Big Sur is the 17th update on macOS and a major update at that. You can expect a lot of improved features and a better experience overall that will boost the computer’s performance and offer better protection from cybersecurity threats.
A lot of existing apps have undergone a major overhaul, and the design has improved as well. We will get into the user experience at the end but let’s dive into some updates you might find interesting first.
1. Updated Safari
Safari has had a transformation with this update. A lot of the features that other browsers like Chrome and Firefox have are finally available on Safari.
So if you can’t update to big sur, troubleshoot the issue because you do not want to miss out on any of these features.
- Make the start page your own – You can make the start page look like anything you want, just like other browsers. Add a background image, sections and rearrange it how you like.
- Enjoy the improved speed – Safari is the best browser for Mac when it comes to speed, but now it is even faster.
- Better utilization of power – Safari isn’t a power-hungry browser, but with Big Sur, it’s gotten better.
- New tab design – For people that like to have several open tabs at once, this is an interesting feature. You can see more tabs on Safari, allowing you to move quickly between them.
- Preview a website – You can also get a glimpse of the website by holding the cursor over a tab.
- Easier to find extensions – You can also find good extensions that have been vetted by Apple on the new Safari.
Other updates include improvements to the privacy report and password monitoring.
2. Improved Messages
The Messages app has also gotten a few new features making it easier to have better conversations.
- ‘Pin’ messages – You can pin messages so that you have easy access to them. You can do this for multiple conversations, so you don’t have to choose between two conversations.
- Search for content – You can find old messages quickly with the improved search option. It also helps you find URLs and pictures you might have shared.
- Share your details – You can choose to share your image and name when someone starts a conversation, and this feature isn’t limited to the people in your contact list.
Better group conversations – Like WhatsApp, you can now mention someone in a group conversation by tagging them. You can also mute notifications unless someone tags you. Again similar to other messaging platforms, you can reply to specific messages making it easier to have a conversation.
3. New Maps
Apple Maps have been behind Google Maps and Waze, but with the new updates to Maps, it looks like it’s finally catching up and has unique features not available on other apps.
- Brand-created Guides – You can quickly discover all things good around you with Guides. These guides have been created by brands and get updated regularly.
- DIY Guides – If you are someone that enjoys going out a lot and knows the best-kept secrets of your city, you can also put together your own Guides.
- 3D experiences – You can also experience cities in 3D. This is limited to a few cities at the moment, but it is an upgrade over Google Earth.
- Better bike rides – With ‘cycling routes’, you can plan your bike ride to avoid busy roads and paths with obstacles.
- Better road trips for EV – If you drive an electric vehicle (EV), you will like this feature. You can create a route with all the charging stations laid out.
- Maps for malls and airports – Google Maps has this feature already, and now you can use it on Apple Maps as well. It allows you to navigate easily in shopping malls and airports.
- ‘License plate restrictions’ – This is a pretty unique feature on Maps. If you are driving through areas where a city or a state might limit access at certain times, you can enter your license plate number to make sure you have access. You might end up using it mainly in cities in China.
Overall experience on Big Sur
As mentioned earlier, the new experience on Big Sur has been centered around the user, and here are some of the key features to look out for –
- An all-new menu bar – The new menu bar allows you to have a better viewing experience since it stays out of the way until you need it. It also takes the image you have on your desktop into account and shows words in a darker or lighter color.
- A better Dock – Dock has gotten the same treatment as the menu bar. It is more translucent, so you can see the desktop image.
- App icons are recognizable – Some app icons have been designed to stand out so that you can easily distinguish between them while maintaining the brand style guide.
There you have it. That’s what you can expect from Big Sur, among several other minor improvements.