macOS Big Sur: Next version of macOS will be available on Thursday, November 12

The newest version of the Mac operating system, macOS Big Sur, is coming soon. Really soon. Big Sur is version 11, and it replaces macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Big Sur is a major upgrade with several features that users can take advantage of. In this article, we cover the major new features, as well as answer frequently asked questions. We’ll update this article as new information becomes available.

The latest: macOS Big Sur available on Nov. 12

Apple announced at its “One more thing” event that Big Sur will be available on November 12. You can download it through the App Store. You can also install it through the Software Update system preference.

If you are a developer, you can actually get the 11.0.1 beta. Developers can get the update through the Apple Developer Center in the Downloads section. You must have a profile installed before you can install the developer beta.

What Macs are compatible with macOS Big Sur?

  • 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

What are the new features?

Refined user interface

The user interface inconsistencies between Apple’s mobile and desktop operating systems are notable, and compared to iOS, macOS looks a little dated. With Big Sur, Apple finally addresses the macOS UI, implementing the first major changes since the release of Mac OS X.

“Depth, shading, and translucency are used to create hierarchy,” said Alan Dye, VP Human Interface, during the WWDC20 keynote. “These new materials are rich, and they’re vibrant.”

mac os big sur widgets Apple

The UI in macOS Big Sur features reworked icons, menus, Notification Center, and Widgets.

Apple has changed the icons of the built-in apps so they more closely resemble iOS icons, yet still maintain their “Mac personality,” as Apple puts it. The Dock, which prominently displays app icons, appears to float on the screen. Toolbars and Sidebars in apps look cleaner, and buttons disappear when they aren’t in use.

macos big sur menus menubar item Apple

Menus in macOS Big Sur are translucent, and menu bar items display more functionality.

Apple also updated the menu bar so that it is even more useful. It is now translucent, and menus have a cleaner look and more space. Apple has also added Control Center to the menu bar, which works like the Control Center in iOS. It gives you access to many system controls, such as network connectivity, display brightness, sound volume, and music controls. And, like in iOS, you can customize it with the controls you want. If there’s a Control Center control you want to make a permanent part of your menu bar, you can drag it out of the Control Center and on to the menu bar.