Apple today seeded a macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 release candidate to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta coming one week after the first macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta was released. macOS Big Sur has not yet seen a public release, and the 11.0.1 beta replaces the macOS Big Sur 11 beta series.
The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences.
macOS Big Sur introduces a refreshed design to the Mac operating system, overhauling the entire look from the curvature of the window corners to the dock icons to the system sounds. Everything features a lighter and more modern appearance. There's a new customizable Control Center that mirrors the Control Center on iOS devices, putting key system controls right at your fingertips.
The Notification Center has been redesigned with iOS-style widgets that are available in multiple sizes, plus there are more interactive notifications that are now grouped by app to make it easier to see what's going on. Safari is faster and more battery efficient, plus there's a new start page that can be customized with wallpapers and sections that include Reading List and iCloud Tabs, which makes Safari more tailored to your individual usage needs.
Tabs now support webpage previews, there's a built-in language translation feature, Chrome and Firefox Extensions can be ported to Safari, and YouTube supports 4K video playback. There's also an option to choose which sites an extension works with for greater privacy. Speaking of privacy, a new Privacy Report feature lets users know the trackers Safari is blocking when you visit websites.
Messages has been brought in line with the Messages app on iOS with support for pinned conversations, mentions, inline replies, and Memoji creation, plus the built-in search feature has been overhauled to make it easier to find links, photos, and conversations in the app.
Apple redesigned the Maps app to add support for Look Around, indoor maps, and Guides, which are lists of notable attractions, restaurants, and more created by trusted sources. Maps can also be used to generate directions for cycling routes and electric vehicle trips that can be sent to iPhone, and shared ETA updates are now viewable on the Mac.
For more on everything that's new in macOS Big Sur, make sure to check out our roundup.