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Home / Tips and Tricks / We’ve found the 5 best macOS Big Sur features and how to use them

We’ve found the 5 best macOS Big Sur features and how to use them



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Check out all the best new features in macOS Big Sur, available for download now.

Apple

This story is part of Apple event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Apple’s latest Mac operating system, MacOS Big Sur, is now available for download. The new operating system, too MacOS 11, is packed with new and redesigned features that provide a better experience, including updates to Safari, Messages and Maps.

Big Sur will also be the first version of the operating system to run on Apple new Macs with the internal M1 silicon chip, as well as its older Intel-based machines. If you new MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or Mac Mini with the M1 chip, MacOS Big Sur is optimized to run on these machines. Apps will run faster and smoother, Apple executives said during a virtual event on November 10, and you will also see better device security.

Even if you’re not planning to upgrade to a new Mac, Big Sur still has a lot to offer on your current system.

Do you want to get Big Sur now? We have instructions on this how to download macOS Big Sur, and which Macs you can run it on, but beware: some users report slow download times and crashes.

Here are five parts of macOS Big Sur with new features that you will want to check out when you upgrade and how you will use them.


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Safari

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Apple

What’s new: Perhaps the biggest upgrade in macOS Big Sur comes in Apple’s Safari web browser. Apple said this is the biggest update to Safari since its launch in 2003. The revamped browser loads the websites you visit most often faster and has better tab management capabilities. You will also find enhanced privacy featuresincluding a privacy report button that allows you to see how websites track your data and check if your passwords have been compromised by a security breach

A new App Store category for Safari extensions lets you customize what sites and times each extension is used, if you don’t want it to be always active. And on a customizable Safari homepage, you can choose from a curated group of backgrounds or use one of your own photos. You can also use it to translate languages ​​from seven different languages ​​with a built-in function.

How you will use it: Open the Safari browser in the same way as before. Where you go depends on what you want to do: if you scroll to a website in another language, you can press a button to translate it. If you have multiple tabs open, you will see the website favicons by default, so you can find the one you want faster. Preview the content on a tab by hovering over it and click to remove all tabs to the right of a tab. Tap the privacy report button to see what data is being collected on the site you are visiting.

Messages

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Apple

What’s new: The new Messages app in macOS Big Sur includes ways to freeze calls (similar to a feature in the new iOS 14), options to better break through group messages, a redesigned search function, and new options for memoji design and use of message effects.

How you will use it: Pin important conversations at the top of the app for faster access. Instantly message one person in a group and thread messages within a group, to keep those big chats in check. Type someone’s name in the group to tag it directly in the conversation. You can choose to be notified of new messages in the group only if your name is mentioned. Organize your search results by links, photos or matching terms. Add message effects such as balloons and confetti and create and customize your memoji on the Mac.

Cards

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Apple

What’s new: The new Maps app in Big Sur has more options to help you explore new places and share what you find, view detailed maps of major airports and shopping centers, view a destination in 360 degrees, and use EV routing.

How you will use it: Explore an area with guides from trusted sources, or create your own by marking your favorite restaurants, parks, and vacation spots to create a guide to share with friends and family. Get a 360-degree view of a destination with the Look Around feature. View detailed maps of major airports and shopping centers. If you have an electric car or scooter, use it EV routing, taking into account factors such as charging stations, weather, altitude and the current charge level of your electric vehicle on your route.

Widgets

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Apple

What’s new: Like it iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, MacOS Big Sur brings widgets to your home screen. Widgets are large, dynamic icons that display live app information such as the weather or your daily step count.

How you will use it: Instead of opening weather, calendar, or fitness tracking apps, you can use widgets to display an overview of their core information in a live feed on your home screen. Display different widgets at different times of the day, so you can see the weather in the morning and the news in the afternoon, for example. Create widgets in small, medium or large sizes.

iPhone and iPad apps

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Apple

What’s new: like you buy one of Apple’s upcoming Macs powered by the new Apple silicon chips, your computer can run native iPhone and iPad apps.

How you will use it: Go to the Mac App Store to install the new apps. Many iOS apps can run alongside MacOS apps. If you’ve already bought an app on iOS, you don’t have to buy it again for MacOS – just download it there too.

Look for more information how to download macOS Big Sur, and which Macs are compatible with MacOS Big Sur.


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