Monday, June 22nd 2020

Apple Introduces macOS Big Sur with a Beautiful New Design

Apple today previewed macOS Big Sur, the latest version of the world's most advanced desktop operating system. macOS Big Sur introduces a beautiful redesign that is entirely new yet instantly familiar. Safari is packed with new features, including a customizable start page, elegantly designed and more powerful tabs, quick and easy translation, and a new Privacy Report. The updated Messages app lets Mac users send and receive more personal and expressive messages, and easily keep track of and interact within group messages. Maps also offers an all-new experience with immersive features for exploring and navigating the world.

"macOS Big Sur is a major update that advances the legendary combination of the power of UNIX with the ease of use of the Mac, and delivers our biggest update to design in more than a decade," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "With its modern and clean look, huge improvements to key apps including Safari, Messages, and Maps, and new privacy features, we think everyone is going to love the breakthrough experience that macOS Big Sur offers."
Biggest Design Upgrade Since the Introduction of Mac OS X
macOS Big Sur delivers a spacious new design that makes navigation easier, while putting more controls at users' fingertips. Everything from the curvature of window corners to the palette of colors and materials has been refined, and new features provide even more information and power. Icons in the Dock have been thoughtfully designed to be more consistent with icons across the Apple ecosystem while retaining their Mac personality. Buttons and controls appear when needed, and recede when they're not. The entire experience feels more focused, fresh, and familiar, reducing visual complexity and bringing users' content front and center.

The customizable menu bar features an all-new Control Center, delivering quick access to controls from the desktop. An updated Notification Center includes more interactive notifications and redesigned widgets that come in different sizes, providing users with more relevant information at a glance. And a new design for core apps brings more organization to multiple open windows and makes interacting with apps even easier.

A Faster, More Personal, Privacy-First Safari Experience
In the biggest update to Safari since its original launch in 2003, the world's fastest browser is even faster, providing industry-leading speed1 and battery life.2 Safari's fast JavaScript engine helps it outperform other browsers on Mac and PC, and Safari loads frequently visited sites an average of 50 percent faster than Chrome.1 Tabs have been entirely redesigned to make navigating with Safari faster and more powerful by showing more tabs onscreen, displaying favicons by default to easily identify open tabs, and giving users a quick preview of a page by simply hovering over the tab.

Safari brings new features for greater personalization while browsing the web. Users can customize the new start page with a background image and sections like their Reading List and iCloud Tabs. With built-in translation, Safari can detect and translate entire webpages from seven languages with just a click.3 Users can further personalize their experience with improved support for extensions, and the Mac App Store makes it easy to discover and download great Safari extensions with a new category that includes editorial spotlights and top charts.

Privacy has always been built into Safari, and a new Privacy Report delivers added visibility into how Safari protects browsing activity across the web. Users can choose when and which websites a Safari extension can work with, and tools like data breach password monitoring never reveal your password information — not even to Apple.

Powerful and Expressive Messages

Messages on the Mac includes new tools to better manage important conversations and share expressive messages. Users can now pin their favorite conversations to the top of their messages list for fast access, and search has been entirely redesigned — organizing results into links, photos, and matching terms — to help users quickly find what they are looking for.

Message effects let users add personality to their messages with balloons, confetti, and more. Users can now create and customize their Memoji on the Mac, and express themselves with Memoji stickers to match their mood and personality. And with a new photo picker and #images, it's easy to quickly share images, GIFs, and videos.

New group messaging features streamline interactions with family, friends, and colleagues. Inline replies enable users to respond directly to a message, and now they can direct a message to an individual in a group conversation by simply typing their name. And users can now set a photo or an emoji for their group conversation that's shared with all members of the group.

All-New Planning Tools with Maps
Completely redesigned for macOS Big Sur, Maps brings new features for exploring the world. Discover places to visit and things to do with Guides from trusted resources, or create custom guides of favorite restaurants, parks, and vacation spots that can be shared with friends and family. Get a 360-degree view of a destination with Look Around, and browse detailed indoor maps of major airports and shopping centers. Cycling and electric vehicle trips can now be routed on a Mac, and sent directly to iPhone to have when on the go.

Industry-Leading Privacy
Privacy is at the core of the Mac experience, and macOS Big Sur offers users even more transparency and control over their data. Inspired by the convenience and readability of food nutrition labels, new privacy information detailed in the Mac App Store will help users understand the privacy practices of apps before downloading them, including the types of data the apps might collect — such as usage, contact information, or location — and whether that data is shared with third parties for tracking.

World-Class Developer Tools
Apple's developer community of more than 20 million use the Mac to create amazing experiences for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Xcode 12 makes developing great apps for macOS easier than ever. SwiftUI gets a major upgrade so that developers can write entire apps with shared code across all Apple platforms, while easily adding custom Mac features like Preferences windows. And SwiftUI is used in even more places, powering the new widgets for Mac, iPhone, and iPad using shared Swift code.

Mac Catalyst, which debuted with macOS Catalina last year, has made it easy for developers to bring their iPad apps to the Mac. And in macOS Big Sur, Mac Catalyst apps automatically inherit the new look, while giving developers powerful new APIs and total control over the look and behavior of their apps.

Developers can now also offer Family Sharing for their in-app purchases and subscriptions, and with support for the WebExtensions API, developers can easily bring extensions built for other browsers over to Safari.

Availability
The developer beta of macOS Big Sur is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today, and a public beta will be available to Mac users next month at beta.apple.com. macOS Big Sur will be available this fall as a free software update. For more information, including compatible Mac models, visit apple.com/macos/bigsur-preview. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or languages.
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24 Comments on Apple Introduces macOS Big Sur with a Beautiful New Design

#1
Totally
Looks like Android with MS Aero, 'Beautiful New Design' should be 'Done Before'.
Just reminds me of their add for Foundation where they try hyping it up by saying that it was the inspiration for Star Wars when it's been covered in depth that SW took heavy inspiration from Journey to the West, for thw books and Spaghetti Westerns that were popular at the time come the movies. Star Wars is litterally a Western in space. But their heads are shoved so far up their asses they just can't smell the bs.
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#2
xkm1948
Hell no. Catalina becomes extremely developer unfriendly. With apple moving to ARM, they are just locking down everything now
Posted on Reply
#3
PowerPC
xkm1948
Hell no. Catalina becomes extremely developer unfriendly. With apple moving to ARM, they are just locking down everything now
How is Catalina developer unfriendly? How are you infering that Apple is "just locking down everything now"?
Posted on Reply
#4
Ashtr1x
There's no shred of beauty there, the Aqua UX is now just an iOS clone, so many hardcore Mac users are not liking that High Sierra, Catalina. And this one esp that top bar of the window looks broad, because it's modern trash, also look at the information density, it's way less now, just like Win10 hybrid BS UX. And this one takes more into their magical BS Ecosystem rather than providing computation for many. Just overpriced again and to take more money from their loyal base.
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#5
Caring1
:p I'd like to see McDonalds take on Apple for using Mac and Big in the name.
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#6
Cranky5150
I just hear Apple and............................yeah
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#7
R-T-B
PowerPC
How is Catalina developer unfriendly? How are you infering that Apple is "just locking down everything now"?
Don't they require paid dev signatures to have apps "just run" now?
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#8
dyonoctis
On the subject of "minimalist design", for a while now, I feel like people who are working on text based content (devs) and those who are working on graphic content really have different view about why It's happening.
I often see comments about how it's a designer ego when it's actually the reverse. The UI become simpler because they want you to forget about the UI, and focus on the content.
Designers are not artists. When those people are going to school, they have courses about understanding how the human eye work, they are looking at where the human eye is spending most of it's time, and why it's happening. If the eye is by reflex spending more time looking at the U.I than the content, then it's a failure. Complexe effects looks nice, but they are too eye catching.

It's the same thing that's happening with bezels : you need to forget about the phone, and look at the content.

(And contary to belief, making a logo look simple isn't a new fad, Raymond Loewy born in 1893, was already doing it in the 30's and 40's. Complex logos are actually something really really old.)
Posted on Reply
#9
zlobby
Microsoft and Google should be very, very afraid. Apple are doing what none of the prior could do in more than a decade.

I wonder if MS and Goog will go to bed in some attempt to counter this bold move from Apple?
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#10
masf7g
R-T-B
Don't they require paid dev signatures to have apps "just run" now?
No, they don't.
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#11
TheLostSwede
Sur means sour or pissed off in Swedish...
Great name choice...
Posted on Reply
#12
neatfeatguy
I don't know about people here, but I can't for the life of me remember how to navigate Apple computers anymore.....understand the one mouse button anymore and everything feels backwards when compared to Windows or Andriod OSes. I never liked Macs from the first day I used them (probably because they were the awful green screen computers and despite what school teachers told us that they're more reliable and don't crash like Windows systems - I had to constantly restart the Mac computers as they locked up over and over again) that felt slow and old compared to the Win 95 computer we had at home.

How do people find using Macs and their OS enjoyable?


The kids are restricted (still) to doing their taekowndo via virtual classes and the wife has Zoom all setup on her laptop. The other night she was out to finally get in for a haircut, this left kids and myself to figure out how the hell to find Zoom on her laptop and get it going.

Daughter tells me the Zoom app is on the quick launch bar at the bottom of the screen....sure enough, I find it there. Click on it. Zoom wants to update.
Click on update, wait a few moments for it to download.
Click on install, wait a few moments for it to install.
Bring up the quick launch bar at the bottom of the screen.....where the hell did the Zoom app go? The icon isn't there anymore. WTF?

I'm wracking my brain by trying to go back 21 years when I last used a Mac last in high school.....damn I feel old.....and I can't remember how to navigate to find programs on it. I ask the daughter and she looks at me like I'm fucking stupid and just shrugs her shoulders with a stupid expression on her face.

I spend 5-6 minutes and can't figure it out anymore. Taekowndo class starts in 3 minutes....last ditch effort I pull up zoom's website and try to log in there with the meeting ID and password. Success! Ha! I won, I beat this stupid OS and got Zoom going for the kids.
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#13
slehmann
Apple seems to me a bit erratic in their decision to find a proper CPU architecture for them... Motorola (CISC), then IBM PowerPC (RISC), then Intel (CISC) and now their own ARM stuff (RISC).
Looking at these decisions i might predict the next thing they'll do regarding their CPU architecture style .... they'll get a x86 license (CISC again) and enter the ring with AMD and Intel ....
(CISC = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_instruction_set_computer)
(RISC = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reduced_instruction_set_computer)
Posted on Reply
#14
zlobby
And just how exactly you envision mApple getting both x86 and x86-64 licenses?
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#15
claes
Wait, wait -- they converted the whole damn thing to ARM? I was expecting a completely rewritten OS. Have to hand it to them, that's pretty exciting for a developer like me.
neatfeatguy
I don't know about people here, but I can't for the life of me remember how to navigate Apple computers anymore.....understand the one mouse button anymore and everything feels backwards when compared to Windows or Andriod OSes. I never liked Macs from the first day I used them (probably because they were the awful green screen computers and despite what school teachers told us that they're more reliable and don't crash like Windows systems - I had to constantly restart the Mac computers as they locked up over and over again) that felt slow and old compared to the Win 95 computer we had at home.

How do people find using Macs and their OS enjoyable?


The kids are restricted (still) to doing their taekowndo via virtual classes and the wife has Zoom all setup on her laptop. The other night she was out to finally get in for a haircut, this left kids and myself to figure out how the hell to find Zoom on her laptop and get it going.

Daughter tells me the Zoom app is on the quick launch bar at the bottom of the screen....sure enough, I find it there. Click on it. Zoom wants to update.
Click on update, wait a few moments for it to download.
Click on install, wait a few moments for it to install.
Bring up the quick launch bar at the bottom of the screen.....where the hell did the Zoom app go? The icon isn't there anymore. WTF?

I'm wracking my brain by trying to go back 21 years when I last used a Mac last in high school.....damn I feel old.....and I can't remember how to navigate to find programs on it. I ask the daughter and she looks at me like I'm fucking stupid and just shrugs her shoulders with a stupid expression on her face.

I spend 5-6 minutes and can't figure it out anymore. Taekowndo class starts in 3 minutes....last ditch effort I pull up zoom's website and try to log in there with the meeting ID and password. Success! Ha! I won, I beat this stupid OS and got Zoom going for the kids.

apple + space, or just look in the applications folder, located in the sidebar in finder.
Posted on Reply
#16
R-T-B
masf7g
No, they don't.
Pretty sure they do have a smartscreen equivalent and it's much more agressive, so that'd be a yes.

Found it: It's called GateKeeper.

support.apple.com/guide/security/app-security-overview-sec35dd877d0/web

Hint: "Trusted software" means you paid a fee.
slehmann
Apple seems to me a bit erratic in their decision to find a proper CPU architecture for them... Motorola (CISC), then IBM PowerPC (RISC), then Intel (CISC) and now their own ARM stuff (RISC).
Looking at these decisions i might predict the next thing they'll do regarding their CPU architecture style .... they'll get a x86 license (CISC again) and enter the ring with AMD and Intel ....
(CISC = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_instruction_set_computer)
(RISC = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reduced_instruction_set_computer)
Or maybe apple just grew up and realized that the architecture is only a small piece of the computer package.
Posted on Reply
#17
claes
R-T-B
Pretty sure they do have a smartscreen equivalent and it's much more agressive, so that'd be a yes.

Found it: It's called GateKeeper.

support.apple.com/guide/security/app-security-overview-sec35dd877d0/web

Hint: "Trusted software" means you paid a fee.
It's $99 to submit your app to either App Store, but the SDKs are free and Gatekeeper can either be turned off or bypassed on a per app basis with a right-click.

If anything, the latest OS seems more open than previous versions -- now they're supporting the development of custom system and kernel extensions, which previous releases did not unless you disabled System Integrity Protection.
Posted on Reply
#18
R-T-B
claes
but the SDKs are free and Gatekeeper can either be turned off or bypassed on a per app basis with a right-click.
"Just run" was my key wording.
Posted on Reply
#19
claes
I mean, you just have to right-click and click “open” to reveal a prompt about bypassing gatekeeper (if you try to just open the app you’ll be prompted to go through these steps, IIRC), but I hear you. Still, I don’t think it’s any more of a burden than installing an application on Windows ($400/yr to sign your app and bypass Defender, IIRC).
Posted on Reply
#20
R-T-B
claes
I mean, you just have to right-click and click “open” to reveal a prompt about bypassing gatekeeper (if you try to just open the app you’ll be prompted to go through these steps, IIRC), but I hear you. Still, I don’t think it’s any more of a burden than installing an application on Windows ($400/yr to sign your app and bypass Defender, IIRC).
No, it's not. Wasn't going to take branded sides, I just think both are silly. We are in an age of not educating users what to click, rather teaching them it's "ok cause it has a signature or not, you can't mess up!"
Posted on Reply
#21
claes
R-T-B
No, it's not. Wasn't going to take branded sides, I just think both are silly. We are in an age of not educating users what to click, rather teaching them it's "ok cause it has a signature or not, you can't mess up!"
I agree. A real tragedy that every app isn’t signed; it’s not like they’re doing a good job of auditing their app stores as is. Policing malicious code with a pay wall doesn’t seem to be much of an incentive to prevent actors with ill intentions.

Edit; my favorite App Store is github :)
Posted on Reply
#22
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
R-T-B
"Just run" was my key wording.
Every OS has this kind of functionality now though, the real question is how aggressive is it. I haven't used Windows in a while, but UAC is still required for a lot of operations to get software either on to or running on your machine. Linux has things like AppArmor (which I almost never have to worry about, except for installing printer drivers.) OS X used to be a lot less friendly to unsigned applications in the sense that it was either all or nothing. At least now you can allow it once and be done with it.

The real question though, is do you want unsigned software or software requiring root access to "just run"? I know I don't, which is why I don't mind Ubuntu using AppArmor. It does more good than bad. Out of all my issues with OS X, that doesn't even make the list.
Posted on Reply
#23
R-T-B
Aquinus
Every OS has this kind of functionality now though
Yeah, that doesn't justify it anymore than day 1. Keep in mind signatures aren't really the issue, the policing with a paywall is.
Posted on Reply
#24
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
R-T-B
Yeah, that doesn't justify it anymore than day 1. Keep in mind signatures aren't really the issue, the policing with a paywall is.
I'm not sure about that. If they're reviewing your application before letting you ship it signed and to have it on the App Store, that's time and resources that Apple has to spend to do that, even if your application gets rejected for one reason or another. As a business, I can't really fault them for charging other businesses to support that process, after all, it's Apple giving them the opportunity to gain access to their market.

The unfortunate reality is that the walled garden approach can actually work really well and Apple has already clearly demonstrated that. It is always easier to provide a good experience when you control everything from top to bottom.
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