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Best macOS 11 Big Sur Features: Control Center, Safari Updates, Notifications Overhaul, Design Changes and More

G.McGilli

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2015
475
302
Had to uninstall as the first release and Beta 2 wouldn't work properly with Zoom... Otherwise, it seemed ok and communicated well with iOS 14.

Funny enough - after killing al the APFS drives and reinstalling Catalina from scratch the startup sound is still on my Mac that BS installed...
 
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mac1984user

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2009
805
357
United Kingdom
I'm not suggesting anything about Big Sur and music libraries. I haven't installed it. It sounded to me like the person to whom I responded had not yet upgraded to Catalina and was wondering what will happen when he or she upgrades from to Big Sur (from whatever previous version of macOS he or she is running). I just suggested having a good backup! Which is what everyone should have anyway! I've had some real headaches with the iCloud music library, so now I'm extra diligent about backups.

Ah, that makes a lot more sense now. Thanks for the clarification. Sorry about your troubles with iCloud Music Library (mine were with iCloud Photo Library). Hope you can get that sorted soon! Also, your advice about backups is sound. My music library is backed up with Carbon Copy Cloner to something like three different hard drives!
 
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posguy99

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2004
1,488
904
So, are you suggesting that Big Sur breaks music libraries? I’m currently using the Music app in Catalina with all of my personal music also stored in iCloud.

Apple already destroys local libraries given half a chance, are you saying that you don't already have backups of your library?

If the Big Sur beta breaks any of that, I’ll not be downloading the public beta! What does the other poster mean by pre-Catalina iTunes libraries? Are they wondering if they can jump straight from High Sierra’s iTunes to Big Sur’s ‘Music’ without a Catalina transition? (On a separate note, many songs in my iTunes music library date back to Mac OS 8.6 and have made all of the transitions just fine!)

You wouldn't be running a beta on anything that had production data on it in any case, would you? You just implied how important this library data is to you.
 
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ChrisH3677

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2003
765
92
Victoria, Australia
Can we stop including Safari in OS update reviews? Apple, like Microsoft, want you to believe that the browser is part of the OS, but it's not. Yes, 1 in 6 use Safari. But most people use Chrome. Some use Firefox. (I use Brave).

Some reviews (and even Apple's website) have made me think that if it wasn't for the changes to Safari, I'd be wondering what all the fanfare about Big Sur is. Most of the changes seem incremental, not deserving of a change from X to 11.
 
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Spinnetti

macrumors regular
Apr 26, 2005
193
20
Kentucky
This is all minor point release stuff to me. Other than the backwards move on icons, the best is just catch-up to what others have done a long time and I don't even notice in use. Meh.
 
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sideshowuniqueuser

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2016
913
752
To me Big Sur looks gorgeous, so streamlined and easy to use. I understand the frustration of long time users and their resistance to change, I only use Mac when I have to, I mostly use Linux and Windows, but this to me looks like a professional product, not childish as many reviewers and forum members have said. Both iOS 14 and Big Sur are some of the best software experiences Apple has produced.

I am currently on the betas for both iOS and MacOS and they are very stable, they have improved on that sense too.

Edit: I think Apple is working towards merging MacOS and iOS (iPadOS) even if they deny it.
"I think Apple is working towards merging MacOS and iOS (iPadOS) even if they deny it." - for that to happen, they will either have to drop the walled garden on iPadOS, which I don't think that want to do, as it also means allowing apps to come from places other than the app store, which means a massive drop in revenue; or impose a walled garden on macOS, which will instantly lose 90% of their Mac customers to Windows/Linux, as it will no longer be fit for purpose. I can't see a solution that Apple will be willing to go to.
 
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TheDailyApple

macrumors regular
May 30, 2019
181
575
I think they should have kept the flying eagle the same for Mail, but use the IOS style square with stamp edges.

I think a compromise between the old and new designs would be great.
Mail Icon 2.png
 
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arefbe

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2010
297
219
If you have keep library organized off, I would suspect nothing. Could always back up your library to an offline drive and then who cares. Btw: I have no idea what you mean. Carefully cultivated? It is only a collection of files
By cultivated I mean a lot of playlists, a lot of album art, things like that.
 
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OldCorpse

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2005
1,544
163
compost heap
Maybe I’m old, but I remember back in the day, when new OS releases came with big new features, like expose, stuff that made a huge usability impact.

But for quite some time now, the changes have been super incremental. Like this. What with the move to AS you’d think the first official AS OS would be very dramatic deserving of an 11 designation.

I see nothing really big here at all, no amazing new features that will revolutionize my workflow. Am I missing something?

I get extremely depressed when icon design is proclaimed and touted like some kind of major feature. It’s like when we get breathless reports about NEW IMOJIS OMG!!!!!! in iOS. Who gives a s*** about a new s*** emoji?? Where are there new FEATURES?? Instead we have Timmy up there taking up valuable time seriously discussing icons and emojis during a presentation, like we’re all five year olds at a kindergarten. Unbelievable.

Have we all been so infantilized and our standards have sunk so low that this passes for a major OS release? Then again maybe I’m just old and missing all the magic that’s contained in Big Snore.
 
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Jim Higgins

macrumors member
Sep 6, 2018
64
63
  • Fresh Design - Apart from some dodgy icon choices, it looks good.
  • Control Center - Not used it as I prefer separate wifi/bluetooth/speaker icons on the menubar.
  • Notification Center - Bring back dashboard! As that'll never happen, this will do. It's better than Catalina's.
  • Safari Customization - Don't use Safari - use Firefox. I keep wanting to swap back but there are things I'd miss. That's a separate topic!
  • Safari Privacy Report - As above. Bitwarden does this for me.
  • Safari Tab Preview - As above. Firefox has this.
  • Safari Translation - As above. Had to add an extension to Firefox.
  • Messages - Don't use many of the new features, but it looks good.
  • Battery Usage -Meh. I use what I need to use without worrying if it's using loads of battery.
  • Video Editing - Don't do this.
  • New Startup Sound - Don't care.

For me, despite not caring about most of the things Macrumors decided were "big features" it's a great upgrade so far.
I do it simply and much prefer Firefox to Safari anyway.
 
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rlhamil

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2010
182
115
Edit: I think Apple is working towards merging MacOS and iOS (iPadOS) even if they deny it.

Not merging, but making them more similar where it makes sense, to let familiarity with one transfer more to the other, both for users and developers.

A desktop or laptop cannot reasonably be as locked down as a phone or tablet; one needs to be able to do development on it, or whatever else that (as an owner or privileged user) one wishes to. Granted I'm not the usual clientele, but the ecosystem needs some people that want to get down to the command line and heaven forbid, even internals, whether to program, or troubleshoot, or whatever.
 
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s66

macrumors 6502
Dec 12, 2016
297
345
A desktop or laptop cannot reasonably be as locked down as a phone or tablet; one needs to be able to do development on it, or whatever else that (as an owner or privileged user) one wishes to. Granted I'm not the usual clientele, but the ecosystem needs some people that want to get down to the command line and heaven forbid, even internals, whether to program, or troubleshoot, or whatever.

I'd love to see more talk about what they changed underneath than talk about superficial aesthetics.

I've had 10.5.x warn me about installed drivers during upgrades, is that going to be a big problem in 11.0 ?
I suspect they'll stop working completely ...

After a bit of searching I think it was warning about some of the prolific drivers installed on one of my macs.
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68030
Feb 10, 2014
2,875
2,593
I think Apple is working towards merging MacOS and iOS (iPadOS) even if they deny it.
I don’t know if they are or not, I’m not from the future. But I think it’s so hilarious that no matter what they say and no matter how clearly they say it, people don’t believe them. If they’re telling the truth, how frustrating it must be for them LOL.

1595388075274.jpeg
 
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planteater

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2020
205
235
I just can't stop looking at that overly thick top bar. Why would they make it take up so much space unnecessarily?
 
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allan.nyholm

macrumors 65816
Nov 22, 2007
1,218
412
Aalborg, Denmark
New Startup Sound - There are a whole bunch of new and updated sounds in macOS Big Sur and we have a video coming that will exclusively cover sound changes, but there's one major update worth noting here -- the return of the macOS startup sound. macOS Big Sur once again chimes when the Mac is booted up.

This sure has got a whole lot of coverage. Is it so significant that those with iMac's from late 2015 can also now turn it off? I hate that boot 'a gadooooooong' sound. If a chime is different from that often loud startup boot sound then please - go right ahead. The boot chime is so loud sometimes that it ought to be waking up the dead. If I had my system volume turned up quite high before shutdown I can expect to be out of my socks the next morning.
Luckily I don't wear any socks, maaaaaaaaan.

I spotted a setting in a screenshot/video that Sound Preferences not have a "Turn Boot Chime on/off" - I can let finally let go of OnyX for setting the boot chime to OFF.
 
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incoherent_1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2016
534
883
I skipped Catalina for so many reasons but I am genuinely excited about Big Sur. I don’t think I’ll do a day one update, but will begin making preparations so I can transition by the end of the year (likely whenever they have the first major point release out).

Honestly this year shows some of the best software work they’ve done in awhile. Great job, Apple.
 
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drumcat

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2008
717
2,000
Otautahi, Aotearoa
Two things…

Click and Hold is a trigger now? That is huge all by itself.

Also, Messages still does not seem to tell you who was the last to speak in the sidebar… Seriously? Is this the biggest glaring overview of all?
 
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vegetassj4

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2014
253
278
No way in heaven, hell, or high water that I’m tot waiting for a couple of point releases to try this one. Once bitten.
 
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tomi03

Suspended
Dec 8, 2015
321
255
Genève. Suisse
I skipped Catalina for so many reasons but I am genuinely excited about Big Sur. I don’t think I’ll do a day one update, but will begin making preparations so I can transition by the end of the year (likely whenever they have the first major point release out).

Honestly this year shows some of the best software work they’ve done in awhile. Great job, Apple.

But they just changed the icons for fugly ones, made everything rounded and hard to read, and improved maps, yes maps on a laptop aren’t as functional than on a phone when you are travelling even though some people claim they plan like pirates and corsairs their routes memorising everything.

There’s no real features, it’s just a new lame design.
 
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capamac

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2020
2
2
The "3D" look to some of the icons is a step backward. Please stop.
Hire someone who studied art to help with the aesthetic and design.
[automerge]1595401098[/automerge]
And making it more like iOS is a questionable decision.
I think they need to bring Jobs back from the dead to get Apple back on track.
 
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mbert

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2016
27
10
Getting more 3d again must of course be considered a plus (I have never understood why Apple went flat anyway, in particular since as a leader in design going down the same route as MS and Google does not seem to fit).

However: From what I have seen most of the UI is still flat and minimalistic while parts of it now aren't, hmm, that seems inconsistent and doesn't always look good.

Also: what's the point in eliminating title bars? What Apple are doing now again mimics what others have done before (and IMO: not at all well) - Microsoft in Windows 8+, GNOME for quite some time. Rather than saving a few pixels at the top while making the UI more complicated, why not make the dock vertical by default as it was in NeXT? On modern screens which are wide rather than tall this would make far more sense while leaving windows as they are, with simple rather than complicated semantics.

Having to tell my parents that what they've just learned is now obsolete and they need to start again (while what they will find won't be consistent, because at least at the start only the Apple software will implement the new UI standards) will be a nightmare.

Apple's motto had always been: be simple and elegant. I don't see this here anymore.
 
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mac1984user

macrumors 6502a
Dec 10, 2009
805
357
United Kingdom
Apple already destroys local libraries given half a chance, are you saying that you don't already have backups of your library?

You wouldn't be running a beta on anything that had production data on it in any case, would you? You just implied how important this library data is to you.

If you had an opportunity to read my later reply, you’ll have seen that I have multiple backups of my music library, and none of it is production-related. It’s not the data that’s important, as it’s backed up. I just don’t fancy the hassle of dealing with a broken music library at the moment. Thanks for your sincere concern.
 
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