Apple news is flooding in at breakneck speed from all angles at the moment. Apple recently dropped its 11.2 updates for macOS Big Sur, which offers a veritable bundle of Bluetooth fixes, which are aimed at Apple's brilliant range of M1 Macbooks. Building off its incredible work rate, the Cupertino-giant is already rolling out the beta iterant of its next update, Apple's macOS 11.3.
It seems the work never stops, as Apple toil away to deliver this latest developer beta that looks set to bring several enticing new features to its desktop operating system. Apple's macOS 11.3 update will enable controllers from the Xbox Series X, PS5, and Xbox Series S, to be used with a range of devices, boosting the controllers' overall functionality as they can be paired up with more devices. Great news for gaming aficionados across the globe.
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There are copious new updates coming with the Big Sur 11.3 update, including much-needed improvements to iPhone and iPad apps, not least to the game-changing Apple MacBook Air (M1 2020), but to a host of other Apple laptops as well.
Things move so fast in the tech world that you may even be considering holding out for the 2021 Apple Macbook Air, which isn't unwise considering the gargantuan improvements the 2020 model delivered. In the meantime, here's a quick rundown of some of the sparkling new features that'll be shipped alongside Apple's macOS 11.3 for Big Sur.
This is the big one for us here at T3. As mentioned, the new update will roll out support for the next-gen controllers, including the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PS5 DualSense controllers.
Big Sur 11.3 will offer built-in support for the console accessories, making the next-generation controllers much more compatible with a range of devices. Interestingly, this will also land in iPhones with the upcoming iOS 14.5 release, expanding controller compatibility to the likes of the Apple iPhone 12 and Apple iPhone 12 Pro..
Better Safari features
Safari will get its own bunch of updates. It means that Safari will offer a more user-friendly landing page that can be customized to your personal preferences; furthermore, new extension controls will let developers create new plug-ins for the new tab page. Speech recognition can then be built-in to web pages through a new Web Speech API for developers.
Apple News and Reminders
The macOS Big Sur 11.3 update will offer more options to categorize your Reminders section. It'll utilize tags that can log your Reminders according to the subject, and it will even offer a printing option for them. We can't imagine a physical printing option would be particularly popular, but it might work to print out and stick on a pinboard.
Apple News is getting a rejig as well. It's launching a revamped News+ Tab to assist subscribers in accessing their favorite newspapers and publications.
The new update will resolutely beef-up Apple Music. It'll now include a Made For You Library shortcut, which will assimilate your musical tastes into a simple, easily accessible playlist, that boasts a delightful blend of your favorite mixes and songs.
The Apple HomePod, which is a superbly capable smart speaker, will now be given stereo-paired functionality; currently, users are only able to co-opt two HomePods together into paired stereo speakers through AirPlay with Apple Music. T3's pick of the best Bluetooth speaker is a good alternative to a fully-fledged stereo system if you need a quick audio upgrade without splashing huge amounts of cash.
Apple's macOS Big Sur 11.3, in its final iteration, is likely to get a release date somewhere towards the end of March based on the typical pattern of how Apple rolls out its annual updates. Usually, there is then a small hiatus before further updates are announced, but COVID-19 has made this less easy to predict.
With Apple ramping up cross-compatibility, including integrated support for next-gen gaming controllers, it could signal a more open-minded Apple that is willing to facilitate functionality by letting users introduce external hardware into its eco-system. Either way, it can only be a good sign as companies increasingly diverge and diversify hardware options, which means things keep getting increasingly expensive.