Introduction to macOS 11: Big Sur

Unveiled in June 2020 at the Apple WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), the Cupertino company’s latest operating system heralded the end of the version 10 line-up and introduced macOS 11: Big sur.

While the world was in the middle of a lockdown and things were looking pretty scary, Apple took to the virtual airways to announce its newest operating system: macOS Big Sur.

The unveiling caused quite a stir, chiefly due to the fact that Big Sur is the biggest update the company has adopted since the initial release of Mac OS X, back in 2001. Virtually every aspect of the operating system has seen an overhaul, from minor elements such as the curvature of window corners, colours and icon designs, through to major changes to its core apps.

The new design is set to blur the lines between iOS and its desktop brethren, while adding a new, fresh feel to the OS; while at the same time keeping it familiar for former macOS users. Not an easy task but one that Apple has managed to achieve in impressive detail.

The End of the X

With Big Sur being macOS version 11, we finally leave behind the legacy of OS X; an operating system that has seen its fair share of changes over the years. OS X itself was a huge impact in technology terms in 2001, pushing Apple into nearly two decades of world-leading OS and User Interface design. Whichever way you look at it, you can’t deny the hefty presence and affect it has had on other operating systems throughout its lifespan.

In-line with the major changes within the core of the operating system, Apple has designed Big Sur to look and feel more like an iPad, within reason of course. In the nearfuture, the company will be releasing its range of Macs using the Arm processor and the changes in Big Sur will reflect the upcoming hardware alterations – thankfully, Big Sur will still be compatible with most of the previous Intel-based Macs since 2015 and even a select few models from 2013.

Need more Big Sur help? Check out the brand new Big Sur Manual


While some would argue that cosmetic upgrades aren’t important, many users love the redesigned interface and top-to-bottom design that, as we’ve already mentioned, feels more like iOS. It’s friendly while being useable, easy on the eyes while still providing the user with the power necessary to get the job done and it’s familiar while having considerable upgrades to enhance performance, privacy and encryption.

big sur on mac pro

Evolution over Revolution

Technology has evolved and together with it so have the operating systems we use daily. macOS Big Sur is the culmination of the two, combining a best of both worlds approach to mobile and desktop life. It’s a bold step forward and one we’re sure you’ll come to appreciate and enjoy the more you use this amazing operating system.

Big Sur System Requirements

If you are gbuying a new Mac then don’t worry, it will most likely already have macOS Big Sur pre-installed. However, if you’re looking to upgrade from an older OS version, then let’s see if your Mac can run Big Sur. This list shows the year-model of device you will need to be able to update to Big Sur.

  • MacBook Models – 2015 or later
  • MacBook Pro Models – late 2013 or later
  • MacBook Air Models – 2013 or later
  • iMac Models – 2014 or later
  • iMac Pro Models – 2017 or later
  • Mac Mini Models – 2014 or later
  • Mac Pro Models – 2013 or later
Find more guides like this in…

Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

Related Articles

Back to top button