If you use an iMac or MacBook, then you’ve probably already heard of MacOS Big Sur, which is the newest MacOS version. While Apple provides regular OS updates, this version is the biggest overhaul yet, shifting MacOS out of version ten after almost two decades and offering a sleeker and more modern experience. A brand-new visual design, new and improved on-screen control, improved internet browsing and many more features are now on offer with MacOS Big Sur. Here are some of the best features offered by this new version if you’re considering updating your Mac.
Easier On-Screen Controls
The new Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro might not be without its criticisms, but one thing that most users can agree that it does well is provide quick access to controls. For example, if you are playing a video or music and want to adjust the volume, all you need to do is use the simple slider that’s right at your fingertips. Apple has taken this new, easy-access to controls way of doing things and incorporated it into almost every aspect of the new Big Sur MacOS. Even if you do not have a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, all on-screen controls, from the display brightness to the system volume, use a similar horizontal slider, which brings the Mac more in line with other Apple devices like the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.
You can easily access key controls with a simple click in the upper right-hand corner of your desktop screen and drag the settings out of the Control Center and onto your menu bar so that you’re able to adjust your Mac even more quickly and easily in the future. The ease-of-use way of thinking is now also applied to the Notification Center, which has been notoriously disorganized in the past. Now, you can easily group notifications together, making it easier than ever to find the ones that you need.
New Visual Design
Although MacOS has always boasted a sleek and well-designed look and feel, Big Sur goes even more modern with a complete visual overhaul that puts it in line with the latest OS of the iPhone and iPad. Apple says that this is the biggest visual update that MacOS has had in years and it has touched almost every visual element of the operating system in a range of different ways. You’ll notice differences to the windows, toolbars, and icons which have been tweaked to provide a sleeker and more modern feel while keeping them in line with the classic MacOS design that we all know and love.
The curvier dock that resembles the iPad is one of the main visual updates that users will notice, while the OS design also supports a shifting gradient feature that blends in with your wallpaper and offers a more seamless design. And, it’s not all about aesthetics – many features have also been reworked and redesigned with user-friendliness in mind, with apps now offering condensed toolbars for more efficient organization. Popular apps like Finder and Mail are now easier to use and navigate with new sidebars that make finding what you need easier.
Back Up Your iPhone
If you have an iPhone, backing it up to your Mac has become easier with Big Sur. This feature has been available since MacOS 10.15 Catalina, and is here to stay. Although the option is more hidden than many of us would like it to be, it’s definitely there and easier to do than you might think. It no longer requires you to use iTunes and plug your phone into your MacBook or Mac to back it up. While you will still need to plug your iPhone into your Mac to back it up, it’s just as simple as that since your phone will appear in Finder, where you can access a simple button to back up the data to the Mac. Visit Setapp for a step-by-step guide on how to backup iPhone on Mac Big Sur. Backing up your iPhone is also easier than ever when you use iCloud, which you can get more information on setting up and using on Setapp.
Upgraded Messages App
The Messages app for MacOS has been falling behind iOS for quite a while, but the good news for those who use Messages on Mac is that Big Sur addresses some of the main issues and has provided a range of solutions that we’ve definitely all been waiting for for a while now. New message conversations are located at the top of the window just like you would see them on iOS devices, and there are fun features that you might already be familiar with on your iPhone like share stickers and Memoji available with this new MacOS version. You can also find a range of new updates such as an enhanced search bar for messages and a redesigned menu for photo selection.
Apple’s web browser Safari plays a huge role for many Mac users, and you will be glad to hear that Big Sur MacOS has updated Safari in some major ways. Some of the key features to know about include better extensions, improved privacy controls, faster page loading speeds and much more. You can now use the privacy report in Safari to find out exactly how a website might be using your data, allowing you to access information such as how many trackers have been blocked on a particular website. You can now visit the Mac App Store to find a new range of Safari Extensions, where you can not only easily download the ones that you like, but also choose what data you want the extension to access and how long you want to use it for.
Apple’s MacOS updates are always designed to improve on the last one, but Big Sur has perhaps had the biggest overhaul so far. Along with a sleeker and more modern visual design that mirrors what you’re used to on iPhone and other Apple devices, you will enjoy enhanced navigation, better control, enhanced battery life, and more.