Apple Seeds Second Beta of macOS Big Sur to Developers

Apple today seeded the second beta of macOS Big Sur to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the first beta following the Worldwide Developers Conference.

macOS BS Beta 1
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 brings a refreshed design to the Mac operating system, overhauling the entire look from the curvature of the window corners to the dock icons to the system sounds.

Everything feels fresh but familiar, with a lighter and more modern appearance. There's a new customizable Control Center that mirrors the Control Center on iOS devices, putting key system controls right at your fingertips.

The Notification Center has been redesigned with iOS-style widgets that are available in multiple sizes, plus there are more interactive notifications that are now grouped by app to make it easier to see what's going on.

Safari is faster and more battery efficient, plus there's a new start page that can be customized with wallpapers and sections that include Reading List and iCloud Tabs, which makes Safari more tailored to your individual usage needs.

Tabs have been redesigned, there's a built-in language translation feature, and Chrome and Firefox Extensions can be ported to Safari. There's also an option to choose which sites an extension works with for greater privacy. Speaking of privacy, a new Privacy Report feature lets users know the trackers Safari is blocking when you visit websites.

Messages is now more similar to the Messages app on iOS with support for pinned conversations, mentions, inline replies, and Memoji creation, plus the built-in search feature has been overhauled to make it easier to find links, photos, and conversations in the app.

Apple redesigned the Maps app to add support for Look Around, indoor maps, and Guides, which are lists of notable attractions, restaurants, and more created by trusted sources. Maps can also be used to generate directions for cycling routes and electric vehicle trips that can be sent to iPhone, and shared ETA updates are now viewable on the Mac.

Photos has a better Retouch tool, Apple Music's For You section has been replaced with a Listen Now section, HomeKit Secure Video cameras support Face Recognition and Activity zones, and Siri can answer a wider range of questions than before.

As of macOS Big Sur beta 2, Apple Pay support is available for Mac Catalyst apps. Developers will now be able to easily get ‌Apple Pay‌ up and running in Mac Catalyst apps. From the iOS 14 release notes: "‌Apple Pay‌ support is now available to Mac Catalyst apps. Two methods have been added to existing delegate protocols. No changes are required for iPad apps, but one or both of these methods must be implemented when building for Catalyst."

In the future, the macOS Big Sur App Store will help users better understand privacy practices with clear info on the information that an app collects, and after installing macOS Big Sur, you'll see faster updates that begin in the background and then finish more quickly to make it easier to keep your Mac up to date.

For more on everything that's new in macOS Big Sur, make sure to check out our roundup.

Related Forum: macOS Big Sur

Popular Stories

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
M4 Real Feature Red

M4 MacBook Pro Models Expected to Launch in Late 2024

Tuesday June 18, 2024 10:50 am PDT by
MacBook Pro models with an M4 chip are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to display analyst Ross Young. In a tweet for subscribers, Young said that panel shipments for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to begin in the third quarter of 2024, which suggests a launch toward the end of the year. Apple started its M4 chip refresh in May with the launch...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
iOS 18 Calendar Feature

iOS 18: Calendar App Design Changes and Reminders Integration

Tuesday June 18, 2024 6:16 am PDT by
Apple in iOS 18 has given the Calendar app a major update, adding some welcome interface design changes, not to mention long-awaited integration with Reminders. In the month-by-month calendar view, the month now appears in large bold font in the top left, while the Events list toggle has been replaced by a new button that lets you choose between Compact, Stacked, Details, and List views. ...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...

Top Rated Comments

DinkThifferent Avatar
52 months ago
The only question on everyone's mind is: DID THEY FIX THE BATTERY ICON
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdatwood Avatar
52 months ago

You forgot one of the biggest under the hood change.

The locked state of Big Sur.
Are you going to come to every Big Sur thread to try and scare people about the 'locked' state? I develop software all day long and have been doing my daily development on Big Sur without issue. Brew, terraform, java, golang, etc... all work just fine. If you're upset that Big Sur prevents your pet kernel extension by default, then unlock the SIP and move on. Repeating it's locked over and over is trying to make an issue out of something that is a non-issue for the very large majority, and an improvement security wise.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacOH21 Avatar
52 months ago

What on earth could they be including that makes it almost a 10GB update file Jesus
new icons.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rubenhas Avatar
52 months ago

I'm lost; what's wrong with the Big Sur battery icon? It looks fine to me.
It looks like this in system preferences, and it's atrocious.


Attachment Image
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Andy-V Avatar
52 months ago

Follow the herd, or maybe you could get updates on here? Just a thought.
Yes, only one person in the world should download the beta and they should exclusively test and give feedback.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
52 months ago

not showing the month, you know the month
Speak for yourself, with Covid-19 sometimes I'm not even sure what year it is anymore. ;)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)