macOS Big Sur vs. Catalina: Should I Upgrade?

by Jones David

2020 can be a milestone for Apple – it introduces the first in-house ARM-based silicon chip, the M1 chip. Along with the chip, Apple releases a new operating system, that is macOS Big Sur, which is considered a big leap from the previous macOS Catalina. Want to know the differences and see whether to upgrade or not? You are in the right place. This post will walk you through the major highlights of macOS Big Sur when compared with Catalina. Grab your attention and let’s get it started.

Major differences between macOS Big Sur and Catalina 

User interface

Apple claims the redesigned user interface is the biggest update over the last two decades. Indeed, it’s not hard to notice that the interface in Big Sur differentiates a lot from macOS Catalina, especially the new Control Center in the menu bar. The redesigned feature does look like the one in iOS, in which you can control settings like Wi-Fi, display, Bluetooth, and Sound. One more highlight is the Notification Center. Users now can receive notifications grouped by the app in a single view, simple and clear. Meanwhile, interactions with the app are also allowed, for example, users can play a song directly from the Notification Center. Other changes, including the Dock, Finder, and Sidebars are also redesigned. 


There are quite a few outstanding improvements of Safari in macOS Big Sur. First, users can enjoy tailor-made start-up pages according to their own tastes. It’s allowed to edit the background image and add some necessary elements. Overall, Safari now is highly customizable. Second, the enhanced Safari offers immediate translation for the whole web page over multiple languages, including some of the minority ones such as Arabic and Portuguese. One more useful feature is that the built-in Privacy Report can show you, cross-site trackers. This feature undeniably protects your privacy.


A lot of new features are added into Messages, though it might be one step late for Apple to do so when compared with other messaging programs. But it’s still not too late. Apple continues the integration between iOS and macOS, so users can enjoy more iOS Message features in Big Sur now. In Big Sur, you can pin at most nine conversations to top, that’s quite a number. You can also create and add Memoji, search and add GIFs, and search messages with faster speed. If you want to mention anyone in a group chat, just do it directly.


A number of significant changes appear in apps, and Maps is also one of them. Though Maps has always been considered useless, it might change your mind a little with the upgrade. Users can design guides to the locations on their own, and access other people’s guides at the same time. It also provides users with cycling routes, charging spots, and even in-door maps for certain places. 

Other changes

Apart from the above-mentioned upgrades, there are other small changes as well. 

  • App store. Safari Extensions and Widgets hold special sections in App store. This enables the chance that developers can share and talk with others more. The privacy practice of a certain app is also shown to the user, which ensures the safety of the app. 
  • Photos. Photos is given refreshed interface, improved retouch tool, and new editing choices. Users can take and edit the images with more possibilities now.
  • Music and Podcasts replace the older iTunes. It’s easier to locate the target episode you are listening to, either the latest or the next. Users can also enjoy For You recommendations.

macOS upgrade issues

Upgrade or not? It’s not easy to answer this question since each OS has its own highlights and downsides, but a lot of users choose to upgrade macOS for a better user experience every year. However, issues may occur during and after a macOS upgrade, for example, find it unable to upgrade, macOS update stuck, and Mac won’t boot after installing. Luckily, you can find all macOS update problems and fixes at with clear and easy-to-follow steps. 


macOS Big Sur is a very good choice for porting iOS programs, therefore, if you enjoy the iOS-like user interface along with other enhanced apps, just go give it a try. You can always find the best match based on your needs for the macOS.

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