Apple has officially released the latest version of macOS: macOS Big Sur (also known as macOS 11.0), which is now available for download provided you have a compatible Mac.
Big Sur is one of the biggest updates to Apple’s laptop and desktop software in years. It includes a major UI, icons, and menu bar redesign, a new Control Center UI borrowed from iOS, as well as widgets (also borrowed from iOS), and a host of other improvements (see the full list here) It’s such a big change that Apple is actually deviating from the OS X / OS 10 branding it has been using on Macs for nearly 20 years.
Apple is also adding some new privacy-related features, including better tracking information in Safari and new privacy data in the Mac App Store for all apps you download.
Big Sur isn’t just exciting for the features it brings to existing Macs, however. It will also be the operating system that will run on Apple’s newly announced MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac minicomputers with M1 support when they are released on November 17th. According to Apple, Big Sur is specifically optimized to run on these new ARM-based systems, which offer an important feature not found in the Intel versions: the ability to run iOS and iPad apps.
The full list of Macs Big Sur can run on is as follows:
- MacBook (2015 and later)
- MacBook Air (2013 and later)
- MacBook Pro (Late 2013 and later)
- Mac mini (2014 and later)
- iMac (2014 and after)
- iMac Pro (2017 and later – i.e. all models)
- Mac Pro (2013 and after)
Devices that can run macOS Catalina that are not eligible for the Big Sur update include the MacBook Airs 2012, MacBook Pros mid-2012 and early 2013, Mac Minis 2012 and 2013, and iMacs 2012 and 2013 If you are not sure if your Mac is compatible, you can use the Apple guide here to identify it.
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