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Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming macOS Big Sur 11.3 update to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming two weeks after the launch of the second beta and a month after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2, a bug fix update.

macOS-Big-Sur-Feature-Triad.jpg

Developers can download the ‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌ 11.3 beta using the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences after installing the proper profile from the Apple Developer Center.

macOS Big Sur 11.3 introduces more customization options for Safari, adding a way to rearrange the different sections on the Start Page like Favorites, Reading List, Siri Suggestions, Privacy Report, and more. Developers also have access to a new integration to develop features for the Start Page.

The update also includes optimizations for using iOS apps on M1 Macs. When running iPhone and iPad apps on M1 Macs, there's a Touch Alternatives preference pane that allows users to set keyboard commands for touch input alternatives, plus iPadOS apps launch with a larger window if the Mac's display allows it. Touch Alternatives can be enabled for iPhone or iPad apps by clicking on the app's name in the menu bar and then selecting the Preferences option. Touch Alternatives let you customize taps, swipes, and drags.

In the Reminders app, reminder lists can be sorted by Due Date, Creation Date, Priority, or Title, and there is an option to print lists by going to File > Print. Reminders can also be moved manually across lists with drag and drop, something that wasn't possible before.

Apple is adding a new "Made For You" library shortcut in Apple Music for finding personal mixes and Replay playlists, and the Listen Now section has been updated with support for highlighting live events.

The Apple Music app also features a new autoplay option that allows the streaming service to continue to play music after a playlist or music queue ends. Apple Music sources music similar to what's in a person's Apple Music library, similar to the autoplay feature added in iOS 14.

macos-big-sur-apple-music-autoplay.jpg

With this feature enabled, Apple Music audio will not end even after a playlist or album is over. To check that it's on, play a playlist or album and then click on the three dot/line menu button in the upper right hand corner. From there, make sure the infinity symbol is toggled on.

In the Apple News app, there's a redesigned Apple News+ tab with a dedicated "For You" section and a new Browse tab that makes it easier to browse through available content. The new For You section is designed to help Apple News+ users find favorite magazines and newspapers much faster, plus it adds new tools for managing downloaded issues.

macOS Big Sur 11.3 adds support for the latest PlayStation 5 DualSense and Xbox Series X/S controllers for use with macOS games.

play-station-dualsense-controller.jpeg

There's also an updated "Support" interface when accessing "About This Mac." The new design includes details on your warranty and it allows for starting a repair right from the Mac interface.

macos-big-sur-beta-support.jpg

The tab works similarly to the AppleCare coverage menu in the iOS Settings app, which lets users request repairs, buy an AppleCare plan, and check their coverage.

For HomePod users, macOS Big Sur 11.3 brings support for HomePod Stereo pairs, allowing a set of paired HomePods to be set as the default sound output option, with the two HomePods showing up as a single selectable speaker rather than separate as in prior versions of macOS.

Code in macOS Big Sur 11.3 suggests that the Optimized Battery Charging feature will now make sure the Mac's battery is fully charged before a scheduled calendar event. The Mac will charge to 100 percent three hours before a calendar event's start time.

Optimized Battery Charging is designed to preserve the lifespan of the Mac's battery by limiting the amount of time that a Mac sits at 100 percent battery.

In Safari, there's support for WebM video playback, allowing users to play WebM videos using Apple's browser. WebM is a niche video format designed to be a royalty-free alternative to the H.264 codec used in the MP4 format. WebM allows video files to remain small without sacrificing quality and can be played with little processing power, making it ideal for webpages and browsers.

More on macOS Big Sur can be found in our macOS Big Sur roundup. The software is expected to see a release this spring, with spring set to kick off on March 20.

Article Link: Apple Seeds Third Beta of macOS Big Sur 11.3 to Developers
 
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hagar

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Jan 19, 2008
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Reminders can also be moved manually across lists with drag and drop, something that wasn't possible before.
This works fine on macOS 11.2.2

Code in macOS Big Sur 11.3 suggests that the Optimized Battery Charging feature will now make sure the Mac's battery is fully charged before a scheduled calendar event. The Mac will charge to 100 percent three hours before a calendar event's start time.
let's hope this is a bit smarter than the Car Play integration. Mine always shows destinations from shared family calendars.
 
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FishyFish

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Sep 18, 2015
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So far, it is working great for me, though it takes a while to fully test a new OS.

This release reminds me of watchOS 5.1.3 Beta 3 in terms of its quality and polish, so that is a very positive review!
 
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prwnr

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Dec 30, 2020
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cant wait for the "continue playing" feature on Apple Music. that would be the trigger for me to switch from Spotify, as atm on my trial with Apple Music I really miss this.
 

MauiPa

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Apr 18, 2018
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That is on the assumption they admit it is a problem in the first place. Similar problem has been reported over the years, although not as severe as this one.
it's that "notoriously unreliable" disclaimer on the testing software that gets me. If the so-called flaw is actually not a flaw, then is it a problem? I don't have an M1, I have a 2014 MBP. no errors reported, I even downloaded some extra testing software. So if "similar problem" was reported, guess it not a real problem.
 
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MauiPa

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Apr 18, 2018
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cant wait for the "continue playing" feature on Apple Music. that would be the trigger for me to switch from Spotify, as atm on my trial with Apple Music I really miss this.
well I re-read the article to see what you were talking about. Well, I don't know when this feature got slipped in to Apple Music, but it is working and has been for me for some time.
 

M5RahuL

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Aug 1, 2009
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I really hope this fixes the BT issues... Every time I wake up the mini, I have to use my USB Logitech KB/Mouse to login, and then reconnect the BT Apple KB/Mouse!
 
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zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
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Why is the numbering convention for MacOS 11 different than 10? Shouldn't every .x update be another name and logo with intermediate .x.x fixes? Did I miss something?
With Big Sur's visual refresh Apple decided to finally move from MacOS 10.x to 11, and is now going to follow iOS versioning where the first number is the major (annual) release and the second and third are for point releases and minor revisions respectively.

This is why the operating system was renamed a few years ago (Mac OS X -> macOS); they were getting ready for this change.

Having versioning match iOS will be less confusing I think; this change was overdue.
 
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