As a Mac user, you likely prefer the platform due to some of its unique advantages over PCs. After all, you can enjoy how easy it is to use, how secure it is, and how you can have your phone, computer, tablet, and other devices as part of one ecosystem.
The release of macOS 11 Big Sur this fall will bring plenty of exciting features that make your Mac even more of a joy to use. Not only do these include major design changes, but you’ll see more of a blending of handy iOS functions with the upgrade.
Take a look at these eight exciting Big Sur features you’ll experience on your Mac.
Convenient Control Center
If you have an iPhone or iPad, you’re probably familiar with the Control Center where you can swipe down from the screen and access plenty of settings easily. Big Sur brings this handy feature right to your desktop or laptop.
You’ll get to enable or disable Bluetooth, AirDrop, and Wi-Fi with a single click. You also get easy access to audio, display, and AirPlay settings. The operating system will let you further customize the Control Center to add controls for things like your battery or music playback too.
To take advantage of this awesome feature, you’ll want to learn now how to upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur.
Enhanced Messages App
Through macOS Catalina, Messages could do basic functions like handle audio and text messages, send emojis, and search messages. However, you couldn’t use cool screen effects or create Memoji like on your phone.
The updated Messages app for Big Sur will finally give you these features and more. You’ll find options to send animated GIFs and Memoji sticks as well as better manage group chats and search messages.
Improved Maps App
Whether you travel or just like to sightsee from home, the Maps app on your iOS or macOS device can help with exploration and directions. However, the desktop version of the app has had just basic functionalities for getting directions and viewing maps.
With macOS 11 Big Sur, you’ll get to use Maps to see what certain attractions look like indoors, see 360-degree views of places, and even view tourist guides. The app will also allow you to see the weather for a location and find places to charge an electrical vehicle.
Better Browsing With Safari
Since you probably spend a lot of time browsing the web, you want the best performance and privacy while doing so. Safari has offered both these in the past, but the upcoming macOS update has plenty of tweaks and new features to improve the web browsing experience.
For example, you’ll find that pages load faster and even offer quick translation options. Managing many tabs will become easier, and you’ll get to see a preview of each page right in the tab with a simple hover.
Plus, you get more bonuses like wallpaper capabilities, privacy reports, and extension customization.
More Media Editing Tools
Whether you’re a professional photographer or just take photos for fun, Mac’s Photo app has offered some basic editing tools that may still make it necessary to head to alternatives like Photoshop. However, Big Sur brings some enhancements that will allow you to do much more work in the native app.
Along with tools to manually adjust images for brightness, contrast, and other settings, the new Photos app will use machine learning to perform automatic retouches that make your photos look great. And if you edit videos on your Mac, you’ll find delight in knowing that Big Sur lets you finally edit videos directly in the Photos app for the first time.
New Design Similar to iOS
While iOS and macOS remain separate operating systems, you’ll find that Big Sur introduces a design that reminds you more of your phone and tablet.
For example, windows will have more rounded corners and transparent bars at the top. Even the macOS app icons look more like their iOS counterpart with a square design with rounded corners.
You’ll notice a lot of other UI changes such as larger image previews, enhanced search functions in Finder, and tabbed navigation in the Preferences pane.
Improved Notification Center
Keeping track of all your events, reminders, and app notifications can seem overwhelming, but the macOS Notification Center has made it easy to see those all in one place. Big Sur goes further to add better organization and interactivity to this crucial macOS feature.
Rather than having to go through notifications one by one, you’ll have them grouped so you can see notices from individual sources at once. Notifications will allow you to do more than read an alert or notice as Big Sur adds interactivity to see more details, respond to messages, and see a list of actions.
You’ll also see your favorite widgets in the Notification Center and have the option to add third-party ones as needed. Customization is also possible.
iOS App Compatibility
How would you like the option to use your favorite mobile apps on your Macbook Pro or iMac? While you can’t do this on current Macs, Big Sur will allow you to do so if you buy one of the future Macs using Apple Silicon processors.
Not only does this mean you benefit from more tools on your computer, but you won’t even have to pay again to install the iOS app. So, look ahead to this exciting macOS update and future computer releases!
Get Ready to Install Big Sur
If you want to take advantage of these awesome Big Sur features, you can get started preparing your Mac so that you can install the update as soon as it’s available.
First, check with Apple to make sure your Mac can run the OS since older Macs before 2013 don’t have official support. You’ll also want to make sure individual programs you use will work with Big Sur. You should then do a backup of important data, make sure you have enough hard drive space, and visit Apple’s website to learn more about the update.
Be sure to check our other tech posts to learn more tips for your devices.