Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

What's really new about Big Sur? Are you happy?

gustavopi

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 29, 2008
98
12
Brazil
For those who dear to build software, there is always the versioning issue. When I can call my app a 2.0 version? It 2.0 is for me, but what does it mean for the user? When he will consider a major change? I can be on user's shoes (completely) and he will never know what is behind. It's hard to explain to user I have updated the PHP scripts to 5.6 and 7 and will runs better, safer, open new possibilities, etc. An OS is a Universe, and we users don't care much about what is in the dark side of the Moon, right? But we should...

I have read about Big Sur, including MacRumors, let's see at a glance...
  • Design refresh
  • Control Center
  • Maps overhaul
  • Revamped Messages app
  • Built-in translator for Safari
  • Major Safari improvements
Well, excluding Major Safari Improvements, the rest seems like comparison between KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon... and a browser extension for translation. Is what user want to see? I should not dear to doubt about Apple's marketing team, but they have a list of unsupported hardware, there must be "physical" reasons for that (or not) so I, in my opinion, there is only two possibilities:
1) they need us to buy new Macs, the rest is basically cosmetic changes and a few real changes as Mojave to Catalina, as pure 64bit... but basically they need us to go shop!
2) they thought most of users can't understand the changes or they can't find a good way to explain it.

From bottom up, as far I read, the system is Unix based. So we don't have a Classic to OSX jump. But by following the Unix and it's OSs we know there is a lot inside a system, distribution, derivation and finally the interface. I personally didn't find information about how Big Sur will boot, initiate, use memory, use the cores, communicate with motherboard and stuff, how it will deal with GPU, how it will be organized in the disk... going further, we will still have the same model of user and applications?

Summarizing, I don't know what's really new about Big Sur, in witch way we will work and develop differently from today.

So far, I am not happy. I don't see a big jump or they don't make efforts to me to see. I remember the jump from Classic to Mac OS X, and I don't see Big Sur even close, I don't think we are out of X and I was expecting more from Apple, I think those guy can do more. They did new hardware at home, why not doing the system? What's the point of to drop Windows support if they don't show something really out of the box?

Finally, I think Big Sur is a mistake, they can and should change the business model, we are not in the XX century anymore. For instance, a 10 years old hardware got everything most of people need to daily tasks, could be used to include poor people instead of increasing the abyss. Of course is complicated to work with old machines and make money, everything is made to fail in our era, but we know we have to change this, and Apple can do more, we know they can and must. Making the best product is not enough today, the near future demands much more. We can't live in this frenesi of buy new, use (or not) and discard, we need to change, and I don't see this in Big Sur, ARM or new expansive iPhone full of nice emojis, seems old fashioned brand new release to a world dying of Covid-19...
 

melancholy

Cancelled
Aug 25, 2016
1,203
1,457
Is a design refresh not a big change for you?

The big change to macOS is that it will run ARM and that it will be able to run iOS and iPadOS apps on day one natively.

what were the big changes from ‘classic’ to Mac OS X? List them so I can understand how lackluster macOS 11 is from your perspective
 

gustavopi

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 29, 2008
98
12
Brazil
Is a design refresh not a big change for you?
It's a big design change for me, but design is only a part of an OS.

Yes, the OS made for ARM that will equip all Apple products might be interesting... one day, as you said. Could be more explored this thing, don't you think? How can we dream about as developers?

Mac OS Classic got monolithic Kernel and later nanokernel with a very basic but well made structure. Extensions was all in one folder and it was all about system configuration. It was an original system, means it will put your app code in memory and if something goes wrong you will have to shut down and pray for your data still be there. It was a good system, but got nothing to do with Darwin and it's hybrid kernel, protected memory and the whole new and better features that FreeBSD uses until today... and I didn't talk about Mac OS X itself!!! Plus, Acqua User Interface.
 
  • Like
Reactions: loby

MandiMac

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2012
1,269
662
I think so too: The jump to ARM, the new design for users, the unifications of icons, new sounds, it all together warrants the jump from Mac OS X to 11.

Let's ask the other way round: What would you like to see that warrants that jump in your opinion?
 
  • Like
Reactions: pioneer9k

Apple Knowledge Navigator

macrumors 68000
Mar 28, 2010
1,596
3,364
I would say that Catalina was the real test for Apple.

Many couldn’t understand why it was so buggy, but it’s clear now that they were laying the groundwork for Bug Sur. And Big Sur is a ‘big’ release because it’s the foundation of the Mac for years and years to come.

Think of it this way - update parity between all of Apple’s OSs will now be infinitely more streamlined. The days of “When is X coming to Mac/iPad are gone. Big Sur truly is a milestone.

It does make me laugh though when Apple announces great new updates, and people are like “Is that all??”.
Seriously what more do you want expect a screen, trackpad and keyboard to do, make coffee?
 

MandiMac

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2012
1,269
662
Think of it this way - update parity between all of Apple’s OSs will now be infinitely more streamlined. The days of “When is X coming to Mac/iPad are gone.
Good point. Plus, iOS/iPadOS apps working out of the box on Big Sur, enriching the App Store indefinitely. Huge point.
 

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,875
4,549
Perth, Western Australia
universal binaries 2
rosetta 2
further integration and merging of ios and macos APIs

theres a lot under the hood going on, but mostly for ARM. if you’re on a existing mac, it’s an incremental update.

rosetta 2 alone is a huge undertaking to make work well.


personally for intel i’ll be happy if it’s just a bug fix release.
 

leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
12,095
7,002
Summarizing, I don't know what's really new about Big Sur, in witch way we will work and develop differently from today.

From the technical standpoint, the big changes as I understand them include the following:

- Apple is moving third-party drivers to userland with DriverKit
- Swift now exists on a deeper level than Obj-C Foundation framework, which finally makes it a "real" system programming language for MacOS

Other than that, it's still the same Unix as Catalina. The move to macOS 11 is just a marketing thing.

I do sympathize with the points you raise but I also think that innovation in computing is more important than backwards compatibility. Frankly, I don't believe it is possible to make good products if one is focused on backwards compatibility. I also don't agree with your consumerism criticism here. A computer is not a blender, and it has a very different cost level than a car. Apple usually offers software support for 6 years — which is longer than the median survival rate of a computer. I think this is more than adequate. Offering support beyond that would again mean sacrificing the interests of a larger customer group for a minor one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: loby and pldelisle

Kylo83

macrumors 6502a
Apr 2, 2020
783
2,212
It’s perthetic we still don’t have airplay 2 as a main output so we can’t use stereo homepods as main MacBook output can’t believe it
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mr Todhunter

gustavopi

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 29, 2008
98
12
Brazil
Let's ask the other way round: What would you like to see that warrants that jump in your opinion?
I wish to try not being so personal, but one thing bothers me and is a common complain is about the speed. Catalina is really slow and still use a Windows trick that is to show the user session opened when is still loading and processing a lot of things, the fast SSD is not enough. Copy a file is slow as hell! Why Linux is so much faster in the same machine? To give you an example, when I bought my Mac Mini, it came with Leopard. That year, Steve released Snow Leopard with few "new features" but a huge difference in performance. It uses less memory, less disk space and it's faster than Leopard, more stable etc., and I remember Steve announcing it. This is one example of what I expect from a new System. Ok... why people like Steve have to die?!?

I would say that Catalina was the real test for Apple.
Yes, and it was released with a huge delay. Though maybe they should have considered not to release it at all, like Windows 9, but I am not sure, subject for another dicussion - why Catalina do exists if there is Mojave and Big Sur?
And yes, there is always the overstatement - is that all? I would not say that, I just have doubts if all those elements are really relevant considering a perspective of a jump Classic - X - Big Sur.

rosetta 2 alone is a huge undertaking to make work well.
Rosetta is a master piece in my opinion, but a Rosetta 2 has less impact (because of the "2"). Hope they keep the good level of the first one!

I do sympathize with the points you raise but I also think that innovation in computing is more important than backwards compatibility. Frankly, I don't believe it is possible to make good products if one is focused on backwards compatibility. I also don't agree with your consumerism criticism here. A computer is not a blender, and it has a very different cost level than a car. Apple usually offers software support for 6 years — which is longer than the median survival rate of a computer. I think this is more than adequate. Offering support beyond that would again mean sacrificing the interests of a larger customer group for a minor one.
This is absolutely right, and it's the mission, the faith of Apple to make it possible anyway. I still remember when I bought my iMac transluced 333MHz, I pay a little more that I would for a PC. As soon I installed Photoshop on it, me and my friends did the famous comparison side by side with a 400MHz Pentium 3 PC - lets rotate a big image: 1, 2, 3... man... iMac did in half time!!!
Meanwhile, I would not mind if the OS became some basic System with some DLCs to buy, you know, I want another interface, I will buy it, I don't want Siri, I don't have to deal with, and of course this will by logic include more hardware, increase the community. Just an example of how can be different without so huge innovation.
 

leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
12,095
7,002
This is absolutely right, and it's the mission, the faith of Apple to make it possible anyway. I still remember when I bought my iMac transluced 333MHz, I pay a little more that I would for a PC. As soon I installed Photoshop on it, me and my friends did the famous comparison side by side with a 400MHz Pentium 3 PC - lets rotate a big image: 1, 2, 3... man... iMac did in half time!!!

Things have changed a lot since than since Apple has been using the same hardware as Windows PCs. But it has the potential to change again with the move to custom Apple hardware — there is a good hope that Apple Silicon is going to be faster than the mainstream PC.

Meanwhile, I would not mind if the OS became some basic System with some DLCs to buy, you know, I want another interface, I will buy it, I don't want Siri, I don't have to deal with, and of course this will by logic include more hardware, increase the community. Just an example of how can be different without so huge innovation.

Except you are getting all these things for free with the current OS model.
 
  • Like
Reactions: loby

Vlad Soare

macrumors regular
Mar 23, 2019
249
116
Bucharest, Romania
I'm usually extremely resistant to change, especially when it comes to design, so given the long thread in which people complain about the new look I expected to hate it with a passion. But as far as I can see, it looks magnificent. I can hardly wait for the final release to be launched.

But what's with the silly name? What the hell is a sur? And whatever it may be, is it a good thing that it's big? Are the operating systems of the competition just small surs, while ours is a big one?
 
Last edited:

leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
12,095
7,002
But what's with the silly name? What the hell is a sur? And whatever it may be, is it a good thing that it's big? Are the operating systems of the competition just small surs, while ours is a big one?

Only one of the most beautiful places in the world ;)



P.S. In case you didn't know, Apple started using names of places in California for their macOS releases few years ago.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vlad Soare

haralds

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2014
1,379
476
Silicon Valley, CA
[...]
  • Major Safari improvements
Well, excluding Major Safari Improvements, the rest seems like comparison between KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon... and a browser extension for translation. [...]
The Safari 14 update will be available for Mojave and Catalina. It is in Seed testing now.
 

loby

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2010
1,068
715
I'm usually extremely resistant to change, especially when it comes to design, so given the long thread in which people complain about the new look I expected to hate it with a passion. But as far as I can see, it looks magnificent. I can hardly wait for the final release to be launched.

But what's with the silly name? What the hell is a sur? And whatever it may be, is it a good thing that it's big? Are the operating systems of the competition just small surs, while ours is a big one?

Big Sur is a local California beauty that follows the California experience. Given that the Apple buddies are beach surfers and pot smoking hikers, this is probably why this name was the choice moving from "the mountains to the desert to the sea" in local California talk..

Not hard to guess what is next if you are about the age of the apple gang and have lived in California... ;)
[automerge]1596015813[/automerge]
Big Sur is a local California beauty that follows the California experience. Given that the Apple buddies are beach surfers and pot smoking hikers, this is probably why this name was the choice moving from "the mountains to the desert to the sea" in local California talk..

Not hard to guess what is next if you are about the age of the apple gang and have lived in California... ;)


My prediction is that the next name for the OS will be macOS Redwoods or Redwood
 
Last edited:
  • Haha
Reactions: leman

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,875
4,549
Perth, Western Australia
Rosetta is a master piece in my opinion, but a Rosetta 2 has less impact (because of the "2"). Hope they keep the good level of the first one!

It may be "Rosetta 2" and you think it's "only v2" but its totally different. It works both at install time and at run time as I understand it, and it is translating x64 to ARM, not PPC to x86.

So it's a total re-write and would have been even more work.
 

||\||

macrumors 6502
Nov 21, 2019
289
551
I would say that Catalina was the real test for Apple.

Many couldn’t understand why it was so buggy, but it’s clear now that they were laying the groundwork for Bug Sur. And Big Sur is a ‘big’ release because it’s the foundation of the Mac for years and years to come.

What this illustrates is incompetence. Apple’s inability to get it right on such a limited current hardware set does not inspire confidence in the future of OS 11.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gustavopi

Kung gu

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2018
375
546
What this illustrates is incompetence. Apple’s inability to get it right on such a limited current hardware set does not inspire confidence in the future of OS 11.
For me the Big Sur beta is already much more stable than Catalina and I can also notice Big Sur is more smooth, when using a mouse.
 

gustavopi

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 29, 2008
98
12
Brazil
Things have changed a lot since than since Apple has been using the same hardware as Windows PCs. But it has the potential to change again with the move to custom Apple hardware — there is a good hope that Apple Silicon is going to be faster than the mainstream PC.
Except you are getting all these things for free with the current OS model.
That's not true. The only thing is free is Darwin, the rest is inside the current model, and Apple has good numbers of profits on this. This model is, at list for now, good for Apple, but I don't think is good for us - that's my point.
Apple put the OS in the same place as website and physical stores, they won't charge you for get inside. But the cost won't go away, Apple will pay with the profits from the hardware sold and everything they can sell to you. The mathematics is simple, you don't know exactly what are you paying when you buy your Mac or your song.

I also liked the way Linux is distributed, Apple could borrow some ideas from there.

Finally, I am sure Apple will give a jump ahead traditional PC with the new ARM hardware, specially if with some Debian installed.
 

gustavopi

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 29, 2008
98
12
Brazil
For me the Big Sur beta is already much more stable than Catalina and I can also notice Big Sur is more smooth, when using a mouse.
For many users as me that can't test Big Sur, the reference will be Catalina. I bet many people inside Apple regret of Catalina release, I just saw some forums about Apple Music and there is a lot of complain, the app is still unstable today... hard work in a system that is old already!

It may be "Rosetta 2" and you think it's "only v2" but its totally different. It works both at install time and at run time as I understand it, and it is translating x64 to ARM, not PPC to x86.

So it's a total re-write and would have been even more work.
If they re-write totally the software, they should give it a new name - one more real new thing about Big Sur. When you have to explain like this, is because the product is no well advertised.

Looking at the Apples page of Big Sur new features, the important thing starts almost in the middle with Privacy item. Privacy is deeply discussed by society, why not to highlight it? Maps, Messages, Safari... all things you can update in Mojave, not particular feature of a OS. Battery is inside the "Even More", but is important for using the macbook to real work, and we know will depend the OS the management of the motherboard and peripherals to achieve a better result.

Maybe Big Sur is really new, but is hiding it's cards for some reason...
 

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
6,875
4,549
Perth, Western Australia
If they re-write totally the software, they should give it a new name

They did.

"Rosetta 2".

Just like "macOS 11"

I'm not sure why you're so up in arms about names vs. new features. It is what it is. If you don't feel the upgrade is worth it, it is your choice - stay on Catalina or Mojave or whatever.
 

gustavopi

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 29, 2008
98
12
Brazil
They did.

"Rosetta 2".

Just like "macOS 11"

I'm not sure why you're so up in arms about names vs. new features. It is what it is. If you don't feel the upgrade is worth it, it is your choice - stay on Catalina or Mojave or whatever.
Just pointing that Apple won't make the product to be perceived as it is. I saw only good reviews about those who already have the new mini in hands, and Rosetta 2 is very praised. Unlike the way I start this thread, I changed my mind a bit, Big Sur got some good new stuff, just wondering why is hidden. I didn't up my arms, just exchanging ideas, you on the other hands came with this polite attempt to and the discussion with this - do whatever you want...
 

MandiMac

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2012
1,269
662
Just pointing that Apple won't make the product to be perceived as it is. I saw only good reviews about those who already have the new mini in hands, and Rosetta 2 is very praised. Unlike the way I start this thread, I changed my mind a bit, Big Sur got some good new stuff, just wondering why is hidden. I didn't up my arms, just exchanging ideas, you on the other hands came with this polite attempt to and the discussion with this - do whatever you want...
Do you have any links for me about the reviews, please? :) Thank you!
 

kissmo

Cancelled
Jun 29, 2011
1,062
1,053
Budapest, Hungary
I can't find personally anything that I love about Big Sur and yet, I cannot wait for its final release.
Using Catalina on a machine in parallel with a testing mac on Big Sur and I can say, for some strange reason, I prefer Big Sur.

Under the hood changes are not so visible, and I don't think they will be properly visible until the final release, but the interface has some throwback to the older days of the Mac.
The color palette on iOS and Mac OS is still disturbing me - especially the saturation of the colors. Maybe I am getting old but my eyes hurt and get tired way to easy.

Personally I welcome the changes closer to a skeuomorphic interface, they are refreshing a bit over the flatness that has plagued us in the past years.
 
  • Like
Reactions: gustavopi
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.