macOS Big Sur takes a big step toward release [Updated]

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macOS Big Sur on a MacBook Pro
All the new features of macOS Big Sur might be just days away.
Photo: Apple

Apple seeded a final version of macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 to developers on Thursday, Nov. 5. This is the last step before introducing it to the general public.

The wait probably won‘t be much longer — it’s widely expected that Big Sur will finally reach customer’s Macs after Apple’s “One More Thing” event.

Update: Apple seeded a second macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Release Candidate to developers on November 10. And it announced the public launch will be Thursday, November 12.

Apple gave the world a first look at macOS Big Sur in June at the WWDC 2020 Developers Conference. It’s still not out five months later.

But that’s apparently about to change, with a macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Release Candidate made available to developers on Nov. 5. Release Candidate is the term Apple recently began using in place of Golden Master. “The term ‘Release Candidate’ (RC) replaces ‘GM seed’ and indicates this version is near final,” Apple told developers.

There was no release candidate for version 11.0. Apple plans to go straight to version 11.0.1.

macOS Big Sur ushers in Apple Silicon Macs

macOS 11 Big Sur offers a significant facelift, with significant design changes. That includes porting the iOS Control Center to the Mac, and improved the Notification Center. Plus, the design of the built-in Mac apps has been freshened up.

And there’s a fundamental change under the hood: Big Sur is the first version to support Apple Silicon. This enables future Macs to dump Intel chips and use Apple’s own processors.

That change is expected to start on November 10 at the third Apple product release event in three months. While no agenda has been announced, it seems quite a few hints have been dropped that new Macs will be the focus.

One last hurrah from macOS Catalina

Even though macOS 11 is right around the corner, Apple on Thursday, Nov. 5 dropped a bug update for macOS Catalina today. macOS 10.15.7 Supplemental Update just includes some security fixes.

While there are no new features, installing this update is recommended.

Update Notes: This article was first published on Nov. 5. It was updated with the debut of the second macOS Big Sur Release Candidate.