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.

Top Rated Comments

DinkThifferent Avatar
25 months ago
The only question on everyone's mind is: DID THEY FIX THE BATTERY ICON
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mdatwood Avatar
25 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
25 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
25 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
25 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
25 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)

Popular Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...
2022 Apple Watch Pride Edition Bands

Apple Announces 2022 Pride Edition Watch Bands and Watch Face

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced new Pride bands for the Apple Watch, with new Pride Edition Sport Loop and Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop options available. The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today for $49 on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations starting May 26. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to Nike.com. This...