macOS 11 Big Sur released

Today Apple released macOS Big Sur. It’s an exciting release with lots of great new features. I’ve been using it myself for many months with very few problems so I’m optimistic that this is going to be a really well-received update, but of course everyone’s experience is going to be a little different so I suggest waiting a while before updating, especially if you don’t have a secondary computer to use should things go sideways.

Major features include a visual overhaul, Control Center comes to Mac, overhaul of Mail, Messages, and Maps to make them work more like their iPad counterparts, and much more.

Before you upgrade:

  • Back up to Time Machine. Time Machine allows you to roll back to your previous system software should you run into a huge problem.
  • Consider waiting if you have upcoming deadlines. It’s always a bad idea to do a major upgrade right before you have a deadline, especially with brand new software.
  • Check that your software is compatible. Roaring Apps is a great website of user-contributed data regarding app compatibility, though this information is not necessarily official. You may also want to check the websites and Facebook and Twitter pages for the developers of apps you use.
    • Microsoft Office: Today Apple released updates for Office 2019 and Microsoft 365 adding Big Sur support. If you are using Office 2016 it may or may not work properly, and it seems that Microsoft’s solution is to upgrade your version of Office. You may want to check the Microsoft Office Support website again in a few days.
    • Adobe Creative Cloud: Adobe has not yet made a statement about compatibility, but you can expect an update on their Big Sur Knowledge Base article soon. Adobe always recommends that you wait until you are between projects for major upgrades.
    • Quicken: Quicken has not made an announcement about what software is compatible with Big Sur. You may want to check the Quicken Support Website soon.
    • Vectorworks: the developers have made a statement that it appears that Vectorworks 2020 and 2021 work well on Big Sur, though they need to do some more testing with the final version that came out today. If you rely on Vectorworks I would strongly suggest that you wait at least a month.
‎macOS Big Sur
‎macOS Big Sur
Developer: Apple
Price: Free

Further help

If you are an existing customer who needs help with this or if you have other questions, or if you are in San Francisco and interested in becoming a client I invite you to book an appointment with me. Otherwise, you may wish to contact Apple Support or to find a local Apple consultant.