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

Unggoy Murderer

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2011
487
1,105
Edinburgh, Scotland
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.
I think this makes the most amount of sense.

Another thing worth considering, I think the new macOS interface is a lot more "touch" friendly. Lots of spacing, larger controls - Apple could be bringing something to the Mac that we've been wanting for a long time: touch screens.

I'm not talking a touch screen for the sake of it, but something Microsoft Surface Studio-like, something actually ergonomic and well thought-out.

Who knows... maybe I'm just being way too optimistic. :p
 
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yurc

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2016
667
719
inside your DSDT
I think this makes the most amount of sense.

Another thing worth considering, I think the new macOS interface is a lot more "touch" friendly. Lots of spacing, larger controls - Apple could be bringing something to the Mac that we've been wanting for a long time: touch screens.



Who knows... maybe I'm just being way too optimistic. :p

We would have gigantic stationery iPad then.
 
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Kabeyun

macrumors 68030
Mar 27, 2004
2,819
5,289
Eastern USA
Looks good, and some useful functional improvements. A few niggles:
- The strong translucency everywhere will bother me. I hope there’s a setting or terminal command.
- App icon shape uniformity in the dock? iMovie and Photos must not have gotten the memo.
- More than a niggle: I see a move away from menu words to menu icons. From a UI perspective, this is bad. Words good, icons bad, even I f you’re clever about icon design and even if the name pops up on hover, I hate being forced to memorize a slew of new icons. “Wait, what’s that menu again?” They did it because...
I think Apple is working towards merging MacOS and iOS (iPadOS) even if they deny it.
...and menu icons are more suited to smaller touch screens. This is a small example of why it concerns me. Desktops/laptops 1. Have a place, and 2. Are different. I have no doubt that there’s a unified OS in our future, in spite of Apple’s protestations. The company doth protest too much, methinks.
 
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mbert

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2016
27
10
I have no doubt that there’s a unified OS in our future, in spite of Apple’s protestations.
I agree. And this may be something we will eventually benefit from. But this should not keep Apple from creating an OS that feels good on a desktop and does not overcomplicate things by sabotaging well-established workflows that people have got used to and love.
 
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jmh600cbr

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2012
958
2,075
The actual notifications are so broken. Forget center. Replying to a message is a nightmare.
 
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jennyp

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2007
495
75
It seems unfortunate that this exciting new version of macOS will inevitably take on the acronym BS. Personally I like it.
 
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wood1208

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2015
194
135
Allow Safari active tab with different color or increase dark gray. Point is easily differentate active tab vs rest of open tabs.
 
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MacBH928

Contributor
May 17, 2008
4,826
1,856
Edit: I think Apple is working towards merging MacOS and iOS (iPadOS) even if they deny it.

Of course they are, they are using the same processors, same OS X base, and now merging apps on the 2 platforms. Why keep developing 2 different platforms? They are just using the reality distortion field, the Mac will have the traditional "mouse" GUI and the iOS will have the "touch" GUI...kind of like desktop environments on Linux.

As far as I am concerned, we are already there.

If only they’d kept the messages icon blue... and made it blue on iPhone.

I think its too late for that now, too many people associate the sms app with green.
 
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likegadgets

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2008
473
104
US
More than the return of the startup sound, I would like startup control. I don’t like the MBP to auto start when opened or when I connect something to the USBc ports. I know I could use terminal and some commands to modify, but this should be a preference item
 
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incoherent_1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2016
535
887
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.

I guess it depends on the individual. I can see where these wouldn’t be as useful for some folks.

Personally, the Safari translation tools and the Messages improvements make it worth the upgrade. I’m disappointed Messages isn’t gaining even more features, but still I’ll take it. The design I could take or leave. I’m intrigued by the notifications improvements but would need to spend more time with it to see if I can make it useful to my workflow.

For my wife, the Maps updates are welcome. She literally plans every stop of a road trip (down to each and every bathroom and coffee break), and I loathe the Google Maps trip planner — I hope this gives us some good options.

The one thing still lacking is a killer update to Mail — I’ve been waiting for years for someone to rethink email (which is the bane of everyone’s existence who has an office job). I really want a solution that gets us away from “drinking from the firehose.” /end rambling
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Of course they are, they are using the same processors, same OS X base, and now merging apps on the 2 platforms. Why keep developing 2 different platforms? They are just using the reality distortion field, the Mac will have the traditional "mouse" GUI and the iOS will have the "touch" GUI...kind of like desktop environments on Linux.

As far as I am concerned, we are already there.

I think the messaging around “not merging” is more geared towards assuaging fears that Apple will kill the Mac. I still don’t see that happening anytime soon... If anything, using the same processors and similar software makes the Mac more likely to survive long term, not less.
 
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Mick-Mac

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2011
260
575
I just don't get how all the new and shiny stuff warrants the importance associated with renumbering the OS from 10.x to 11. There have been other way, way more drastic changes to OS X that would have warranted that, but what I see in Big Sur is mostly just a little more polish on what's already there.
 
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incoherent_1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2016
535
887
I just don't get how all the new and shiny stuff warrants the importance associated with renumbering the OS from 10.x to 11. There have been other way, way more drastic changes to OS X that would have warranted that, but what I see in Big Sur is mostly just a little more polish on what's already there.

Agreed, although I’m hoping they have some big surprises under their hats for what they plan to do with the newfound horsepower and battery life with Apple Silicon. We’ll see!
 
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posguy99

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2004
1,491
910
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).
Anyone who doesn't wait until the *last* point release of anything Apple puts out these days is kidding themselves. I'm just now trying to decide if Catalina is worth bothering with on my primary machine now that the .6 is out. It's not like there's anything it brings that's worth bothering with, and Mojave will have security patching for another year.

As for Big Sur, do you truly want to be an unwilling participant in Apple's latest experimental OS? Big Sur will be completely skippable. There's nothing that matters on its feature list.
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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.
So wait. The world won't end if your parents aren't using Big Sur on day one. Or on day 364.
 
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azpc

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2011
244
92
Is there a Send Button in Messages?

I much prefer the iOS way of pressing Send when the message is complete.

Why?

1. Consistency

Photos and Preview have send buttons, however, Messages itself does not.

1595434232035.png


2. Nearly every week I send several one line messages when I intended to send a multi line message.
 
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definitive

macrumors 68000
Aug 4, 2008
1,978
727
Also them forcing Macs which have the adequate hardware to run it to somehow be obsolete.


Oh wait, "Best" features. n/m
 
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Mactendo

macrumors 68000
Oct 3, 2012
1,967
2,044
Also: what's the point in eliminating title bars?
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.
There’s more to that. That window title in the toolbar can’t be hidden, resized or even moved to another place. If the title is short it still eats all of the default space. That’s why Finder’s windows are much wider now by default and the search bar had to be hidden into an icon, because other way nothing would fit in the toolbar.

Some apps in BS have no title bars like Finder, but some apps and windows (all apps preferences windows) still have it. Some apps place windows close/minimize buttons in the corner, as it was done before, but some place it aligned to the middle of the toolbar. Some Apple’s own apps place buttons “the old way” but have no title bars following “the new way”. It’s a UI Hell.

It feels as these changes were forced by some management, because I don’t know how bad designers and developers at Apple have to be in order to create such bad and inconsistent design.
On the other side iOS 14 is very well done and thought out. Maybe all resources were poured into that and macOS was redesigned by some school drop-outs or Tim himself.

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?
Yes. That’s the new trend. Average IQ scores which were constantly rising during the 20th century in developed countries, in the 21st century started to fall. And Tim isn’t a genius visionary either, he’s a seller. In the absence of cool products or features he tries to up-sell some emojis and icons. Emotions are the driving force in consumerist society and he’s appealing to emotions. “Hey, look how at these GORGEOUS icons, look at this AMAZING new wallpaper”.
 
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rwxx

Cancelled
Jun 21, 2020
151
186
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!

I've had nightmares with iCloud Photo Library myself. Thankfully, it's been behaving for a while now.

I got myself into trouble with iCloud Music Library because I foolishly placed the ~/Music/Music folder on an external drive instead of leaving it on my boot drive and just placing the ~/Music/Music/Media folder on the external. So my files - as well as the Music Library file - were on the external.

My external was a RAID and something went terribly wrong (hardware failure) and all drives were nuked simultaneously. So I had to use Data Rescue to recover my music, but the Music Library file was lost. And that's where my problems started!

Now I have several externals (instead of a single RAID) and use Carbon Copy Cloner to make regular backups from my media library external to daily and weekly backup externals. I'm never trusting a single drive enclosure/controller again when it comes to backup. RAID is great, but you still need a separate case with it's own power supply, drive controller, etc. in case the enclosure, not a single drive, fails. Lesson learned!
 
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VictorTango777

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2017
562
1,071
Older version of Safari had a ">>" button at the end of the tab bar. Clicking this button displayed a popup list of all tab titles, allowing you to switch directly to a tab if you already know the name. I liked this a lot more than the Show Tab Overview which takes up a lot more space because I don't need to see page previews.

Does Safari in Big Sur still cause tabs to compress into tiny little slivers that expand and slide around like an accordion when clicked on? This makes switching to tabs really annoying because when you click on a tab, you think you are activating that tab, but in fact you are just watching other tabs expand and slide around. inserting and rearranging tabs is also annoying because you think you putting a tab in one position, but it's actually a different position because of compressed slivers of tabs that are sliding around.
 
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