macOS 11


So macOS 11 Big Sur was announced earlier today at WWDC.

First things first, WOW I did not see that interface change coming. 

There were no prior rumors about an interface change, so Apple really kept it tightly under wrap during the whole development. The last interface change came during Yosemite, during the Jony Ive de-Skeuomorphism era, when OS X was given a fresh coat of paint from the skeuomorphic graphical changes that started in OS X Leopard.

Apple paints this interface change as the biggest one since the one from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X, and while I won’t go so far as to say that this new interface is like the second coming of Aqua, it looks really good, even if some longtime Mac people on the internets were complaining about it. The current macOS has elements from the early days of Aqua, mixed in with more recent graphical changes that were bolted on as the “design era” changes, so a complete interface facelift is definitely welcomed, even if that means an interface that is extremely similar to that of iPadOS 14. Well, in the first place iPadOS took a lot of design elements from macOS, so the influence isn’t exactly one-way.

Under the hood though, macOS 11 definitely does not have the kind of complete overhaul like it did when it went from Mac OS 9 to the Unix-based, originally OpenStep Mac OS X. It really is macOS 10.16, like what was indicated in the Xcode and macOS betas that were released after the WWDC keynote earlier today. “macOS 11” is basically a very recent Marketing decision, one recent enough that they did not have time to make changes to the betas to reflect the difference. 

The big news, of course, was the announcement that Macs will be transitioning to “Apple Silicon” and that the first Apple Silicon Macs will be out later this year. (Apple was never going to use the term “ARM”, come on. Previously I coined the term “Apple Processors”, but “Silicon” definitely sounds cooler.)

The transition was almost exactly like the one in 2005, right down to having Rosetta 2 as a translator for legacy apps that are abandoned (or for the folks who refused to pay full price or a expensive subscription just to use the new Safari extension that comes with 1Password 7). 

And while Tim Cook mentioned that there are still Intel Macs coming down the pipeline soon, and that Apple will continue to support them for years to come, based on experience by end 2006 (one and a half years after they announced the transition) nobody gave a damn about PowerPC Macs anymore (except for the collectors).

Speaking about collectors and collecting, I know for a fact that I will really love to have a Mac Mini G4 or even a G4 Cube today, so this might be a good time to actually buy one of the last Intel Macs and keep it for years to come, either as a compatibility machine or even as a piece of Apple history. Maybe a Mac Mini is in order, for I have wanted one of those for decades already. 

And did I mention previously that I can’t wait for the 12” MacBook to come back in Apple Silicon form? 

2021 can’t come soon enough. For many many reasons. 

PS Both purchases are pipe dreams, COVID-19 has not been kind to my financial health.


MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

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