MacOS Big Sur: Apple unveils new complete redesign for computer operating system

New update is the biggest update to design since MacOS was released, Apple claims

Andrew Griffin
Monday 22 June 2020 20:13
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Apple release what new Mac OS will look like

Apple has revealed MacOS Big Sur, its new operating system for computers.

It comes with a complete redesign that changes the look of the computers icons and windows. Apple says that the new design is the biggest upgrade since Mac OS X was first introduced, 20 years ago.

And it is the first of Apple's operating systems that will be released on computers using its new chips, which use Apple's own silicon for the first ever time.

The new look brings a re-thought look to the windows, icons and everything else about the computer, to make it more in line with other products like the iPhone.

As well as the new look, there are also new sounds. Apple said that while many of the noises that signal alerts and other events will be familiar, they have been remastered.

Apple has also borrowed functional changes from the iPhone and iPad line, as well as bringing the design more in line with those platforms, with the addition of a new Control Center and a re-organised Notification Center.

The design comes alongside a host of new features, including changes to the Messages and Maps apps. Those bring the app more in line with the iPhone versions of the apps, and include the new conversations update that came to iOS too.

Safari also receives a range of new features, in what it said was the biggest update to the web browser since it was first introduced. The app has been rapidly sped up, to make it more than 50 per cent faster than Chrome, Apple said, and privacy protections that stop websites from being able to see users' browser history.

Those privacy tools are present in the rest of the updates, too. They include special privacy notices, based on food nutrition data, that will tell users about the kind of data an app might collect before it is downloaded.

A beta version of the software will be released to developers today, before the public can join the programme to get hold of it from next month. The full release will likely come in October, going by previous years.

“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, in a statement.

“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.”

Apple unveiled the changes during its WWDC event, being held online for the first time.

Follow our live coverage of the conference here.

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