All About the macOS 11 Big Sur: Features, Facts and More!

Apple is well known for its lineup of premium quality gadgets, most notably its iPhones, Macs and iPads. Needless to say, its range of Mac computers is immensely popular and, as any user of an Apple product will tell you, the user-friendliness and the sheer smoothness of Macs are second to none. With its product lineup, Apple has made a name for itself as a tech corporation par excellence.

The latest version of Apple’s operating system for its line of Mac computers, called macOS 11 Big Sur, was officially launched on November 12, 2020 and it has no doubt made big news in the world of technology.

What’s in a name?

The name of macOS 11, Big Sur, is named after a mountainous area in California of the same name. Another interesting fact about this operating system is that it is not macOS 10.16 as many may have been expecting it to be, but macOS 11. The launch of this operating system marks Apple’s transition from macOS 10 (which is also known as macOS X) to macOS 11.

Claim to fame

The characteristic feature of the macOS 11 Big Sur is its redesign. Apple has given the whole operating system a fresh new look, which, according to Apple, is the biggest update to its design for its desktop operating system since the launch of OS X. In fact, Apple has made a number of tweaks to the operating system that may sound insignificant at first, but these changes add up to an overall aesthetic that is nicer on the eyes, looks more modern, and more closely resembles the design of iOS, the operating system for its iPhones.

More like an iPhone!

It’s all in the details. For instance, the dock icons for Apple’s apps will now be having the same rounded square shape that has been the norm for iPhones. Certain apps too have new icons that resemble icons on the iOS 14 operating system on iPhones. These include the white eighth notes on a red background for Music, a white envelope on a blue background for Mail, a white background for the Safari compass, among others.

All in all, the macOS 11 Big Sur has been given a new look and feel that makes the Mac experience distinguishably like that of an iPhone. If you are looking to upgrade your Mac’s operating system to the new macOS 11, have a look at for a step by step installation guide.


Another difference between macOS 11 and previous versions that one would notice is the operating system’s increased use of transparent and translucent layers. For example, the menu bar on the top of the screen, which previously used to be white, is now translucent and it adapts the color of the desktop background. Icons on the text and menu bar adapt in the same way as well as they turn white for dark backgrounds and black for light backgrounds. This change will be seen within apps as well, such as while scrolling through a page in Safari if a dark picture appears, the color of the toolbar changes accordingly.

Buttons and Controls

As regards the buttons and controls for apps, they now appear when needed and they disappear when not being used. This is done in order to provide greater focus on content. Also, the menu bar is customizable and provides users access to a likewise customizable Control Center, which contains the controls for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth as well as AirDrop, along with keyboard brightness, Do Not Disturb settings, Dark Mode, sound and audio settings, and many others.


The macOS 11 also features a revamped Notification Center that has more interactive notifications. They are grouped on the basis of app and the layout features iOS style widgets which users can customize, with the choice of three different sizes. This design organizes several open windows in a better way and makes it simpler for users to interact with the various apps.


The layout for messages on macOS 11 are now based on the Messages app as seen on iPhones. This version of macOS has incorporated several features that iOS 14 has, such as pinned conversations, @ mentions, inline replies and others. Message effects too now work on the Mac interface, and users can even create Memoji stickers. The Messages app also features a photo picker, which makes it easier to discover photos by keywords, and also has a trending images feature and a GIF feature, which can be used for adding pictures and GIFs to messages.

Safari Upgrades

Apple has made navigation on Safari faster by displaying more tabs, including a hover gesture feature that allows users to preview web pages. Privacy on the browser has been improved too with a Privacy Report. This informs users about trackers that Safari blocks when websites are accessed. Safari also includes an inbuilt translation feature which users can utilize to translate web pages in their entirety from seven languages with a single click.

Password Security

For users who have saved their passwords in iCloud Keychain, Apple will now notify users if a data breach occurs, along with password monitoring which combines automatically generated passwords with other security tools.

Final thoughts

There has been tremendous hype surrounding the macOS, and it is no doubt a fine innovation with a refurbished look and a host of fine features, and it sets the tone for future updates from Apple.

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