This year's new macOS official version is pushed a bit later than in previous years.
This is obviously related to the late Mac release, but on the bright side, Apple also has more time to debug macOS more stable.
After the first beta version was released in June of this year, I took the 16-inch MacBook Pro I had on hand to upgrade. At that time, I encountered software crashes and freezes every day, as well as interface dislocation and pop-ups caused by unsuited applications. Wait for random bugs.
However, in the beta version of the past two months, such problems that will greatly affect the use have rarely appeared. Some features that only appeared in the beta version, such as AirPods automatic audio switching, also enhance the connection between the Mac and other Apple devices.
In fact, the official version of the new macOS system launched by Apple today is not 11, but 11.0.1, which is the official version that has undergone a minor update.
This is similar to the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro shipped with iOS 14.1 last month. Many new system bugs still have to wait for the second and third minor updates to be resolved. The larger sample size will indeed Some bugs that have not been discovered during the internal testing process were exposed.
Therefore, users who are not in a hurry to experience the new features can still wait. As for those who have important data on the computer and cannot be saved in the cloud, it is also recommended to make a backup before updating.
Let's take a look at the new changes in this year's macOS system.
More iOS interface style
The design style of macOS Big Sur has been greatly changed, which has been mentioned in the previous experience article of the beta version . The menu bars, icons, pop-up windows, and buttons you see are obviously different from previous generations of macOS. The large number of rounded corner elements and the translucent effect of frosted glass make people feel that this is "iOS-like".
The current consensus is that Apple hopes to promote the "great unification" of its own ecology. Based on this development path, the design style of macOS must also be consistent with iOS and iPadOS.
This is actually beneficial for developers to do cross-platform application transplantation, and new users can also reduce learning costs when using cross-devices.
However, the new macOS still retains some of the traditional features of Mac. For example, some icons retain their true rendering style, and shadow and three-dimensional effects can be seen instead of being completely flat.
In Apple's official macOS Big Sur human-computer interface guide , there is also such a description:
"In the overall design, we encourage visual consistency, but we also welcome appropriate visual expressions. For example, application icons such as preview, Xcode, and text editing combine rounded rectangles with metaphorical real elements and still Express the function of the application."
The sense of hierarchy is still very important in the design of macOS. Apple's vice president of human-computer interaction design, Alan Dye, also said that the depth, shadow, and translucent special effects retained in the new system are actually used to build a hierarchy.
But not all icons can find a balance between flat and imitation. For example, memos, calendars and videos are far inferior to the old version in terms of aesthetics and recognition.
The majority of third-party applications will also face new choices. With the change of macOS system style, how will they adjust their icons and interfaces?
▲ Left: Ulysses's old macOS icon; Right: Ulyeese's icon on iOS
▲ Ulysses updated icons for macOS Big Sur
We can look at how the old writing software Ulysses does it. Its new icon caters to the rounded corner style of the new system while retaining a certain texture.
They also stated in their blog posts , "Although changes may bring discomfort, it is still the right move to incorporate the new style." In the future, we are likely to usher in a large number of third-party software interface style changes.
New control and notification center
The new macOS introduces a control center similar to iOS, which integrates some common functions such as WiFi, Bluetooth, brightness and sound adjustment in one place, and presents them in different rounded small cards. After clicking, you can perform more operations.
After this treatment, some less commonly used functions can be directly placed in the control center, and the menu bar can also leave more space for other plug-in icons.
Another commonly used interface is the sidebar. The original notification information and components are integrated into one place, and the mechanism of "grouping" and "stacking" is also introduced. Originally, only one notification area can be placed, but now a group can be stacked Similar notifications, and support batch removal.
Below the sidebar is "widgets". The style is similar to that of iOS 14. In the future, we can also add widgets for third-party software.
A better Safari browser
Safari browser is the most changed system-level application in the macOS Big Sur system.
The first is performance. According to Apple, the improved Safari will load frequently used websites 50% faster than Chrome, and has lower power consumption, allowing the Mac to get an extra 1-3 hours of battery life.
Functionally, Safari's start page also allows users to customize, you can add personal favorites, frequently visited websites and reading list content, and you can modify the wallpaper like Chrome.
The function of tab preview is also here. When the cursor is hovering over a tab of a non-current webpage, a preview of the corresponding website will pop up.
The Safari browser has also added a new intelligent anti-tracking function, so that Internet advertisers can't get your browsing habits.
Finally, there is a translation tool that comes with Safari, which can implement web page translation functions similar to Chrome. You can also download Safari extension plug-ins in the Mac app store.
AirPods audio switches automatically, and now also supports Mac
Automatic audio switching is a function that Apple launched this year for several new systems such as iOS/iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, macOS Big Sur.
Simply put, as long as your "Apple Family Bucket" devices are logged in to the same iCloud account and paired with AirPods headsets, the headsets will automatically connect with the device that outputs the audio source.
▲ After the audio source is transferred, the Mac will also pop up to remind you
Say a simple example. Now my Mac computer is connected to AirPods Pro to listen to music, and then switch to watch a movie on the iPhone, AirPods Pro will automatically connect to the phone and switch to the sound of the movie, and the music on the computer will automatically pause.
▲ The audio source is cut from the Mac to the iPhone and iPad very smoothly, basically in seconds
This "seamless switching" process is very strange. Basically, as long as I open the video on the iPhone at one point, AirPods Pro will automatically switch over without any delay.
▲ AirPods audio switch is switched from the mobile terminal back to the Mac terminal, still need to click manually
But if you switch back to the Mac from the mobile phone, you still have to manually click "Connect" in the pop-up window.
Although it is not a cumbersome process, I still hope that Apple can make automatic audio switching more perfect.
A large number of beautiful new wallpapers
In recent years, macOS has been suffixed with scenic spots. From the Mojave Desert before to Catalina Island, and the coastline of Big Sur this time, in the new macOS system every year, A batch of wallpapers corresponding to scenic spots will be built-in.
But this year the Big Sur system should have set a new high in the number of new wallpapers. In addition to static and dynamic wallpapers with traditional realistic style, several illustrations and artistic style wallpapers have been added, which are very beautiful.
▲ Picture from: Macstories
If your iPhone has been updated to iOS 14.2, you can also find them in the wallpaper library.
There are also some practical improvements
Information App supports @人, pin contacts, set group avatars, send messages to add special effects such as love hearts, balloons, etc., and support sending simulacrum emoticons.
The Mac map can plan a cycling route (supporting Beijing and Shanghai) and send it to the iPhone for viewing. At the same time, it can also create a "guide" on the map to integrate several common addresses in one place.
Software updates can be performed in the background, allowing Mac to get all kinds of updates faster.
Supporting the "optimized battery charging" function, the system will actively learn your daily charging time, and delay the full time to reduce battery consumption.
At the same time, the battery usage record is added, which will display the battery usage and screen opening time of the Mac in the past 24 hours and the past 10 days.
Apple Music for Mac has been added to the "Listen Now" homepage, integrating recent play, personal interests, and popular selections, and improving music search.
Photo applications can adjust photos with the help of machine learning features. Videos support cropping and adding filters. Portrait photos also support blur adjustment. You can also add text annotations to photos to facilitate later search.
Spotlight search speed has become faster, and also supports quick preview of pictures.
The classic Mac boot sound returns, and the brain fills in the echo of "duang~~~~".
In general, this year's macOS has further improved in terms of system functions, and the major changes in the design language and the convergence of iOS styles also indicate that Apple is gradually advancing its own "unity" ecology.
This trend of integration will definitely continue, and you can even boldly guess that the icons and interface styles we see in macOS Big Sur today will be ported to the new iOS and iPad OS systems next year.
▲ It takes a while to adapt to new icons and new interfaces
Of course, considering that the hardware carrier, keyboard and mouse operations, and touch-screen input interaction methods are still different, the Mac retains its characteristics as much as possible in the process of conforming to the unified ecology. How to balance the difference between the desktop system and the mobile system is Apple's next consideration.
The macOS new system experience this time is not complete. Strictly speaking, this year's new system is actually prepared for the M1 chip MacBook. It is a brand new environment for both Apple and macOS.
Imagine how a system will change when it is used on two platforms with different architectures? The M1 chip Mac can run iOS applications directly. In what form will they be presented? And most importantly, the compatibility and stability of Rosetta 2 virtualization software, these are the parts that we will be curious about.
The official version of macOS Big Sur was launched on November 13, 2013 and later MacBook Air/Pro can be upgraded, and also supports some iMac and Mac mini models.
If you have other usage feedback, please let us know in the message area.
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