The beta version of macOS 11 Big Sur, in full accordance with Apple’s instructions, was installed on an unoccupied Intel Mac, and, not without fear (researchers are developing software for the Mac, each new version is stressful) and began to study it. Their first findings: it is, definitely, still macOS. Life goes on. This time, the changes are “higher than the roof,” some of which cause slight bewilderment, but no serious crime for a week of testing was revealed in it. In what is striking (in the design of the interface) it is different.
She has an unusual version number, she’s no longer macOS X, not a dozen. In addition to the usual tasks for all major versions of macOS, she has one more thing – to facilitate the transition of the platform to Apple Silicon. But on Intel Mac’s this is not felt at all, this is the next version of a long and well-known Mac’s system, which cannot but rejoice.
What’s new in macOS Big Sur
At WWDC, she was called macOS 11. In the “information about this Mac” (in the “Apple” menu) she is “macOS 11.0”. But inside, in the thousand and one places of her digital insides, she is still macOS 10.16. From the first day of the new macOS resulting from the merger of the classic Mac OS with NeXTstep, up to macOS 10.8 Mountain Lion, its major versions were named after the “big cats”. By the fall of 2013, cat-worthy Mac names were over – and tradition had changed.
The names of remarkable places in California, the company’s native staff: Mavericks (10.9), Yosemite (10.10), El Capitan (10.11) and so on, were used. Big Sur continues this tradition. This is a mountainous and sparsely populated area on the Pacific Ocean in central California, a popular holiday destination. And all the main attractions of macOS 10 are also inherited in macOS 11: the menu bar (it has become even more airy and transparent, “so as not to distract the user’s attention from the content”), and with the dock (in 2001, critics raged about it, wondered how such a stupid idea could have come to someone at Apple) nothing terrible and radical has happened.
New menu on macOS 11
In the last years of the life of the classic Mac OS, incredible innovations appeared in it. I got used to some of them almost instantly, I really liked them – for example, “tear-off menus”. In the system and in some application programs, some of the menus could be dragged onto the screen – they turned into ordinary Mac’s windows. A very similar (but less convenient) phenomenon was in the NeXT operating system. When switching from classic Mac OS to Mac OS X, this functionality was sacrificed. Something did not work out, and decided not to suffer. They promised to find out sometime later.
In macOS 11, “tear-off menus” themselves did not appear, but for the first time in two decades, Apple thought about simplifying the setup of the menu system and creatively approached this. Now you can drag widgets to the menu bar. It’s a little more difficult to remove them from the menu, for this you will need to go to “Settings”, to the “Menu and Dock” section.
In macOS 10.13.6 on my working MacBook Pro, in order to get to the calendar, calculator or other useful things, you have to climb into the notification center over and over again. On macOS 11, using them is much more convenient. The function that serious adults enjoy playing with, dragging something on the menu again and again and removing them from there, deserves applause. This small (but pleasant and useful) step in developing the functionality of the menu system is encouraging: it was impossible to drag objects from the menu to the desktop in the late 90s. And not that this was a fundamentally unsolvable problem, it was just that the developers had too many much more important and serious problems that needed to be solved.
New Dock on macOS 11 Big Sur
The icons in the dock are rounded, their outline now (as in iOS and iPadOS) is a square with uniformly rounded edges. All Apple operating systems will be of one blood very soon. The process is already underway. Over the next two years, macOS will get rid of the legacy of the past and will work with the same ARM processors as the rest of the company’s OS, from audioOS (in HomePod) to watchOS.
But bringing icons in the dock (and not only) to a common view with everyone is puzzling. It would be better if they did the exact opposite, but neither I nor the researchers insist on this. The fact that the icons have gained volume and are inscribed in geometric shapes of a standard form does not play a special role, does not irritate and does not distract from the important. For the rest, the dock remained a dock, they did not deprive us of anything.
Should i install macOS 11 Big Sur?
For the first beta, it’s very much nothing. There were far more restless and even dangerous first beta versions for developers. Downloading and installing the system for many in our Telegram chat (but not for everyone) takes longer than promised. The release notes point out that this is a bug.
Many kernel extensions after its installation are buggy, there are problems with the system integration service (security service), it is recommended to turn it off. Panic nuclei and other manifestations of newborn OS occur, but rarely enough. Xcode 12 (also beta) works – but about it somehow another time. The Spotlight search engine and its excruciatingly long and cumbersome indexing for the computer have been improved and optimized, but it still feels.