take some time to finish, make sure you check on your Mac every 30 to 60 minutes.
- Your Mac should return to the state with your previous operating system and data once restoration is completed.