Apple first announced macOS Big Sur back in June, alongside updates to its other operating systems. But while everything else was made generally available last month, the company held back on macOS Big Sur, mainly so the update could be launched alongside its new Apple Silicon Macs. The free update arrives this Thursday, which is November 12.
While it affects literally zero users that are upgrading from a previous version of macOS, the biggest feature is that it now supports Apple Silicon. Indeed, this is an entirely new architecture, so it has the new Rosetta 2 emulation layer, support for iPhone and iPad apps, and more. It's even called macOS 11, making it the first major version bump since Mac OS X 10.0 was released in 2001.
It also comes with a major visual overhaul. The dock is now floating at the bottom of the screen, and Control Center is making its debut. The Notification Center is getting widgets, and with macOS Big Sur, you'll find that they're the same style of widgets that started appearing in iOS 14. There are also some new features in Messages, Maps, Photos, and more, all of which you've probably already discovered on your iPhone.
macOS 11 Big Sur will arrive this Thursday as a free update. You'll be able to grab it in the Mac App Store.