We expected her for the month of July, she is here, a little late. Apple has just opened the floodgates of its public beta program to macOS 11, Big Sur. A few weeks later iOS 14, the operating system for Mac, which will be released in the fall, is therefore available to anyone curious and anyone who can afford the installation of a non-final version of software.
Usual reservations and precautions
To have used the beta reserved for developers since June 22, there is a first observation to be made, it is that the system is overall more stable than in previous years and that we have encountered less problems with the tools than us. use every day.
We did have some bugs with Pixelmator with the first beta, some small display problems in Word, which persist with the developer beta 3, or even with Safari, but nothing prohibitive. On a daily basis, the essential is provided.
Programs under development can crash, sometimes be slower – although this is rarely the case in our experience. Note that we have quite regularly (about once or twice a week, but this may be due to very intensive use of the machine) a big crash of the whole system. “Rio no longer responds”, everything freezes and without having a little kernel panic the only solution is then to restart the Mac. A drop inuptime which will be an opportunity, if you want to stay positive, to complete your “Get up” ring and go make yourself some tea.
Install the macOS Big Sur public beta
Save. Of course, before you upgrade your Mac to Big Sur, make sure you’ve backed up all your documents, photos, and possibly apps, either in a Time Machine archive, in iCloud, or even on an external hard drive.
Validate your Mac. Once the essentials are assured, you can go to the Apple site dedicated to beta: beta.apple.com. You will connect to it. If you have an Apple account, you can use it to make it go faster, then click To log in.
If you don’t have one, click Register.
Then you can download themacOS public beta access utility.
Download and install the Big Sur beta. After the utility is downloaded and installed, like any regular application, you may be asked to restart your Mac. If so, restart.
Then go to System Preferences, Software Update. The search for the beta update should begin immediately. Confirm its download and installation. You will just have to wait for the recovery of the installation file, you are all set.
Why switch to the public beast of macOS Big Sur?
Now that you know the downside, let’s move on to its eye-catching side. macOS 11 Big Sur is Apple’s opportunity for a major overhaul of its interface.
Window transparency effects, redesigned icons, the Dock and airier sidebars, the Finder menu, and the arrival of a Control Center all help bring a welcome breeze of freshness.
The Notification Center now groups your alerts together, displays widgets in a clear manner. We can’t wait to see what the widgets of third-party applications will bring to this side panel, often forgotten.
Aesthetically, all of these changes are a success, your eyes should appreciate the place given to images in Finder windows or even in Mail, for example. Your ears too, by the way. The sounds of the entire system have been reviewed, and more than once you’ve found yourself stopping to listen to the sound of a screenshot, an emptying trash, etc. So the audio and visual experience is new. It’s always nice to feel like you’re changing computers without spending a dime.
Ergonomically, most redesigns are pretty good, and make life easier, while leaving the essentials untouched. They will be particularly appreciated by iOS users who will regain their habits, keyboard and mouse in hand.
If you are a user of Safari, version 14, integrated with Big Sur, has plenty to keep you satisfied. Its first strong point is that it is super fast. We had played the game of browser benchmarks last June, and it emerged that Safari was indeed the fastest, compared to Chrome and Firefox. The new presentation of the tabs also makes it easier to find your way around when you open too many of them.
Be careful, however, beta requires, some sites are reluctant to display correctly, some buttons on the page are missing or are poorly rendered, in short, you have to know how to adapt a little.
On the other hand, the new security functions are already operational and make it easier to see how the websites visited on a daily basis are trying to track us down.
The other big nice novelty is unfortunately not Plans, which will not change immediately in France, but Messages. For those who like to juggle their iPhone and Mac to send messages, the built-in beta version of macOS is more in line with the mobile experience. It is thus possible to group conversations or hang them at the top of the interface so as not to see them plunge into the depths of your history.
In group conversations, you can now more easily follow the conversation by replying to a specific person, which will avoid a lot of misunderstandings. Similarly, responses to a message are grouped together so that you retain more of the meaning of the exchanges if you resume them after a short break.
Anyway, the public beta is here, and you can indulge yourself if you aren’t afraid of a few bugs and don’t take any chances. But before you start, check one last thing, just that your Mac is compatible with macOS Big Sur. A priori, if he’s filming with Catalina, you can go easy on it.
The final version of macOS Big Sur is slated for release in the fall and will be available for free to all compatible Macs.