macOS Big Sur, unveiled in June 2020 at WWDC, is the newest version of macOS, set to be released this fall. macOS Big Sur features an overhauled look, and it’s such a big update that Apple bumped the version number to 11. That’s right, macOS Big Sur is macOS 11.0.
Apple introduced the biggest design update to macOS since the introduction of Mac OS X with macOS Big Sur, overhauling everything from the curvature of window corners to colors and dock icon designs. The revamped look was designed to feel both fresh and familiar at the same time.
Windows have a lighter appearance for a cleaner look with additional translucency and rounded edges, the Dock is more translucent, app icons have a new uniform squircle shape, menu bars in apps have been redesigned to make them less obtrusive and better able to blend in with your content, system sounds have been entirely redone, and there are new symbols in toolbars, sidebars, and controls to provide clarity and consistency across apps.
Buttons and controls for apps now appear when needed and disappear when not in use to provide more focus on content, and the customizable menu bar offers access to a customizable Control Center that houses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirDrop controls, keyboard brightness, Do Not Disturb, Dark Mode, sound level, and more.
The Notification Center has been redesigned with more interactive notifications grouped by app and iOS-style widgets that can be customized in three different sizes. An updated design for core apps provides better organization for multiple open windows and makes it easier to interact with apps.
Safari is faster and more battery efficient than ever in macOS Big Sur and features a new start page that can be customized with user-selected wallpapers and sections like Reading List and iCloud Tabs. The Mac App Store makes it easier to find extensions, and Apple added a feature that lets Chrome and Firefox extensions be easily ported to Safari.
Apple redesigned tabs to make Safari navigation faster by showing more tabs onscreen, with favicons displayed to identify tabs and a hover gesture offering quick page previews. Users can choose when and which websites can use a Safari extension, limiting system access.