Apple launches macOS Big Sur: interface redesign, new control and notification centre, safari and message improvements, and more



Apple just released macOS Big Sur version 11.0.1 for all users. This update comes loaded with new features, from the almost complete redesign of the interface, including icons, control centre, notification centre, etc., to improvements in Safari or the new Messages app, which is put on par with your iOS sister's thanks to the Catalyst project.

Launch of macOS Big Sur, one novelty after another

After being presented in the last WWDC20 and after a long beta testing period than usual, we can all enjoy the new desktop operating system of the Apple brand. The news is many and very interesting, so let's give them a complete review.

Redesign of the interface

Apple has completely redesigned the user interface on macOS Big Sur. The menu bar is now translucent, for example, letting us see the wallpaper and adapts the colour of its contents to the colour of the background that we have set. The new dock design stays elevated from the bottom of the screen and is more transparent, making it less of the desktop's protagonist.

In addition to the new, cleaner and more spacious window design with rounded corners, Apple has introduced the full sidebars, which make it easier to find what we're looking for and give us more room for the main window activity. Big Sur has also completely redesigned the icons of all apps, as well as the sounds that accompany alerts, notifications, screenshots, etc.

Also:

  • Menus have increased their space between lines for easy reading.
  • Redesigned dialogue boxes, with no frames or borders.
  • New symbols on toolbars and controls.


Control Center

Apple has completely redesigned the user interface on macOS Big Sur. The menu bar is now translucent, for example, letting us see the wallpaper and adapts the colour of its contents to the colour of the background that we have set. The new dock design stays elevated from the bottom of the screen and is more transparent, making it less of the desktop's protagonist.

Notification Center

Apple has redesigned the Notification Center and joined it to the system widgets. Notifications appear first, at the top, if any, followed by our widgets, giving us all the information we need. Notifications are interactive, to be able to perform actions from themselves, and are also grouped by thread or by apps, such as on our iPhone or iPad.

Following the aesthetics of iOS and iPadOS 14 widgets Apple has redesigned macOSwidgets. We can add calendar, stock exchange, time, reminders, notes and podcast widgets, as well as third parties through the App Store. We can customize your size and choose the information displayed.

Safari

Changes in Safari start in the visual part. A new customizable homepage where we can view our favourites, reading list, iCloud tabs and even the privacy report. Website icons are automatically displayed on tabs and we can hover over any tab to see a preview of it.

At the Safari performance level, it is now 50% faster than Chrome when loading the most visited sites and achieves this by being much more efficient than other browsers. On a portable Mac, we can watch videos for three more hours and browse one more hour than if we're using Chrome or Firefox.



Along with the translation of any website into English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Russian or Portuguese with a single click, Safari extensions arrive from the App Store. A new section in the store allows us to access extensions to give even more features to Safari. We can also decide which websites the extensions access and for how long.

Finally, Apple has added a privacy report with which we can see how Safari's smart anti-ballast system works. We can check how many crawlers a certain website has and view statistics for the last 30 days.

Also:

  • WebExtensions API support for developers to bring extensions from other browsers.
  • Import passwords and settings from Chrome.
  • Safari controls whether our saved passwords have been filtered and alerts us to it.


Messages

The Messages app gets on par with the iOS or iPadOS version thanks to the Catalyst project. This gets all the news we saw coming to the iPad app with iPadOS 14 like conversations set at the top, sharing name or photo, search improvements, group chat photos. Functions for groups such as mentions are also added.

The list of novelties continues with the effects of messages, with which we can send messages using balloons or laser beams, for example, the #imágenes function with which to find GIFs, the Memoji editor, with which we can use the Stickers, and the new photo selector.



Maps

Another application that receives the news that we already know about the version of iOS or iPadOS 14. The guides with which to know restaurants, shops and attractions around the world are added. We can create our own guides and then share them.

Stunning on a 27-inch screen, the Panoramic View reaches your Mac, as well as cycling routes and electric vehicle routes. You can also check interior maps, such as shopping malls or airports, check your arrival time in real-time, and check traffic-restricting areas.

And much more

The list of novelties is huge, but let's review some of the most important ones. In the field of privacy, the App Store now informs us of how apps use our personal information. Software updates will now be much faster as they will be prepared while we continue to use our Mac and it will only restart for the part of the process that requires it.

Besides:

  • Automatic airport switching will now work on your Mac.
  • Recommendations, achievements, "Keep Playing" and other Apple Arcade news is coming.
  • Optimized charging takes care to extend the life of our battery as much as possible.
  • Possibility to share subscriptions of third-party apps.
  • Improvements in the Home app.
  • Music redesign with the Listen & Search section improved.
  • New features in Notes, such as quick styles or search improvements.
  • More complete video and photo editing in the Enhanced Retouch photos app and footers to give context to the content.
  • New Listen section in the Podcasts app with recommendations and favourites.
  • Shared lists in Reminders, with task assignment, smart suggestions for dates and locations, suggestions from Mail.

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