Big Sur has been with us for a long time, and you may have gotten used to the new redesign by now, although there are things that are more difficult to speculate than others.
Be that as it may, questionable design decisions aside, the truth that Big Sur is is a version of the operating system that comes loaded with new features and capabilities in the purest Apple style - that is, some obvious and others buried in the small details that make the system continues to surprise months after using it.
If you are one of those who want to know everything and have fun learning new tricks, here are a few that may have escaped your radar.
Optimize the load of your MacBook
MacBook users probably know by now that it's not recommended to always charge the battery to 100%. It is better to charge it up to 80% to extend the battery life. Here we talk about how to charge the battery.
But who wants to spend the time checking the battery level when the MacBook is plugged in and you're working? The answer is none ». That's why Apple has added a new feature in Big Sur called "Optimized Charging" of the battery.
This option monitors when you plug in and unplug your MacBook and analyzes that data to adjust the battery charge, so that when you unplug it the battery is fully charged. When you check this box, you will see the “Not Charging” message from time to time, which will show when charging is stopped to extend battery life.
Monitor your passwords
Every two by three you see news about how thousands of accounts and passwords have been stolen that are now circulating in the underworld of the internet and that hopefully never happen can position you as the subject of identity theft, purchases you haven't made or that access your accounts and protected locations.
In order not to have to search one by one all the sites that have seen the accounts and passwords of their compromised users, Safari has a new feature that informs you if an account you created was in the leaked package.
In Safari preferences, visit the "Passwords" section and look for the "Detect passwords compromised due to known data loss" box checked.
If you use iCloud key sync in Safari, this feature will use cryptographic techniques to check if your passwords have been leaked, and if you're unlucky, Safari will advise you to create a new password.
Here we talk about how to customize Safari and in this other article we give more tips for customizing Safari.
Correct your conversations
Although we live in a world dominated by social networks such as WhatsApp and Telegram, the Messages application present in macOS and iOS is excellent for communicating with other users who have Apple devices.
Although most have associated it with unwanted SMS messages from operators, insurance companies, etc. or notice that such a phone number left you on a call without a message, the truth is that it is among the safest messaging services around, with point-to-point encrypted messages.
So that the conversations you have there do not sink under the text messages we have already mentioned, you can arrange them at the top, so that you always have them in view.
To block a conversation from the list, right-click (or hold down the Ctrl key while clicking normally) and select Add. If you have already repaired it and don't want it to be, select "Remove".
Here's a little-known Messing trick
Add links to the Control Center
Assuming that in recent months you have gotten used to the reorganization of the control bar functions (you know, clicking on date and time notifications and widgets are displayed, while clicking on the new icon of the two switches displays the controls for WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.) you will have seen that it works the same way as iOS: if you invoke it, a series of controls appear for things like brightness, sound, Wi-Fi, etc.
Tip: If you are tired of having to visit that panel and want to access any control directly, click on its icon and hold to be able to move it directly to the control bar.
Even more obscure is the way you customize the elements and options within the Control Center. There is no Edit button on the panel itself, so if you want to customize it you have to go to System Preferences and select the "Dock and Menubar" panel.
Panel options are currently limited to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airdrop, Do Not Disturb, Keyboard Brightness, Screen Mirroring, Display, Audio, and Now Playing. However, if you scroll down, you will see that you can add three more types:
- Accessibility shortcuts: (enable accessibility features such as VoiceOver, invert colors, etc.)
- Battery: Shows the percentage of battery remaining on the MacBook. If you click on the icon you will see information about the power source, the apps that consume a lot, and the option to open the Battery panel in System Preferences.
- Quick user switching- Allows you to change the user who is logged in to your Mac.
Eliminate the power-up sound from your Mac
With the release of Big Sur, the classic Mac startup sound is back that longtime Apple users have held close to their hearts because they've been listening to it for decades. But in other circumstances it may be inconvenient or unnecessary, depending on the type of user.
Fortunately, Apple has incorporated a way to disable system startup sound in System Preferences. Visit the Sound panel and uncheck the "Play sound on startup" box.
From then on, the Mac will boot silently, with no one knowing what kind of computer you have. Except everyone can see the apple in the back of the screen, of course.
Shade your wallpaper
You spend your day staring at your Mac, so it's important to make it as comfortable as possible. It's nearly impossible by now that you haven't heard that you can change your Mac's color scheme from Light to Dark.
In case you have caught yourself in orbit around Mars, we leave you two screenshots of the same window using the Light and the Dark.
But you can still add another setting to make your eyesight less tired.
Within the General panel in System Preferences, you have the Appearance section at the top of the window, where you will see a setting called "Allow background coloring in Windows".
If you select Light Appearance mode, use a white tint or a gray tint on the windows. If you select the Dark color scheme, you will notice Less, because the windows change between a dark black and a solid black.
Listen to the keys as you type
In macOS Big Sur, the speech settings in the Accessibility system preferences panel have been renamed to "Read Content". But the news does not end there.
There is also a function that allows you to hear the keys pressed (read the pronunciation as you type). For example, if you type the letter "A", your Mac will say "A". As you type, the Mac will say the keys you press and when you press the spacebar or carriage return, the Mac will say the word you completed.
Either way, if you type quickly, the Mac becomes a machine gun trying to keep up. This accessibility option works well in applications like Notes, Pages, etc. but for example writing this article (WordPress, Safari) I was not reading anything. But it can be useful if you have vision problems.
See what a Safari page has without clicking
We all have a huge (probably too many) number of tabs open in Safari. If above many are from the same website, then after a few minutes we may have trouble remembering which one we are looking for, which wastes us a lot of time.
Luckily for us card accumulators, the new Safari 14 feature worked for us. If you hover over a tab, a thumbnail of the page will appear so you can see what it contains without having to click and activate it.
In this article we explain how to disable Safari preview.
How hard drives appear in the system
When macOS Catalina arrived, two volumes of storage suddenly appeared on the Mac, one named Macintosh HD and one named Macintosh HD - Data. This is Apple's implementation of the read-only volume, where Macintosh HD is a read-only disk and Macintosh HD - Data is what is used to store user files and data.
In macOS Big Sur, Apple has updated the Macintosh HD disk to make it a system-signed disk, adding "cryptographic protections" to maintain the integrity of the operating system.
It also makes system updates safer, more reliable, and allows you to restore your operating system without having to completely reinstall everything.
While it makes no difference to the user on a daily basis, if you use other company's software for backups, make sure with the manufacturer that it is compatible with Apple's system format, because if it isn't, they may be copying the program. they are not compatible with booting from disk in case you need them.
Find out how applications manage your data
Apple believes that your privacy is a priority and that users should be able to control how, what and when their data is used. macOS is packed with features to make sure you know what's going on with your data and files at all times, and with Big Sur 11.1, Apple has introduced a new one that you may not be aware of.
When you browse the App Store, there is a new section on each app's page called Privacy App. This section indicates whether and what kind of data that particular app can collect and send to the developer.
This is good information that can help you decide if you are interested in buying that app or not. Apple has an explanation of what developers shouldn't include in the Privacy section of the app. Only apps that meet all Apple criteria are not required to report in the Privacy section of the app.
In this short roundup of news and tricks that Big Sur has, we've tried to take a little bit of everything, but you're definitely using new features that didn't exist before or that have been improved (or made worse) to make them useful (or useless) .
Leave us a comment with your favorite Big Sur trick or novelty so we can all learn!