Big Big Sur enhancements promised in latest dev build
Following the recent Bi Sur maintenance improvement, Apple’s Safari browser is receiving more enhancement on Macs, with a focus on Safari Start page, support for new experiences and speech recognition in web pages, games controllers and improvements when running iOS apps on M1 Macs. All these enhancements are included in the latest macOS Big Sur developer beta.
Safari gets much better
Apple has paid a good amount of attention to Safari in Big Sur. Faster, and equipped with privacy controls, translation tools and the improved Start Page, Apple’s new batch of improvements include:
- The Start Page is now more customisable as users can re-arrange the sections using the customisation controls, including favorite websites, Reading List and Siri Suggestions.
- New extensions types enable developers to create extensions that deliver experiences right on the new tab page.
- The Web Speech API means developers can incorporate speech recognition directly into their web pages – great for accessibility.
iOS on Macs improves
Apple continues to refine the iOS app experience on M1 Macs. That means iPhone and iPad apps continue to get even better on those machines: Now, iPadOS apps can launch with a larger window when screen size permits. A new preference pane is available in iPad and iPhone apps provides more control of keyboard commands for touch alternatives.
A handy Reminders tweak
You can now easily sort Reminders by title, priority, due date, or by when you made them. Reminders can be moved manually up and down within any list, even your smart lists. But one improvement I really like is support for print, which means you can now create a ToDo list, print it, and take it with you. Yes, it’s kind of retro, but it sometimes helps.
Apple has extended support for the latest Xbox Series X Wireless Controller or Sony DualSense wireless controller to the Mac. That’s nice for Arcade, but perhaps means the Mac is going to be a gaming platform after all.
Apple Music makes it even easier to find your personal mixes and Replay playlists with a Made For You Library shortcut. Apple has also taken a quiet move toward something that may prove interesting in the longer term: Listen Now will show upcoming and live special events based on your taste. Can event ticket sales be far behind? Apple News gains a redesigned News+ Tab.
All in all, a neat set of improvements for the next iteration of Big Sur.