Apple’s released the macOS Big Sur 11.1 update for Mac.
macOS Big Sur 11.1 is a milestone release (x.x) which means it brings a mix of new features, security enhancements, and bug fixes for some prominent issues plaguing Apple’s current operating system.
With that in mind, we want to take you through everything there you need to know about the latest software update for Macs around the world.
In this walkthrough we’ll take you through the macOS Big Sur 11.1 update’s performance, the current list of macOS Big Sur problems, the best places to find feedback about bugs and performance issues, the downgrade, and more.
We’ll start with our impressions of macOS Big Sur 11.1 update’s performance.
macOS Big Sur 11.1 Reviews
If your Mac is currently running on macOS Big Sur 11.0.1, you’ll encounter a very large download.
For most macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 users, the macOS Big Sur 11.1 download should sit right around 3.2GB. The exact download size varies based on your Mac model and the version of macOS its running.
If your Mac is already running macOS Big Sur, the installation should about 15 minutes to complete. It took right around that on a 2017 MacBook Pro.
For more on the macOS Big Sur 11.1 download and installation, take a look at our guide.
We’ve been using the macOS Big Sur 11.1 update on a MacBook Pro (2017) for several days now and here’s what we’ve noticed about its performance in key areas.
- Battery life is stable.
- Wi-Fi connectivity is fast and reliable.
- Bluetooth is working normally.
- Third-party apps including Twitter, Slack, Asana, Gmail, Chrome, and Spotify are working fine at the moment.
- First party apps like Safari and Podcasts are also stable.
- macOS Big Sur 11.1 feels as fast as macOS Big Sur 11.0.1.
If your Mac is struggling with issues on macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 or an older version of macOS, you might want to install macOS Big Sur 11.1 on your computer right now.
If you need help making a decision, please check out our reasons to, and not to, install the macOS Big Sur 11.1 update. It will help you decide if the upgrade is worth it.
macOS Big Sur 11.1 Problems
There are a number of issues plaguing Apple’s latest firmware.
We’re seen complaints about installation issues, UI lag, issues with first and third-party apps, iMessage issues, Wi-Fi problems, lockups, freezes, and crashes.
Apple’s acknowledged a resolution issue plaguing Apple’s new M1-powered MacBooks. The company confirmed the problem in a support document and says a “resolution is planned for a future macOS update.”
The company’s also acknowledged Bluetooth connectivity issues impacting M1 MacBooks. The company says it will release a fix for the problems in a new software update.
If you decide to download the macOS Big Sur 11.1 update, and you run into issues, here are a few resources that could help.
Before you get in touch with Apple, have a look at our list of fixes for the most common macOS Big Sur problems. It might have what you’re looking for. We’ve also released a guide that shows you how to fix macOS Big Sur battery life problems.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for in our guides, head over to Apple’s discussion forums. If they can’t help you, you might want to get in contact with Apple Support via Twitter or with customer support via Apple’s website.
If you still can’t fix your issue(s), you might want to schedule an appointment to see a Genius at your local Apple Store.
macOS Big Sur 11.1 Update: What’s New
Apple’s milestone (x.x) updates typically bring a mix of features, security patches, and under-the-hood improvements and that’s exactly what you get from macOS Big Sur 11.1.
Here’s the full list of changes on board Apple’s latest update for Mac:
- Support for AirPods Max, new over-ear headphones
- High fidelity audio for rich sound
- Adaptive EQ adapts sound in real time to the personal fit of ear cushions
- Active Noise Cancellation to block out environmental noise
- Transparency mode to hear the environment around you
- Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking for a theater-like listening experience
- An all-new Apple TV+ tab makes it easy to discover and watch Apple Original shows and movies
- Enhanced search so you can browse by category such as genre and see recent searches and suggestions as you type
- Top search results shown with the most relevant matches across movies, TV shows, cast, channels, and sports
- Apple News widgets are now available in Notification Center
- New privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices
- In-game dashboard within Arcade games recommends new Arcade games to play
iPhone and iPad apps on Macs with M1
- New window options for iPhone and iPad apps let you switch between landscape and portrait orientations or expand a window to fill the entire screen
- Apple ProRAW photos can be edited in the Photos app
- Ecosia search engine option in Safari
- Available in Maps and Siri for locations in China mainland
- Health recommendations are provided in Siri for the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Mexico at certain air-quality levels
- Data in Maps and Siri reflects updated national scales for Germany and Mexico
- Addresses an issue where QuickTime Player might quit when opening a movie with a timecode track after upgrading from macOS Catalina
- Addresses an issue where Bluetooth connection status was not displayed in Control Center
- Improves the reliability of unlocking your Mac automatically with your Apple Watch
- Addresses an issue where the trackpad scrolling speed may be faster than expected on MacBook Pro models
- Addresses an issue where LG’s UltraFine 5K Display may incorrectly display at 4K resolution on Macs with M1
macOS Big Sur 11.1 also includes a whopping 51 security patches and you can read more about those over on Apple’s security website.
You Can Downgrade from macOS Big Sur 11.1
If you run into problems on the newest version of macOS Big Sur, you can downgrade the software back to an older version.
There is no time frame for this to expire so if you decide you need to go back, it’s fairly easy to do if you are prepared. Here’s our guide to downgrade and it will help you understand the process and get the job done.
What’s Next for macOS Big Sur
Apple’s confirmed a new version of macOS Big Sur.
The company’s put a new milestone upgrade, macOS Big Sur 11.2, into beta testing. We don’t have an official release date, but you can expect the software to roll out in the near future. If you can’t wait, download the beta.
Milestone upgrades typically deliver a mix of enhancements, security updates, and bug fixes and that’s what you can expect from macOS Big Sur 11.2.
For more on macOS Big Sur 11.2, have a look at our walkthrough.
Install macOS Big Sur 11.4 for Better Security
If security is important to you, you should think about installing the macOS Big Sur 11.4 update right now.
macOS Big Sur 11.4 has a whopping 50+ security patches on board. You can read more about them over on Apple's security site.
If you missed macOS Big Sur 11.3.1, it had two crucial security patches on board, both related to WebKit. If you want to learn more about them, head over to Apple's website.
If you skipped macOS Big Sur 11.3, it also had patches on board. The list included one for a vulnerability that escaped built-in malware protections. For more on macOS Big Sur 11.3's patches, head on over to Apple's security site.
If you missed earlier versions of macOS, you'll want to consider upgrading so you get their security patches as well.
macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 brought one security patch to Mac users. You can read more about it on Apple's website.
macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 had three security patches on board. You can read about them over on its security website.
macOS Big Sur 11.2 had a ton of patches on board and you can learn more about them right here.
If you missed macOS Big Sur 11.1, it had 51 security patches on board. You can read about them right here.
macOS Big Sur 11.1 also included a new privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app’s privacy practices.
If you're moving up from macOS Catalina, you'll get macOS Big Sur 11.0.1's 50+ security patches. If you're interested these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's website.
In addition to those patches, macOS Big Sur comes with additional security and privacy upgrades including improvements to the App Store and Safari.
In Safari, you can now tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites handle your privacy.
With macOS Big Sur on board you can now get information on the App Store that will help you understand the privacy practices of apps before you download them.
Researchers also discovered that Apple brought a new "BlastDoor" sandbox security system to macOS Big Sur, iOS 14, and iPadOS 14. The system is meant to prevent attacks from occurring via the Messages app.
You can read more about "BlastDoor" right here.
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