Apple Seeds First Beta of macOS Big Sur to Developers for Testing Purposes
Apple today introduced the newest version of macOS, the operating system that runs on the Mac. macOS 11.0 Big Sur is now available in a beta capacity for registered developers who want to test out the new features.
The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences. As with all of the new betas, Apple recommends not installing macOS Big Sur on a primary machine because it is early release software and could have major bugs.
macOS Big Sur is a major update that introduces a refined design for the macOS operating system. It's iOS like, but immediately familiar to Mac users with small tweaks to window design, color palette, app icons, and more.
Control Center is now available for the Mac, offering up quick access to controls right from the desktop, and the updated Notification Center includes interactive notifications and redesigned widgets that mirror the widgets on iOS.
Safari has major new features that include a customizable start page, built-in translation, and a Privacy Report that lets you know what trackers each webpage us using. There's a new Mac App Store category for extensions, and tools for devs to bring extensions created for other browsers to Safari.
The Messages app for Mac is now based on the Messages app on iOS with support for all of the new features like pinned conversations, @ mentions, inline replies for group messages, and more. Messages effects and Memoji Stickers are now available for the Mac, as are Memoji customization options.
Maps has also been overhauled in macOS Big Sur with Guides, Look Around, indoor maps, and more, plus support for cycling routes and electric vehicles.
macOS Big Sur is only available to registered developers at this time, but later in the summer, Apple will make a public version of the macOS Big Sur beta available to give public beta testers a chance to try the software before it sees a public launch this fall.