The most exciting announcements to come out of Apple’s WWDC Developers Conference are usually for those owning an iPhone or iPad. However, despite Apple revealing some nice iOS and iPadOS upgrades some of the biggest news from this year’s main keynote was all about the Mac.
Apple unveiled its latest macOS operating system which gets a new name, more features and refreshed look.
macOS Big Sur – named after the famous area in California – will be available later this year and it certainly looks like a blockbuster update for anyone owning a MacBook or iMac PC.
So, if you’re excited about this release, here’s five of the biggest ways it will transform your Mac.
NEW MENUS AND NOTIFICATIONS
Apple is changing the way users interact with settings and widgets on the Mac and they will soon look far more similar to the iPhone and iPad. The new customisable menu bar features an updated Control Center, which will deliver quick access to controls from the desktop. This change will allow users to switch on features such as Do Not Disturb and adjust screen brightness much more easily.
There’s also an updated Notification Center which includes more interactive notifications and redesigned widgets so you can see your latest incoming messages, upcoming calendar events, and recent stock and weather information all at once. You’ll even be able to reply to an email, listen to the latest podcast, and even expand a calendar invite to see where the event falls in your day, all right from the notification.
Safari remains a popular way of accessing the web for Mac fans but it’s about to get a whole lot better. In fact, Apple is boasting that this is the biggest update to Safari since its original launch in 2003. With macOS Big Sur installed, Safari users will get a number of updates including entirely redesigned Tabs which are aimed at making navigating around the web faster and more powerful by showing more tabs onscreen. There’s even the option to see a quick preview of a page by simply hovering over the tab.
The new Safari also brings new features for greater personalisation. This means users will be able to easily customise the start page with a background image and sections like their Reading List and iCloud Tabs.
If you happen to click on a site based in a foreign country, Safari can now detect and translate entire webpages from seven languages with just a click.
There’s also improved support for extensions which will be welcomed change.
One final thing that will go down well is Apple is confident that its new Safari will be faster with frequently visited sites loading an average of 50 percent faster than Chrome.
MESSAGES GETS WAY MORE FUN
iPhone users can send a huge array of fun Messages from their phones including stickers, Memojis and screen effects. Now, after years of waiting, these bonus features are coming to the Mac.
In macOS Big Sur, users can add effects for a bit personality to their messages with balloons, confetti, and more all included. There’s also the ability to create and customise Memojis which can then be sent as stickers. And with a new photo picker and #images, it’s easy to quickly share images, GIFs, and videos.
The Mac is also getting access to a new update which makes it easier to interact with group messages. New group messaging features streamline interactions with family, friends, and colleagues. Inline replies enable users to respond directly to a message, and now they can direct a message to an individual in a group conversation by simply typing their name.
PLAN YOUR ROUTE WITH MAPS
Completely redesigned for macOS Big Sur, Maps brings new features for exploring the world.
Discover places to visit and things to do with Guides from trusted resources, or create custom guides of favourite restaurants, parks, and vacation spots that can be shared with friends and family. Get a 360-degree view of a destination with Look Around, and browse detailed indoor maps of major airports and shopping centres.
A WHOLE NEW LOOK
macOS Big Sur delivers a spacious new design that makes navigation easier, while putting more controls at users’ fingertips.
Everything from the curvature of window corners to the palette of colours and materials has been refined, and new features provide even more information and power.
Icons in the Dock have been thoughtfully designed to be more consistent with icons across the Apple ecosystem while retaining their Mac personality. Buttons and controls appear when needed, and recede when they’re not. The entire experience feels more focused, fresh, and familiar, reducing visual complexity and bringing users’ content front and centre.