macOS Big Sur features: New Design, Control Center, Notifications and More

Apple announced major updates for macOS 11 or macOS Big Sur at WWDC 2020, which will bring a refined and all-new design, customization options, powerful controls, floating deck, and more.

The update will feature an advanced OS for Macs with an enhanced experience, new icons, improved performance features, power efficiency, control center support, new widgets, updates for various apps, and an updated notification center.

macOS Big Sur Features and Enhancements

Here are all the updates coming with macOS Big Sur this fall:


macOS Big Sur is bringing a better experience for users with the following updates:

  1. Updated Menu Bar: The menu bar for Mac systems is now translucent and taller, which will allow Mac’s picture to have an edge-to-edge extension. Colour density for words depends upon each user’s background picture with larger pull-down menus for bigger space.
  2. New Icons: All app icons in the floating dock have been redesigned with a fresh look and some stylistic touches.
  3. Redesigned Sheets: Borders and bezels from the sheet app have been removed to put better focus on the user’s content. The background is automatically dimmed and scale into the center of the Sheets app.
  4. New Symbols: Toolbars, Sidebars, and controls are getting new symbols for apps.


Control Center and Notifications

Control Center and Notification Center for macOS are getting the following updates:

  1. New Control Center Designed for Mac: macOS Big Sur is getting an all-new control center specially designed for mac’s interface. The new feature will be similar to iOS’s Control Center and will enable users to quickly access controls like WiFi, Bluetooth, AirDrop, and more, without opening system settings.
  2. Updated Notification Center: macOS will have a fully redesigned Notification Center which is let users put all their notifications and widgets into a single column. Notifications will then be sorted along with information delivered by widgets.
  3. Interactive Notifications: Users can click on notifications to expand it. Notifications from Apple Podcasts, Mail, Calendar, etc., can be expanded and users can reply from within the notification center.
  4. Redesigned and Customizable Widgets: Users can easily add new widgets to their control centers and customize their size depending on their needs. Third-party widgets could also be discovered on the App Store.



Apple initially released Safari for Mac in 2003 and has been making updates to it ever since. The browser will be getting enhancements and performance updates this year in macOS Big Sur as well. Here is all that is coming to Safari:

  1. Customizable Start Page: Safari’s Start Page will now be customizable for each user. Users can add their preferred background image from Safari’s gallery or from Photos. Users will also be able to select which sections are displayed on their Start page.
  2. Improved Performance and Power Efficiency: Apple claims that Safari now loads 50% faster results than Google’s Chrome browser. The app also offers power efficiency for streaming videos and browsing the web on Macs.
  3. Favicons, More tabs display, and website previews: Default tab favicons by Apple will help users quickly identify the tabs they want to navigate to. These tabs will also be getting website previews so that tabs with the same favicons can provide a sneak-peak into the content displayed within it. In addition to that, users will be able to see more onscreen tabs than before.
  4. Translation: Safari will be able to translate entire web pages by simply clicking the translation icon. Safari can translate between English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Russian, or Brazilian Portuguese.
  5. Safari Extensions on App Store: A new extension category will be available on the App Store containing all Safari extensions with spotlights, top charts, and popular extensions for users to browse through and download.
  6. Privacy Report: Safari will use tracking prevention to prevent hackers from profiling users. The browser’s new privacy report will show blocked trackers on every website visited by the user. The privacy report can be accessed from Safari’s toolbar.
  7. Password Monitoring: Safari will help users maintain their passwords and help them upgrade existing passwords in case of any data breach.



macOS Big Sur brings the following enhancements for battery life:

  1. Optimized battery charging: Similar to iOS, macOS’s optimized battery charging is designed to preserve the device’s battery health. The feature will ensure that your Mac notebook is fully charged when the device is unplugged and make sure it only activated when it predicts that a charger will be connected for a suitable time period.
  2. Battery Usage History: The feature displays battery usage graphs for the past 10 hours for better optimization.


Messages for macOS Big Sur will be getting several new features like:

  1. Search: The updated search experience organizes your search results into photos, highlights, links, and other matching terms.
  2. Pin Conversations: Users can pin important conversations at the top of their messaging lists.
  3. Mentions: Members within a group chat can be mentioned by using the @ sign. Users can choose to receive group notifications when they are mentioned in a group chat.
  4. Effects: Message effects like confetti, balloons, lasers, and more can be added to a conversation. Effects like Loud, slam, gentle, and invisible ink can also be added.
  5. Memoji Editor and stickers: Users can create an emoji that suits them and use it to send stickers to one another.



An all-new redesigned app is coming to macOS Big Sur. Here’s all we know:

  1. Guides: Users can access locations and explore them in cities with guides created by brands they trust. Users can also create their own guides and share them with friends and family.
  2. Look Around: A new 360-degree look around feature will let users explore cities with an interactive 3D experience.
  3. Cycling Routes: Users will be able to plan their routes right on their Macs and share it with their phones.
  4. Indoor Maps: The app will browse detailed indoor maps for public places like AirPorts, Shopping Centers, buildings, Beaches, etc.


Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade will be getting recommendations, achievements, and filters for games in macOS Big Sur. The in-game dashboard will show progress for each player. Apple will also release a sneak peek feature for upcoming Apple Arcade games.

The new macOS Big Sur developer beta is out now for download.

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