New 27" iMac!

A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac.

The 2020 27-inch ‌iMac‌ was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and studio-quality microphones.

MacRumors forum user TwoH summarizes the changes:

- Camera is attached to the LCD, so have to take extra care to remove a third cable when opening up the ‌iMac‌.
- Lack of mechanical HDD (and SATA connectors on logicboard) - but this was obvious.
- Extra microphone(s) stuck to the case, notably an extra cable made connecting into tje logicboard close to the backlight. Other connects around the same position as the 2017/19 models.
- Solder joints for the 4 & 8TB model iMacs.


The biggest change inside the 2020 27-inch ‌iMac‌ is the lack of mechanical hard drive, as all models now come with SSDs by default. OWC notes that the disassembly now seems faster for this reason. There are no longer any SATA connectors in the machine and a small SSD is soldered directly to the motherboard. Instead, there are new solder joints for an expansion board to hold additional SSDs in the 4TB and 8TB configurations. In the 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations, the expansion board is not present.

The lack of mechanical hard drive has left a large amount of unused free space within the machine. It is of note that Apple did not choose to implement the additional cooling present in iMac Pro in this space, likely due to cost.

Another internal change is the additional microphone adhered to the bottom of the case, with the other microphone in the same position as previous years. The new 1080p webcam is attached to the LCD, so particular care has to be taken to remove a third cable when opening the machine.


OWC did point out solder joints and mount that may be where the 4TB and 8TB models have flash storage expansion board.

Beyond these minor changes, the internals are much the same as previous models, with the same power supply, cooling, socketed CPU, and headphone jack. Although the speakers are purportedly upgraded, they do not appear to be any visually different within the machine.

Due to the 2020 ‌iMac‌ sharing almost all of its internal components with previous models, it will likely be no more expensive or difficult to repair than previous models. Similarly, most parts from previous years should be compatible with this new model.

The only part of the 2020 ‌iMac‌ that is still readily upgradeable is the RAM, which is accessible via a small door on the back of the device.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Caution)

Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada.

Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, arguing that its attributes are too similar to its own logo.

The company said via a post on Instagram that Apple "has decided to oppose and go after our small business' trademark saying our pear logo is too close to their apple logo and supposedly hurts their brand". The post goes on to describe the action as "a big blow to us at Prepear," and sets out the intention to retain the original logo and "send a message to big tech companies that bullying small businesses has consequences."

The company has launched a Change.org petition in an attempt to persuade Apple to "drop its opposition of the Prepear Logo, and help stop big tech companies from abusing their position of power by going after small businesses like ours who are already struggling due to the affects of Covid-19."

Prepear says that it is a "very small business" with only five team members, and explains that legal costs from the despite have already cost thousands of dollars and the layoff of a team member.

"Apple has opposed the trademark application for our small business, Prepear, demanding that we change our obviously pear shaped logo, used to represent our brand in the recipe management and meal planning business... Most small businesses cannot afford the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost to fight Apple," the petition claims. "It is a very terrifying experience to be legally attacked by one of the largest companies in the world, even when we have clearly done nothing wrong, and we understand why most companies just give in and change their logos."

The petition has currently reached almost 9,000 signatures, and the founders hope it will reach 10,000.

Prepear says that Apple "has opposed dozens of other trademark applications filed by small businesses with fruit related logos," even in cases where the logo or industry is dissimilar to Apple's. Logos have been the source of legal action by Apple in the past, such as the case against a Norwegian political party and a German cycling path.

Update: Image from the trademark opposition paperwork filed by Apple:

This week saw some big developments on both the hardware and software fronts, led by a significant update to the 27-inch iMac (but no redesign yet, unfortunately) and the launch of public beta testing for macOS Big Sur.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Other significant news this week included controversy over Apple's decision not to allow Microsoft's xCloud streaming game service on iOS, another beta of iOS 14, and Phil Schiller stepping down as Apple's marketing chief as he begins to transition out his responsibilities there.

Check out our video above and read on below for more on these stories and more from the past week!

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Apple this week announced a significant update for the 27-inch iMac, bringing updated Intel processors and AMD graphics, up to 128 GB of RAM, a better 1080p FaceTime camera, improved speakers and mics, a True Tone display, Apple's T2 chip, and a new $500 nano-texture matte display option. The update did not, however, include a much-anticipated redesign.


Initial media reviews indicate some impressive upgrades, particularly with the improved webcam, speakers, and mics in this time of working from home, while benchmarks show some nice improvements over the previous generation.

The 21.5-inch iMac saw only a minor change, with a 256 GB SSD becoming the default storage option in place of the previous 1 TB traditional hard drive. The smaller iMac is otherwise unchanged. The iMac Pro also saw a small bump with the base processor now being a 10-core Xeon W chip that was previously an $800 upgrade.

Apple Seeds First Public Beta of macOS Big Sur to Public Beta Testers

After initially announcing at WWDC that a public beta of macOS 11 Big Sur would be available in July, Apple this week released the first public beta a few days into August, opening it up to wider testing ahead of an official release in the fall.


If you're interested in testing out macOS Big Sur, see our how-to for a walkthrough on the installation process, but be aware that Apple recommends users install it on a backup machine as there are still bugs and incompatible apps that could cause issues and nobody wants to deal with that on their main machines.

Microsoft's xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Not Coming to iOS Due to Apple's Restrictions

Microsoft's "Project xCloud" streaming game service that pairs with its Xbox Game Pass won't be available on iPhone and iPad when it launches this September, and Apple's App Store restrictions are to blame.


Xbox Game Pass and its accompanying xCloud streaming feature offer access to hundreds of games that can be streamed to mobile devices, and Apple says that because it can't review each game available through Game Pass, it can't be allowed on the ‌App Store‌.

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Apple this week released new developer and public beta versions of iOS 14, and the company continues to make tweaks as we head toward a public release in the next couple of months. We summed up a bunch of changes in the latest betas, including a new Apple TV widget, support for Exposure Notification apps, and more.


In other iOS 14 news, we took a look at the enhancements coming to Safari including the new webpage translation feature, and a few early third-party widgets.

Phil Schiller Moving on to Become 'Apple Fellow,' Greg Joswiak Taking Over as Marketing SVP

Apple's longtime marketing chief Phil Schiller is looking to slow down a bit as he turns 60, with the company this week announcing that he will be stepping down as senior vice president of marketing and becoming an Apple Fellow.

Phil Schiller
Greg Joswiak will be taking on Schiller's role atop the marketing division, although Schiller will remain onboard to oversee the App Store and Apple events such as WWDC.

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Samsung this week held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, as well as a new Galaxy Z Fold2 5G that improves significantly on Samsung's previous folding phone efforts.


New Galaxy Buds Live earbuds, a Galaxy Tab S7, and a Galaxy Watch 3 round out the new products as a full suite of competitors to Apple's major mobile products.

MacRumors Newsletter

Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.

So if you want to have top stories like the above recap delivered to your email inbox each week, subscribe to our newsletter!

Apple introduces improvements for almost all of the built-in apps with each new iteration of iOS, and iOS 14 is no exception. For Safari, Apple has added some useful new features like built-in translation and a Privacy Report that provides a rundown on all of the trackers that Safari is blocking.


This guide includes all of the new features and tweaks you'll find in Safari 14 for iPhone and iPad.

Speed and Performance Improvements

According to Apple, Safari in ‌iOS 14‌ features a "blazing-fast JavaScript engine" that makes Safari up to 2x faster than Chrome on Android.

Built-In Translation

Safari in ‌iOS 14‌ has a built-in translation option that can be used to translate websites to English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Russian, or Brazilian Portuguese, which goes along with the new Translate app that Apple added in the update.


Translating a webpage is as simple as visiting a webpage in a supported language and then tapping on the "aA" icon in the menu bar to bring up the translate option. Tap translate and the webpage will be automatically translated into the language that your phone is set to.

Additional languages to translate to can be added in the Settings app of the ‌iPhone‌, as outlined in the how to below.

Password Monitoring and Compromised Password Alerts

Safari in ‌iOS 14‌ is able to monitor saved passwords, watching for passwords that have been involved in a data breach.


To enable this feature, Safari uses cryptographic techniques to regularly check derivations of your passwords against a list of breached passwords in what Apple promises is a secure and private way. If a breach is discovered, Safari will let you know and will provide prompts for upgrading to Sign in with Apple if possible or automatically generating a new secure password.

You can see potential problems under the "Security Recommendations" heading in the Passwords section of the Settings app.

Privacy Report

Safari in ‌iOS 14‌ (and macOS Big Sur) adds a Privacy Report feature that expands on Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention functionality. For the last several years, Apple has been working to prevent cross-site tracking, a feature that websites use to track your internet usage as you browse different sites for ad targeting, analytics, and more.


Intelligent Tracking Prevention is Apple's description for its set of tools that block cross-site trackers in Safari, and in ‌iOS 14‌, Apple lists which sites are using trackers, how many trackers those sites have installed, and the most prevalent trackers you encounter while browsing the web.

Any website that uses ads for monetization or an ad network for that same purpose will have these trackers on it, as will any site that uses analytics services like Google Analytics for collecting data on user behavior for site and content improvements.

Safari on ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ lists the number of trackers on each site that you visit, the number of trackers Safari has prevented, the number of websites you've visited that have trackers, and a list of the most frequently seen trackers such as Google's DoubleClick.net.

You can get to the Privacy Report section in Safari by tapping on the icon that's two As next to each other and choosing the "Privacy Report" option. Note that you must have cross-site tracking prevention enabled for Privacy Report to work, and Privacy Report will prompt you to enable the feature if it's not turned on already.

Picture in Picture

In Safari on ‌iPhone‌, if you're watching a video, you can now tap the Picture in Picture button to watch it in windowed mode, so you can continue browsing another website or doing something else on your ‌iPhone‌ while the video plays. We have more details on Picture in Picture in our Picture in Picture guide.

If you type a URL like MacRumors.com in the pull down search interface on the ‌iPhone‌, you can hit the "Go" button to open the website directly without having to tap a link in the search results.

Simpler ‌Sign in with Apple‌

Apple made new tools for developers to allow them to translate existing web accounts to ‌Sign in with Apple‌, which will hopefully make new options available to ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, and Mac users who want to convert existing logins to ‌Sign in with Apple‌, which is more secure.


Tracking Permission

Apps that want to track you across apps and websites to deliver personalized ads will now need to secure user permission to do so. Allow Tracking or Ask App Not to Track are two settings designed for apps, but the feature goes hand in hand with Privacy Report to keep apps from monitoring your app usage and website browsing habits.


iPadOS 14 - Scribble Support

With an ‌iPad‌ running ‌iPadOS 14‌, you can use the new Scribble feature with Safari to handwrite URLs, Google searches, and more, with the handwritten text then translated to typed text. For more on Scribble, make sure to check out our guide.


Use Another Browser

Not a fan of Safari? In ‌iOS 14‌ you can set a different browser like Google's Chrome as the default browser that will activate when you tap links.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the new Safari features in ‌iOS 14‌, know of a feature we left out, or or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here. If you want to know more about what's coming in ‌iOS 14‌, make sure to check out our iOS 14 roundup.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14
Tag: Safari

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Ocushield to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Blue Light Screen Protector for the Mac or the iPad.


Ocushield makes a range of anti blue light screen protectors for smartphones, tablets, monitors, and Macs, all of which are designed to cut down on exposure to blue light, which can be harmful to eye health and sleep quality.

Most people are familiar with the effects of blue light, which is put off by all of the displays that we spend time looking at every day. According to Ocushield, long exposure to blue light from screens can result in eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, and blurry vision.


Blue light can be even more harmful at night because it tricks your body into thinking it's daytime, preventing the production of melatonin that helps you prepare for bed and fall asleep.

There have been blue light reduction solutions available for years now, and Apple even built a Night Shift feature into all its products. Night Shift turns on at night (or when activated) and gives the screen a warmer tint that's easier on the eyes. Ocushield works in much the same way, but it's subtler and activated all the time. Ocushield says that its product was developed by optometrists and sleep practitioners.


Ocushield's screen protectors are much less orange than solutions like Night Shift or F.lux, which makes them less distracting. The screen protectors block 90 percent of blue light between the 380nm to 420nm spectrum and up to 40 percent of blue light from the 420nm to 500nm spectrum, resulting in less eyestrain during the day and better sleep at night without compromising display quality or adjusting to an orange tint.


Ocushield has blue light screen protectors available for almost all of Apple's iPads, dating back to the original iPad mini and the iPad Air 2, and all of them are priced at $40. There are also screen protector options available for all MacBook Air and MacBook Pro sizes for $55. If you don't have a MacBook or an iPad, Ocushield also has options for multiple monitor sizes and smartphones like the iPhone.

In addition to offering blue light protection, Ocushield's screen protectors are made from strong tempered glass so they also work like a standard screen protector, keeping your display safe from scratches, bumps, and dings. These aren't thin, flimsy plastic screen protectors -- they're sturdy.


Screen protectors are never fun to apply, but in testing, we found the Ocushield simple to put in place with the included applicator, plus it comes with a screen cleaning wipe and dust remover to ease the process. The demo video below shows the quick installation steps:


We have 10 of the Ocushield screen protectors to give away, with winners able to choose a screen protector to fit their Mac or iPad. To enter to win our giveaway, use the Gleam.io widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

Ocushield
The contest will run from today (August 7) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on August 14. The winners will be chosen randomly on August 14 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.

Apple regularly adds new games to its Apple Arcade gaming service, and this week's new title is "Game of Thrones: Tale of Crows," which is described as a real time idle game, where time passes even when you're not playing.


Players take on the role of a member of the Night's Watch, guarding Westeros from the horrors beyond the Wall. Players will send out expeditions beyond the Wall and into the North, and the expeditions will continue while the game is closed.

Notifications will let players know if something happens, and while playing, players will encounter unknown dangers, face enemies, and make allies all while making decisions that will ultimately shape the history of the Night's Watch.

In the shadow of the Wall, your watch begins. Eight thousand years before Jon Snow took the Black, the Night's Watch was formed to secure the Wall and defend the border of Westeros against the perils of the North, and all that lies beyond. Into these untamed wilds, sworn brothers and their allies set out on rangings to face the dangers that would threaten the realm. But the Wall is a blade that cuts both ways.

Guide the decisions of Lord Commanders through the seasons and mount expeditions beyond the Wall. As ravens travel to and from your expeditions in real time, their messages are delivered to you throughout your day. Respond with your command right away, or whenever you see fit.

Long is the history of the Night's Watch, and many are its stories forgotten. It's time the realm remembers them.

There are now more than 120 games available on Apple Arcade, with Apple adding new titles regularly. ‌Apple Arcade‌ is priced at $4.99 per month, and that price point allows the whole family to play games without ads or additional in-app purchases.

If you have an ‌Apple Arcade‌ subscription, Game of Thrones: Tale of Crows can be downloaded and played on the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

Nanoleaf has been making wall-mounted HomeKit-connected lights since 2017 with the launch of the triangle-shaped Light Panels, which were followed by 2018's square-shaped Canvas panels.


Nanoleaf in 2020 is launching its next-generation lighting product, the Nanoleaf Shapes, with the first option being new Hexagon Light Panels. As the name suggests, the Hexagon panels are six-sided panels shaped like a hexagon. The Nanoleaf Shapes line will eventually feature different panel shapes that can be linked with one another, and the Hexagons, priced at $200, are the first in the new line.

Design

As with the Canvas and the Light Panels, the hexagon-shaped light panels are designed to be mounted on the wall and can be positioned in many different shapes to suit different spaces.

Each panel is about 7.75 inches high and nine inches wide, with a surface area that's larger than either the Light Panels or the Canvas. The panels, made from plastic and lit with LEDs at the corners, connect together.


The panels light up in a hexagon shape with rounded edges and there are triangles of dead space at the edge of each panel that house hardware. None of the Nanoleaf panels have had completely uniform lighting (the triangles have brighter edges and the squares have crosses in the middle), and the Hexagons have some minor uneven lighting at the points.

The first set of Hexagons that I received had some light bleed at the corners when pale colors were selected, such as light pink, causing white light to be visible at the edges. The bleed was limited to light colors and colors close to white, and I didn't see it at all with more saturated colors.


Nanoleaf said that this was an engineering problem that was being addressed and sent a second set of panels. I still see the same issue on the second set, but it's not as bad and it's less visible when the panels are mounted up on the wall and further away from view. Again, this minor light leak occurs only when lighter colors are selected and it's not overly noticeable, but it's something to be aware of if you're expecting perfection.


The colors of the Hexagon panels are ultimately more saturated than the Light Panels or the Canvas when you choose darker and more vivid shades. The reds are super red, as are the pinks and purples. Blues, greens, and yellows are also vivid and bright, and on the whole, the colors are truer to life and more visually impactful than with some of the other light panels.

I'm not sure I'd call these true hexagons with the sharp lines I might have expected, but I like the softer lines of the design and up on the wall, they look more hexagon-shaped than I originally thought they would. It's a less harsh and angular look than the Light Panels and the Canvas, and it has a more natural, organic feel that can fit in well with most aesthetics.


Over the years, I've seen criticism about how the Nanoleaf lights look on the wall when not lit, and that's also something to be aware of here. These are plain white plastic Hexagons when not lit, but since these cost relatively little to run and have a long life, you can have them turned on most of the time.


Nanoleaf ships seven Hexagons in each kit, which is down from the nine panels shipped when you purchase a Canvas or Light Panel kit. Overall, though, the Hexagons are so much bigger that even seven tiles seems to be more overall lighting surface. Nanoleaf does sell Hexagon expansion kits in packages of three if you want to expand beyond the initial seven tiles that are available, and each power supply supports up to 21.


Using light panels on the wall is great for decorative ambiance and the Hexagons look great, but wall mounting is also an excellent space saver. The Hexagons are quite bright at full brightness and when set to a white or yellow color can replace a standard lamp.


In areas where space is limited, the Hexagons (and Nanoleaf's other products) can provide a good deal of lighting without the need for a lamp that takes up valuable surface area. I like to use my panels as mood lighting so I almost always operate them at partial brightness (around 15 to 25 percent) because they're just way too bright at max brightness, but it's nice to have the option when I do need more light in my office.


With the Nanoleaf Light Panels and Canvas, Nanoleaf has offered some mounting hardware that allows for an angled design that transitions from wall to ceiling, but I don't believe the same hardware is available for the Hexagons at this time.

Mounting

The Hexagons, like all of Nanoleaf's light panels, are meant to be mounted on the wall using adhesive, and learning from the design of the Canvas and the Light Panels, Nanoleaf has introduced a much better mounting system with the Hexagons.


Each Hexagon has a little mounting plate on the back that attaches to the Hexagon, with the adhesive then applied to the mounting plate. When you need to remove a Hexagon from the wall, you can pull it off of the mounting plate and then you have the room to pull the tab on the adhesive to more easily remove the mounting strip with less wall damage.

The Hexagons also use a single wider adhesive rather than multiple adhesive strips, which is also going to cut down on the potential for damage to the wall.


Prior Nanoleaf products use adhesive strips attached directly to a panel and then stuck on the wall, and it has been notoriously hard to remove the panels that way. Some people used velcro adhesive strips, which this new mounting method is similar to.

It can be a little tricky to get the mounting plate back on the Hexagon because of the way that they attach (a small little snap-on plastic nub), so I wouldn't remove the mounting plates unless necessary, but it's a much improved system. If you need help figuring out a design for your panels, the Nanoleaf app has a Layout Assistant that lets you experiment with different setups, with a built-in augmented reality option.

Linking Hexagons

Along with the new mounting method, the Hexagons also have sturdier hardware to link them together. Previous versions of Nanoleaf products had these thin linking tabs that could break when pulling them off the wall (I've snapped quite a few), but the Hexagons have thicker, shorter tabs that snap in to the linker slot between each tile.


Both the thicker design of the tabs and the snap-in linking method makes them much less likely to break or become damaged when setting up the Hexagons or moving them from one location to another in the future.


Hexagons do not connect to the Nanoleaf Canvas or the triangle-shaped Nanoleaf Light Panels, but they will be compatible with other panels in the "Shapes" line going forward.

Other Hardware

Along with the Hexagon tiles and the tabs that link them together, Nanoleaf includes a power supply that attaches to one of the Hexagons using a linking tab and a controller that can attach to another Hexagon.


The power supply is required to plug in the Hexagon tiles, and because it can plug into any spot, it can be placed in the most convenient area that's closest to where a wall outlet is located.

The controller, which provides physical controls for swapping scenes, turning the Hexagons on and off, adjusting brightness, and activating rhythm mode, also attaches to any hexagon so it can be placed in the most accessible spot. There is a cord that will hang down from the Hexagons wherever you place them, which is something to keep in mind when planning a design.

Setup

Setting up the Hexagons is similar to setting up any other HomeKit product. I opened the Nanoleaf app, scanned the code, and was up and running in a few minutes as the Nanoleaf app was quick to recognize the Hexagons.

The Hexagons do require a 2.4GHz wireless network, which can always be somewhat of a hassle. You need to make sure your phone is connected to the 2.4GHz network before beginning setup or you'll run into errors.

Features

The Nanoleaf Hexagons can be set to one of 16 million colors or multiple colors using the different motion and pattern options available in the app. You can set the Hexagons to a single color or choose a different color for each panel, plus you can choose from various patterns to shift between colors on a rolling basis, which can be fun.


You can create all kinds of color palettes, from relaxing ocean blues and forest greens to bright, vivid rainbow colors, and then select a motion that changes the way the panels shift between colors. Options include burst, fade, highlight, wheel, random, and flow.


Plain patterns listed above are not influenced by sound and will display the motion option indefinitely, but there are Rhythm patterns that cause the colors to shift with music, which is a great option for parties. There are multiple sound-based patterns like fireworks, pulse pop beats, streaking notes, paint splatter, and more.


Like the Canvas, the Hexagons are touch-enabled. You can run a hand over the Hexagons to shift the colors, and Nanoleaf has even designed some games that you can play like Whack A Mole or Memory.


The touch-based games are a fun way to show off the Hexagons to someone who hasn't seen them before because it's neat to be able to play games with your lights, but in practice, I don't think any adult is going to use the touch-based game feature in any regular capacity. It might be fun for kids, but I rarely touch my panels.

More practically, there are touch gestures that are supported, such as a double tap, swipe up, swipe down, swipe left, or swipe right, and these gestures can be used to turn the Hexagons off or on, adjust brightness, or swap between color or rhythm scenes. Touch actions are customizable, as are the panels that support them.

If you plan to use the touch-based features of the Hexagons, you're going to want to place them within arms' reach for easy access.

Nanoleaf App

The Nanoleaf app is the main point of control for the Hexagons, and if you have the Canvas or the Light Panels, all three can be controlled in one interface by swiping between each product. The app can be a bit complicated to use, but it has a lot of controls and features available to create patterns and colors for the Hexagons.


The main view lets you select scenes that you've saved (there are several built-in Nanoleaf options), create a scene, set all the lights to a single color, or create playlists of scenes. There are also controls for adjusting the brightness and toggling the Hexagons on and off.


Scene creation tools for the Hexagons offer a lot of options when it comes to color choices, motion, speed, and interactivity, and it's usually best to start with a color palette picking complementary colors and then choosing a motion to accompany them.


There are several basic motions like Burst (colors radiate out from the center), Face (the Hexagons cycle through palette colors all together), Highlight (focuses on the main color you select but also adds in some other colors), Wheel (a continuous moving gradient), Flow (flows through each color in succession), and Random (displays colors from your palette randomly).

Some motions will look better depending on how your Hexagons are set up, so it takes some experimentation, and there are even setups where you can make some Hexagons a solid color while others display a motion effect.


Nanoleaf also offers several rhythm motions that are activated by sound, and like the standard motion options, there are multiple patterns to choose from, all of which activate based on sound or music playing. The rhythm-based motion options are excellent for parties or just for a bit of ambiance when listening to music.


The Hexagons are touch-enabled as mentioned above, and can be customized with specific gestures that can be adjusted in the Settings app. Gestures for doing things like changing scenes, brightness, and other parameters can be assigned to individual Hexagons.

There are other features that can be enabled in the Settings section of the app, like auto brightness, which auto adjusts the brightness of the Hexagons based on the brightness level in the room. There's also a feature for backing up the saved scenes that you have in the Nanoleaf app so if there's an incident that causes you to need to reset the Hexagons, you can restore them to full functionality within a few minutes.


Along with these features for creating custom scenes for the Hexagons and adjusting the settings, the app has a "Discover" section for finding scenes created both by Nanoleaf and by other people who own Nanoleaf products. These scenes can be downloaded directly into your own saved scenes in the Nanoleaf app, and it's a great way to explore different lighting, rhythm, and motion patterns. You can even upload your own scene creations for other people to download.


The app's "Explore" tab is a useful way to explore different features that the Hexagons and other Nanoleaf products are capable of. It offers a how to section with walkthroughs on using the products along with special features, links to buy additional panels, app recommendations, and more.

‌HomeKit‌ Support

The Nanoleaf Hexagons feature ‌HomeKit‌ support, so you can view them in the Home app. In the Home app, you can turn the Hexagons on or off, adjust the brightness, and set a specific solid color that doesn't have a motion component.

I often use Siri to turn my Hexagons on and off, but the ‌HomeKit‌ integration is more useful when paired with ‌HomeKit‌ scenes and automations because you can activate the Hexagons right alongside other ‌HomeKit‌ products.


Lighting recipes that you save or download in the Nanoleaf app convert into scenes in ‌HomeKit‌, so you can activate your favorites through the Home app or with a ‌Siri‌ command. You can also include the Hexagons in scenes built in the Home app, so, for example, if you create an "Arriving Home" scene, you can set it to adjust the temperature, activate ‌HomeKit‌ lights, and set your favorite scene on the Hexagons.

While you can activate scenes in ‌HomeKit‌ and add them to automations and scenes with other ‌HomeKit‌ products, much of the scene creation and light control needs to be handled in the Nanoleaf app and it's really more convenient to use the Nanoleaf app over the Home app.

Bottom Line

I've been a fan of Nanoleaf's HomeKit-connected wall-mounted lights since the first Light Panels debuted, and I think they're a great ambient lighting addition to any room. I even use them as full standard light replacements in my office when I need more lighting because they're bright enough to work that way.


I've used the triangle-shaped Light Panels and the square-shaped Canvas for years now, and I'm excited to add the Hexagons to the mix. These are some of the brightest, most saturated lights that Nanoleaf has released, and I think most people are going to like the look.

The Hexagons aren't perfect in shape because of the slight rounding to the design and there are some minor issues with light uniformity with some of the specific colors, but up on the wall with scenes running, these problems won't be noticeable enough to be a dealbreaker for most people. That said, these are issues that potential buyers should be aware of before making a purchase.

I like to think of Nanoleaf's products like visual art for the wall rather than lighting, which better justifies the high price point. There's no arguing that this is luxury lighting, but no one does wall-mounted lights like Nanoleaf, which makes the purchase price worth it if this is an aesthetic you're interested in, and the rhythm features are particularly neat for those who like to game or listen to music.

How to Buy

The Nanoleaf Hexagons have sold out at the current time, but those interested in making a purchase can join the waitlist on the Nanoleaf website. The Hexagons are priced at $200 for a seven panel set.

Note: Nanoleaf provided MacRumors with a set of Hexagons for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.

Apple and T-Mobile are to supply students in California with up to one million iPads, according to a press release from the California Department of Education.

Apple and T-Mobile are collaborating to provide iPads with high-speed cellular connectivity to students across California, as planning for distance learning in the next school year takes shape. Apple and T-Mobile will fulfill orders directly from districts, offering significant discounts in addition to standard education volume pricing.

The global health crisis forced an estimated 97 percent of 6.2 million students in California to resume their education with distance learning, but many schools have experienced a shortage of devices to accommodate it. Since April, the State Superintendent, Governor's Office, state lawmakers, and various nonprofits, have been working to remove unjust barriers to education by working directly with internet service providers and tech companies.

"As schools are working around the clock to prepare students and families for virtual learning, I want to commend Apple and T-Mobile for stepping up in a monumental way to support California's neediest students," said State Superintendent Tony Thurmond. "As Californians, we have a shared commitment to ensure every student has access to the basic tools needed to connect to their learning, succeed in today's world, and pursue their dreams. This commitment provides schools across the state a unique chance to put devices in the hands of students now, while potentially making longer-term investments that can help us remove these inequities once and for all."

Apple's Professional Learning team will support teachers with weekly virtual training sessions, offering creative strategies for learning remotely. Apple will also offer one-to-one virtual coaching sessions at no additional cost.

"At Apple, we believe technology has the power to transform the learning experience for students at all levels," said Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of Markets, Apps, and Services. "We are proud the State of California has chosen iPad to facilitate remote learning, and during these challenging times we look forward to working with administrators and school districts across the state to help make learning more accessible for their students."

California has included $5.3 billion in one-time funding in the state budget for schools to support distance learning, which can be used immediately to purchase the required devices. Apple and T-Mobile expect to be able to fulfill school district demand through the end of 2020.

Related Roundup: iPad
Buyer's Guide: iPad (Neutral)

In a tweet, Apple CEO Tim Cook today indicated that Apple will be donating to relief organizations that are helping with immediate needs and long-term support in Beirut, following a deadly explosion in the city earlier this week.

Image Credit: QRCS via Twitter

A reported 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in Lebanon's capital on the evening of August 4, killing hundreds and injuring thousands.

Apple routinely donates to relief organizations following natural disasters and other tragedies.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians.


In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a flash storage expansion board is attached to a connector on the logic board. In the 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations, the expansion board and connector are not present.

Apple adds that the flash storage and logic board are paired together for hardware encryption, so data will be lost if the logic board is replaced. For this reason, it is recommended that customers back up their files on a regular basis.

The new 27-inch iMac features 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more.

Related Roundup: iMac
Buyer's Guide: iMac (Caution)

MacRumors readers have a chance to save on the just-released 27-inch iMac this week at Expercom, thanks to our partnership with the retailer. You can save up to $141 during this event, with prices starting at $1,706.46 for the 256GB iMac and increasing from there.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

To get the deal, browse any of the iMac models listed in this article and add them to your cart. At the checkout screen, enter the coupon code "macrumors" to see the discount prices. The three models in the list below represent Apple's base configurations, but you can also opt for increased memory and bundle in AppleCare+ when selecting an iMac.

UP TO $141 OFF
2020 27-Inch iMac Expercom Sale

Shoppers should note the delayed shipping estimates for these new iMac models. When purchasing this week, you'll see a 10-19 day delivery estimate via ground shipping. This is slower than Apple's offering, which typically offers a delivery date within a week of placing an order.

2020 27-Inch iMac Sale

Keep up with all of this week's best discounts on Apple products and related accessories in our dedicated Apple Deals roundup. We're also starting to track 2020 iMac sales, along with previous generation models, in our dedicated Best iMac Deals guide.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Facebook today joined Microsoft in condemning Apple's App Store policies, after the company was forced to remove the games feature from its Facebook Gaming app, which launches today on iOS.

Facebook Gaming app on Google Play Store

In a statement given to The Verge, Facebook said it has had its Gaming app rejected multiple times by Apple in recent months, but Apple cited its App Store guidelines to justify the rejections, claiming the primary purpose of the Facebook Gaming app is to play games.

Facebook says it shared usage data with Apple from its Android Facebook Gaming app that showed 95 percent of activity involves watching streams, but it was unable to change Apple's stance on the matter.

Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said it chose to go ahead with the launch of its app in the ‌App Store‌, but users faced an "inferior" experience compared to Android users.

"Unfortunately, we had to remove gameplay functionality entirely in order to get Apple’s approval on the standalone Facebook Gaming app — meaning iOS users have an inferior experience to those using Android," said Sandberg. "We're staying focused on building communities for the more than 380 million people who play games on Facebook every month — whether Apple allows it in a standalone app or not."

A Facebook spokesperson added that it even appealed the guideline under the new app review process that Apple announced at WWDC, but it did not receive a response.

Apple has come in for heavy criticism from rivals and the gaming industry to loosen its ‌App Store‌ restrictions. Just yesterday, Microsoft said its "Project xCloud" streaming game service that pairs with its Xbox Game Pass won't be available on iPhone and iPad when it launches this September.

The company complained that it no longer had a path to bring its vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS because Apple "consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content."

President Donald Trump has signed two executive orders that would officially ban any U.S. transactions with the Chinese companies that own TikTok and WeChat, in an escalation of the ongoing technological cold war between the two countries.


The executive orders would prohibit "any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States," with ByteDance and Tencent, beginning in 45 days. TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, said it was "shocked" by the executive order and that it will respond in court, if necessary.

TikTok has come under increasing scrutiny by the U.S. government due to concerns that it can theoretically be compelled by Chinese law to hand over all collected user data. Trump has said that TikTok must sell off its U.S. operations in 45 days and that the deal must include a substantial payment to the U.S. government, otherwise the app would be banned. China has reacted angrily to the threat, and warned that it would refuse to accept the "theft" of TikTok if the deal goes ahead.

Microsoft has publicly confirmed its intention to purchase TikTok in the United States and several other territories, and the company is currently in discussions with ByteDance. A previous report suggesting Apple is interested in buying the app turned out to be inaccurate.


WeChat, owned by Tencent, is heavily relied upon in China as a messaging platform, as an interface for numerous other apps, and to make mobile transactions. Most Western chat apps are banned in China, but WeChat is widely used around the world and has over 1.2 billion monthly active users.

The executive orders could also pose problems for a number of other businesses. Tencent is an investor in several U.S. companies including Tesla, Reddit and Spotify. It also owns a substantial amount of shares in Riot Games and Epic Games, the makers of League of Legends and Fortnite, respectively.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: WeChat, TikTok

Sony's flagship WH-1000MX3 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and this week Sony released its fourth-generation WH-1000XM4 headphones boasting some notable improvements on the previous model.


The XM4s feature the same basic design as the XM3s, but are one gram lighter at 254 grams due to slightly larger ear pads and some subtle tweaks to the hinges to improve comfort and sound isolation.

Feature-wise, the XM4s debut Sony's new DSEE Extreme audio processor, which upscales compressed audio files to hi-res quality using the company's latest Edge AI technology. They also boast a new noise-canceling algorithm that claims to analyze ambient noise in greater detail.

In addition, a new Adaptive Sound Control mode lets users create custom profiles in the companion app that will adjust the noise canceling based on location, and new Precise Voice Pickup Technology promises to pick up the user's voice better through the five built-in microphones when on a call.

A big selling point with the XM4s is their ability to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time, which is a big plus in our book. Previous models don't support dynamic switching between audio sources, and having to manually disconnect them from your ‌iPhone‌ so that you can connect to your Mac and vice versa feels clunky.


The MX4s offer the same battery life as their predecessors: 30 hours with noise canceling switched on, and around 38 hours with NC off. Users can also get five hours' worth of charge after 10 minutes connected to a power outlet.

The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones come in silver and black. Both have a $350/£350 price tag and are available to buy online at Amazon and other electronics retailers.

(Thanks, Steve!)

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: Sony

One of Apple's camera lens suppliers for the upcoming non-Pro iPhone 12 models is having quality issues, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. The issues are, however, unlikely to have an impact on Apple's shipping schedule, presuming that Apple's other main supplier can make up the difference.


Kuo says that Genius Electronic Optical has discovered issues with cracking coatings on the wide-angle camera lens destined for the lower-end 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch ‌iPhone 12‌ models. The problem appeared during high-temperature/high-humidity (HTHH) testing, and will result in delays to Genius's ability to supply components for the upcoming iPhones.

Apple's other supplier for these lenses is Largan, and Kuo says that company is not experiencing any quality issues, indicating that Apple will be able to prioritize supplies from Largan to stick to its launch schedule.

We estimate that the low-end 7P wide-angle lens, CCM, and final assembly mass production of the 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch aluminum frame iPhone will be in mid-to-late August, mid-to-late September, and early October, respectively. We believe that in the uncertain timetable for [Genius] to solve the quality problem of film cracking, Apple will give priority to purchasing Largan’s low-end 1/2.6” 7P wide-angle lens at least in the initial supply stage to ensure that the two aluminum-framed ‌iPhone 12‌ can be as scheduled.

Kuo says that even if Genius does solve its issues with the camera lenses, the company will likely need to cut its prices by about 30% as an incentive to try to claw back share it will lose to Largan early on, which will eat into Genius's overall profit margins.

On its earnings conference call last week, Apple confirmed that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than usual, with the company seeking to set investor expectations for the current quarter as moving the launches of most or all of the models into October would push the sales into the following fiscal quarter.

Even with the delayed launch, all four of the expected models may not launch at the same time, as one recent report claims that the debuts will be broken up into two stages, with the two 6.1-inch models (non-Pro and Pro) launching first and the 5.4-inch non-Pro and 6.7-inch Pro models launching a bit later.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12

Microsoft's "Project xCloud" streaming game service that pairs with its Xbox Game Pass won't be available on iPhone and iPad when it launches this September, and Apple's App Store restrictions are to blame.


Xbox Game Pass and its accompanying xCloud streaming feature offer access to hundreds of games that can be streamed to mobile devices, and Apple says that because it can't review each game available through Game Pass, it can't be allowed on the ‌App Store‌.

In a statement to Business Insider, an Apple spokesperson said that the restrictions are designed to protect consumers and provide a level playing field to developers.

"The ‌App Store‌ was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers."

"Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the ‌App Store‌ as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search. In addition to the ‌App Store‌, developers can choose to reach all ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the ‌App Store‌."

Project xCloud, a new arm of the Xbox Game Pass feature that lets users download games to a PC or Xbox, will provide streaming access to more than 100 games for $15 a month, with games able to be played on smartphones and tablets. It's designed to be like Netflix for games.

Microsoft made a TestFlight beta available for Project xCloud earlier this year, but it became clear yesterday that xCloud isn't going to be available on iOS devices at launch.

In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson said that the company wants to make Game Pass available on all devices, but there's no info on iOS at this time.

"It's our ambition to scale cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass available on all devices, but we have nothing further to share at this time regarding iOS."

Microsoft has known that it would be difficult to launch the streaming gaming service on iOS since beta testing began. When the TestFlight version of the app was released for iOS users, Microsoft said that the preview experience would "look and feel different" on iOS because of Apple's limitations. ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ users testing the feature could only stream games from the cloud and not from an Xbox console, eliminating the pick up and play on any device option.

Microsoft was also only able to make one game available on TestFlight, "Halo: The Master Chief Collection" because Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules require games in a game subscription to be owned or licensed by the developer.

Google offers a similar streaming gaming service called Google Stadia, which Apple has not allowed on the ‌App Store‌. Stadia can be accessed on Android devices, but not on iPhones and iPads. The same goes for Nvidia's streaming gaming service, GeForce Now.

Valve also ran into trouble when attempting to make Steam Link available on iPhones and iPads, with Apple rejecting the app after it was submitted for review.

Valve was ultimately able to launch the app by removing the ability to purchase apps from within the Steam Link store, which may have led Apple to ultimately approve the app.

Steam Link is designed to allow you to play your own Steam games on an ‌iPhone‌, ‌iPad‌, or Apple TV, streaming from a Mac or PC, so it is somewhat different than Google Stadia and Project xCloud, services that make a catalog of games available.

Update: In a statement to CNET, Microsoft said it does not have a path to bring its app to the iOS ‌App Store‌.

Our testing period for the Project xCloud Preview app for iOS has expired. Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple ‌App Store‌. Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content. All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry ratings bodies such as the ESRB and regional equivalents. We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform. We believe that the customer should be at the heart of the gaming experience and gamers tell us they want to play, connect, and share anywhere, no matter where they are. We agree.

Apple in August released the macOS Big Sur beta for its public beta testing group, allowing them to test out the new software for Macs ahead of its release this fall.


The macOS Big Sur Public Beta is available to anyone with a compatible Mac and it does not require a developer account. This guide walks you through the steps on installing the beta software. Note that you will need about 20GB of free space on your hard drive before attempting an installation.


Before you jump in and download the update, it's worth noting that Apple does not recommend installing the macOS Big Sur Public Beta on your main Mac, so if you have a secondary machine, use that. This is beta software, and there are often bugs and issues that pop up that can prevent software from working properly or cause other problems.

Will macOS Big Sur Run on My Mac?

macOS Big Sur is compatible with most 2013 and later machines, outlined below:

The operating system update does not support the following Macs that were capable of running macOS Catalina:

  • 2012 and Early 2013 ‌MacBook Pro‌
  • 2012 ‌MacBook Air‌
  • 2012 and 2013 ‌iMac‌
  • 2012 ‌Mac mini‌

Make a Time Machine Backup

Before upgrading to the new beta, make sure to make a backup using Apple's Time Machine feature with an external drive.

If you want to revert back to your previous setup after testing macOS Big Sur or if it doesn't work out, you'll need to re-install ‌macOS Catalina‌ and a backup can be helpful to get things up and running as before.

Enroll in Apple's Beta Software Program

Installing macOS Big Sur requires enrolling your Mac in Apple's free Apple Beta Software Program. Follow these steps to do so.

  1. Visit the Apple Beta Software Program website in a browser on your Mac.
  2. Click on the blue Sign up button or, if you're already a member, click sign in.
  3. Enter your Apple ID and password and then a two-factor authentication code if verification is required.
  4. Agree to the Apple Beta Software Program terms and conditions.
  5. Once signed in and at the Guide for Public Betas page, scroll up to the top and click on "Enroll Your Devices" then click on "macOS."

Downloading and Installing the macOS Big Sur Beta

Once you're enrolled in Apple's public beta testing program, you can download macOS Big Sur.

  1. Make sure you've made your backup as outlined above, and then scroll down to "Enroll your Mac" option.
  2. Click on "Download the macOS Public Beta Access Utility."
  3. When asked if you want to allow downloads on "beta.apple.com" click on "Allow."
  4. Unless you've changed where files download, the beta installer (macOSPublicBetaAccessUtility.dmg) will show up in your downloads folder. Locate it and double click on it to open it up.
  5. Double click on the .pkg file inside to run the installer.
  6. You may see a warning advising you to back up your Mac with Time Machine. Either stop here and back up, or, if you've already done so, Click OK and then click Continue.
  7. Click Continue again and then click on Agree to accept Apple's software license agreement.
  8. Click on Install. Enter your admin password if prompted.
  9. Once the installer has completed the download, the System Preferences Software Update panel will open automatically and display the macOS Big Sur Beta download as available. Click on Upgrade Now to download the public beta software when prompted. It will take some time to download the file, which is around 12GB. When the download is complete, your Mac should restart.

Install the macOS Big Sur Public Beta

After you restart, you will see the macOS Big Sur installer launch automatically. If it doesn't, find it in the Applications folder using Finder and click on it.

  1. Click Continue at the bottom of the installer.
  2. Click Continue at the bottom once you've finished backing up, or if you already performed a backup.
  3. Click Agree to accept the terms and conditions and then click Agree again to confirm.
  4. Select the drive that you want to install the public beta on. You can choose your main drive or a partition that you've created.
  5. Click Install, enter your administrator password, and click OK.
  6. Click Restart, or wait for your Mac to reboot automatically.


After clicking on restart, the macOS Big Sur installation process will begin. It will take some time, but when the Mac boots up again, it will be running the macOS Big Sur Public Beta. For a list of everything that's new in macOS Big Sur, make sure to check out our macOS Big Sur roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS 11 Big Sur

Apple today seeded the first beta of the upcoming macOS 11 Big Sur update to its public beta testing group, allowing non-developers to give the software a try ahead of its public release this fall.

macOS Big Sur Beta 1
Beta testers who signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the macOS Big Sur beta through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper profile.

Mac users who want to be a part of Apple's beta testing program can sign up to participate on the beta website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS betas. Potential beta testers should make a full backup before installing ‌macOS Big Sur‌, and it may not be wise to install the update on a primary machine because betas can be unstable.

macOS Big Sur introduces a refined design for the macOS operating system, which is more similar to iOS but immediately familiar to Mac users with tweaks to window design, color palette, app icons, system sounds, menu bars, and sidebars.

The update brings Control Center to the Mac for the first time, providing quicker access to system controls for things like volume, keyboard brightness, screen brightness, Wi-Fi connection, and more.

An updated Notification Center includes more interactive notifications and redesigned widgets that mirror the new ‌widgets‌ in iOS 14. Notifications are now grouped by app, and you can customize which ‌widgets‌ show up.

Safari has a new customizable start page, built-in translation, and a Privacy Report feature that lets you know which trackers each website is using to follow you across the web. There's a new Mac App Store category for extensions, and you can now control the specific sites that extensions are able to work with for more privacy.

The Messages app for Mac has been overhauled to bring it more in line with the Messages app for iOS and it supports features like pinned conversations, mentions, inline replies, Messages effects, and Memoji creation and Memoji stickers. Search is also better to make it easier to find old conversations, photos, links, and more.

A redesigned Maps app in macOS Big Sur adds support for Look Around, indoor maps, Guides, and Shared ETA updates, plus it can be used to generate cycling routes and routes with charging stops for electric vehicles, which can be sent to iPhone.

There are also smaller updates for apps like Photos, Music, and Home, with a full list of everything new in macOS Big Sur available in our roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS 11 Big Sur