Apple kicks off the macOS Big Sur public beta

After releasing the fourth developer beta yesterday, Apple today is launching its macOS Big Sur public beta. Indeed, it's taken a while, as the iOS and tvOS public betas were made available about four weeks ago.

macOS Big Sur is the most significant update that macOS has received in a while. In fact, it's significant enough that it's the first to be called version 11 since Mac OS X was released in 2001. One of the big under the hood changes is that it now supports Apple's custom ARM processors, as the Cupertino firm is starting to slowly phase out Intel over the next couple of years.

But it also comes with a bunch of design changes. It has transparent layers, a floating dock that sits on the bottom of the screen, and more. Apple also added the Control Center that iOS users will be familiar with, and combined it with widgets. Those widgets also got a redesign, something also seen on iOS and iPadOS.

You can get started with the Public Beta Program here. The only public beta that's still unavailable is the one for watchOS 7. This will be the first year that Apple is releasing a public beta for its wearable OS, and since there's no way to roll back to stable software, the company presumably wants it to be pretty stable before non-developers can use it.

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