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macOS Big Sur arrives at WWDC 2020 with new design, features

WWDC 2020: Apple previews macOS Big Sur with a wide range of new features.

macOS Big Sur goes official
macOS Big Sur goes official (Apple)

Apple at its WWDC 2020 conference showcased the preview of macOS Big Sur, the latest update for the company’s desktop devices. The new software brings a brand new interface design, improved Safari browser, and updated native apps such as Photos and Maps.

Apple describes macOS Big Sur as the biggest design upgrade since the Mac OS X. The redesign, not completely unfamiliar though, brings new icons in the dock. The redesign is primarily focused on bringing the desktop interface in line with Apple’s overall ecosystem.

The Control Center comes with an updated menu bar which can be further personalised. The Notification Center has also been upgraded to showcase more interactive information.

ALSO READ: With iOS 14, Apple doubles down on customisations, privacy

The highlight of macOS Big Sur is the Safari browser. Apple claims its native browser now opens 50% faster than Google’s Chrome. Apart from performance enhancement, Apple has introduced a bunch of personalisation features. For instance, you can now customise the background image of the new start image and sections like Reading List and iCloud Tabs. The browser now supports more languages to translate.

Apple unveils a new version of macOS
Apple unveils a new version of macOS (Bloomberg)

For privacy, Safari now has a new Privacy Report, a dashboard that shows how the browser is protecting your activity online. The company is also giving users tools like a data breach password monitoring. With just a click of a button, Safari users can look at the trackers on a website.

“…new privacy information detailed in the Mac App Store will help users understand the privacy practices of apps before downloading them, including the types of data the apps might collect — such as usage, contact information, or location — and whether that data is shared with third parties for tracking,” said Apple in a post.

For developers, Apple’s Mac Catalyst, which launched last year, will now make it easier to convert existing iPad apps to the desktop.

Apple’s macOS Big Sur will be available to developers starting today. A public beta will be rolled out next month.