Apple says it’ll release macOS 11.0, dubbed Big Sur, on November 12th. The company first announced the new OS at its developer’s conference in June and released it as a public beta in August. This will be the first macOS to support Apple’s new M1 laptop chip. Once you download the new, free update, you’ll most likely immediately note the design and aesthetic changes, many taken from iOS.
For one, Big Sur comes with a customizable Control Center where you can toggle brightness, Do Not Disturb, and other settings of your choice. It also includes a new notification center that’ll keep all of your notifications and widgets (also redesigned and available in the App Store) in one column, sort alerts by which are most recent, and group related notifications together. Both interfaces are translucent, just like iOS. Other changes include taller menu bars, font color changes based on the desktop background, and more translucent windows.
Some apps, like Mail and Photos, are also receiving design updates, and a new version of Maps for Mac is shipping along with the OS. That update features custom Guides, 360-degree location views, bicycle and electric-vehicle directions (which you can send directly to an iPhone), live updates for shared ETAs, congestion zones, and indoor maps.
In addition to design changes, Big Sur includes privacy-focused features, like an update to Safari called Privacy Report that lists cross-site trackers the browser has blocked over the last 30 days, as well as a password-monitoring tool through which Safari helps you upgrade to secure passwords if it detects that any of your saved passwords have been involved in a data breach. Big Sur’s App Store will also now include the types of data apps might collect and whether the data is shared with third parties for tracking.
Finally, Apple also says Macs’ screens will turn on immediately when they’re opened, similar to how the iPhone lights up when it’s picked up.
There’s a whole lot more to the update, which you can read about in full here and experience yourself on November 12th.