Today, Apple announced that macOS 11 Big Sur will launch on all supported devices on November 12. The operating system update was first announced at the company’s annual developer conference in June and has since gone through several phases of beta testing.
Big Sur is primarily laying the groundwork for Apple Silicon-based Macs. Apple says the update is designed to maximize the performance of the company’s new M1 system-on-a-chip and the combination will allow iOS and iPadOS apps to run natively on M1-equipped devices. Macs, although iOS/iPadOS developers will. can opt out if they so choose.
Big Sur introduces a notable visual redesign to the user interface and many apps, including an iOS and iPadOS-style notification center panel on the desktop. Some parts of Big Sur, such as a new version of Safari, have already been released to users using Catalina.
A new version of Messages adds many of the features we saw in last month’s iOS update for iPhones: pinned conversations, inline replies, @mentions, and more. Users can also create Memojis on Mac for the first time.
Meanwhile, the Maps app gets some features we’ve already seen on the iPhone (that’s a trend, here), including indoor maps, guides, and the Google Street View-esque Look Around feature.
With this release, Apple completes its annual major operating system updates. iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS all received major releases before.
Big Sur will be available as a free update to users of supported Macs and will replace the last major update, macOS Catalina. It’s also the first update to be called macOS 11 instead of macOS 10 or Mac OS X. Stay tuned for our review in the coming weeks.
Here is the full list of Macs that can run Big Sur:
- MacBook Airs from 2013 and later
- MacBooks from 2015 and later
- MacBook Pros from late 2013 and later
- Mac Minis from 2014 and later
- iMacs from 2014 and later
- 2017 and later iMac Pros
- Mac Pros from 2013 and later
List image by Apple