Apple has released the new OS X Big Sur to Apple laptop users. Supported machines include:

  • MacBook (2015 and newer)
  • MacBook Air (2013 and newer)
  • MacBook Pro (late 2013 and newer)
  • Mac Mini (late 2014 and newer)
  • Pro Display XDR
  • Mac Pro (late 2013 or newer)

The MacBook in the studio is supported as the machine has 8GB of DDR3 memory which affords enough to handle incremental operating system updates. A few older machines that could run OS X Catalina from 2012 and 2013 are not being offered Big Sur.

Big Sur refreshes the design of the user interface, described by Apple as the biggest change since the introduction of Mac OS X. Its changes include translucency in various places and a new color palette. All standard apps, as well as the Dock and the Menu Bar, are redesigned and streamlined, and their icons now have rounded-square shapes like iOS and iPadOS apps,

Apple has mentioned that support for iOS apps was part of the OS X Catalina effort but Big Sur is now migrating more in that direction.

Upgrading to Big Sur has bricked some computers, rendering them unusable. Affected machines must be taken to Apple for repairs, since they cannot be rebooted and thus cannot be fixed via NVRAM, SMC, safe mode, or internet recovery. This problem mainly affects MacBook Pros from late 2013 and 2014, though some users have experienced similar problems with recent machines.

If Big Sur was not available, Windows 10 does run well on the MacBook in the studio. There is 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD so it is practical with any operating system