Today, Apple announced that macOS 11 Big Sur will launch on all supported devices on November 12. The operating system update was first announced at the company’s annual developer conference in June and has been working its way through various phases of beta testing since.
Big Sur primarily lays the groundwork for Apple Silicon-based Macs. Apple says the update has been designed to maximize the performance of the company’s new M1 system-on-a-chip and that the combination will make it possible to run iOS and iPadOS apps natively on M1-equipped Macs, though iOS/iPadOS developers will be able to opt out of that if they choose.
Big Sur introduces a notable visual redesign for the user interface and many apps, including an iOS- and iPadOS-like notification center panel on the desktop. Some parts of Big Sur, like a new version of Safari, have already been released to users running Catalina.
A new version of Messages adds many features seen in last month’s iOS update for iPhones: pinned conversations, inline replies, @ mentions, and more. Users can create memoji on the Mac for the first time as well.
Meanwhile, the Maps app gets a bunch of features we’ve already seen on the iPhone (that’s a trend, here) including indoor maps, guides, and the Google Street View-like Look Around feature.
With this release, Apple will round out its annual major operating system updates. iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS all got big releases earlier.
Big Sur will be available as a free update for users of supported Macs, and it replaces the last major update—macOS Catalina. It’s also the first update to be called macOS 11 rather than macOS 10 or Mac OS X. Keep an eye out for our review in the coming weeks.
Here’s the full list of Macs that can run Big Sur:
- 2013 and later MacBook Airs
- 2015 and later MacBooks
- Late 2013 and later MacBook Pros
- 2014 and later Mac Minis
- 2014 and later iMacs
- 2017 and later iMac Pros
- 2013 and later Mac Pros