Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, kicked off this week, and while it is virtual, the usual suspects made an appearance. Namely previews of Apple’s desktop operating system, with macOS Big Sur seeing the light of day.

This new offering is being billed as the biggest change from a design perspective from Apple in quite some time, but luckily it’s not all sizzle, with some new features and hubs added to this mix too.

“macOS Big Sur is a major update that advances the legendary combination of the power of UNIX with the ease of use of the Mac, and delivers our biggest update to design in more than a decade,” explains Craig Federighi, Appleā€™s senior vice president of Software Engineering, about the operating system.

“With its modern and clean look, huge improvements to key apps including Safari, Messages, and Maps, and new privacy features, we think everyone is going to love the breakthrough experience that macOS Big Sur offers,” he adds.

From a design perspective, the first thing you’ll notice is that things look a lot brighter than they did in macOS Catalina, along with a higher degree of transparent elements and rounded edges to many of the windows and aspects of the OS.

On the more practical side of things, Safari has been given an upgrade in privacy and performance. Apple says the its JavaScript engine is 50 percent faster than Chrome, along with more tabs available on-screen. Added to this is new privacy reports detailing what Safari has protected its user from while browsing.

The last element to mention is a new notification hub on the left hand side of the screen, which works in a similar fashion to the ones we’ve seen in iOS and iPadOS, with separate tiles for apps like your calendar, photos, weather and screen time.

For now no official rollout date has been confirmed by Apple, with developers getting the first crack at the operating system, but it is slated for release in the Fall, which hopefully means before the end of Q3 for us.