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MacOS Big Sur: The main interface changes

MacOS

With macOS 11 Big Sur, Apple has taken the opportunity to refresh the user interface of the Mac. The changes are not dramatic, do not worry, you can use your Mac as usual. 

However, these new changes give the Mac a more modern look, and have also led to speculation that Apple is preparing for the next phase of user input, such as perhaps a Mac touchscreen.

If you wonder what Big Sur looks like before installing it, read on. With this article you can prepare for the new design before installing it on your Mac or MacBook. 

More space

Once you turn on your Mac and connect, the Finder looks almost the same. The changes are subtle. For example, the menu bar icons are separate, and each icon has a little more space. This makes it easy to locate the icon you want.

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Click on a menu and you will notice that the items in the list have more space.

 

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Menu bar items

The items in the Apple menu bar have also been redesigned. For example, the wifi menu bar has been rearranged. Now your preferred networks for an area are listed, and the rest of the available area networks are in an Other Networks section.

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If you have third party items in the menu bar, they should look like before It will be up to the developers if they want to redesign their user interface.

Control center

Apple has taken the Control Center from iOS and made a version for Mac. Its icon appears in the menu bar, and you have quick access to controls such as network, screen brightness, and volume. It’s customizable, so you can add whatever controls you want.

If the menu bar is filling up, you can use the Control Center to remove some items from the bar. For example, you can use the Control Center for sound volume, and then remove the volume control menu item. 

You can also click and drag items from the Control Center and drop them on the menu bar for quick access.

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Notification Center and widgets

Clicking on the date in the menu bar brings up the revamped Notification Center, combining your notifications and widgets.

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To add a widget, click the ‘Edit Widgets’ button at the bottom. The Notification Center will expand to display a list of available widgets . Some widgets are available in small, medium, and large sizes; click the S, M, or L buttons to preview each widget size. 

Hover your mouse over the widget and a + button will appear at the top left; click on that button to add it to the ‘Notification Center’. You can then click and drag the ‘Notification Center’ widget to your preferred location.

New Dock icons

Apple has also changed the look of the Dock. Apple app icons have a more iOS look, and the Dock has rounded corners. 

You still have the same options for the position of the Dock, activating or deactivating concealment and magnification, and to minimize the Dock using the Genius or Scale effect.

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Other changes

You’ll notice other changes with dialog boxes, sidebars, Finder windows, and more within macOS Big Sur. For example, some window buttons disappear when you move the cursor away from the area they are in. 

Most of the changes are unimportant, and you can navigate your Mac just as easily as before.

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Sounds

Former Mac users will remember that the Mac used to “ring” when turned on. The ringer is back by default in MacOS 11 Big Sur. We have a separate article that covers the doorbell, and we also tell you how you can disable it if you prefer to have a silent boot process.

In addition, the system sounds have been updated to be “more pleasant to the ear,” according to Apple. They are new takes of the old version so they will be familiar.

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