How macOS Big Sur Improves Your Favorite Built-In Apple Apps

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Mac’s latest upgrade to Big Sur beefs up numerous popular applications. Undoubtedly, the update to Big Sur brought plenty of amazing new features and settings to the mix and also does a great job to spruce up the numerous programs that come packaged with the operating system. Big Sur adds a lot of improvements to Maps, Safari, Reminders, Messages, and Voice Memos to help give you the best macOS experience.

Here’s a summary of everything that has changed in macOS and how to get the best out of these changes.


The first macOS Big Sur improves your favorite Built-In Apple apps is Safari. Safari is one of the applications that received a massive upgrade from Big Sur. The Safari update gave Big Sur users access to Safari 14. Safari version 14 mainly centered its attention on adding new privacy features and proving to be the main competitor to Google’s Chrome functionality.

Customize Your Start Page

The launch of macOS Big Sur allows users to customize the Safari start page to their taste. You can now tweak your start page in Safari to suit your taste. This includes adding your favorite background and decide on what notification you’ll like to receive. To perform this tweak, right-click anywhere on your start page.

From the Safari menu, click on “Choose Background”. You’ll find already installed images in the Desktop Pictures folder, or you can go to a different folder to choose your images. From the menu bar, show or hide your frequently visited sites, Privacy Report, iCloud tabs, reading list, and Siri suggestion.

Built-in Translator

Fortunately, Big Sur now has had a built-in translator that’ll change the language of a website. To perform this action, select the Translate icon at the right edge of the address bar, and click on Translate to English (or any other supported languages). The entire site and your current page will change to the language you choose. To return the website to its previous state, select the translate icon and click on view original.

Privacy Report

Initially, Safari blocks any web page trackers that follow you from one website to another. Similar to iOS, Big Sur will show you which sites and trackers were blocked. To try this tweak, click on the top left of the address bar to view the Privacy Report. The tool will show you the trackers that have been blocked on the current site. Click the info icon in the upper right corner to view the history of all cross-trackers that have been blocked.

Password Monitor

Similar to most websites, Safari will show you any of your saved website passwords that are weak, used on more than one site, or possibly have been compromised in a breach. To check this feature in the browser, select the Safari menu, and click on Preferences > Password, double-click any account with a yellow flag next to it. Safari will locate and expose the account so you can change the password.


Due to the transition to Apple’s MI chip, Big Sur moves Mac closer to its iOS counterpart. Fortunately, iPhone-Esque messages functionality has now been brought to macOS Big Sur.

Pin Conversations

Instead of scouring over all your messages for one specific contact, you can now pin that conversation or person to the top of your screen so you can easily access it. All you have to do is to either drag and drop the conversation to the top of the screen or right-click on a specific conversation and select pin. To unpin a conversation, right-click on it and press Unpin, and the conversation will go down to its previous list.

Threaded Replies

Replying to a friend in a lengthy conversation can be bored and get confusing. However, Apple through the upgrade to macOS Big Sur has made it possible to directly reply to a particular message from anywhere in the thread. For you to try this tweak, hold and swipe any specific message you want to reply to the left side. The other messages in the conversation will recede, which will allow you to type in your response at the bottom of the pane. Once done, you just have to click anywhere in the thread for all the messages to reapply.

Add Memoji Stickers and More

With Big Sur, images, Memoji stickers, and effects can be easily added to a message. Swipe the App icon to the left of the message field, either before or after typing a message. Meanwhile, you can choose to add a photo or video directly from your gallery, insert animated GIFs, add in-built or custom Memoji stickers, and add effects like balloons, hearts, and many others.


The redesigned Apple Maps has been launched with many features to be a strong competitor to Google Maps. Fortunately, the program has been improved drastically to bring out the best and make finding locations easier.

View Editor’s Picks and Guides

Mac Maps now show you places and topics that might interest you under the title Editor’s Picks. For you to see these picks, click in the Search field bar to view these picks and then select the See All links to show additional ones. Click any specific pick to read every detail about it. Fortunately, you can add any specific pick you like to your guides list. Click the oval icon and select Add to my list. From this same spot, select See All Guides or See Publisher’s Guides to see all available guides.

Get Bike Directions

Before now, you can only get directions by foot, car, mass transit, and now bicycle. Search for directions, then you click on the bike icon on the top corner of your screen. Maps will bring out bicycle directions for every accessible location, including bicycle trails incompatible areas.

Look Around

With macOS 11, you can now access a 360-degree view of supported locations. You just have to click on the Look Around icon at the top corner. Also, zoom in or out or drag any area of the map to reach up to 360-degree. Then, the Look Around view will change accordingly.


Previously, Apple revamped its Reminders app to be easier and more useful to its users. With macOS Big Sur, many interesting features have been added too which will help to increase productivity.

Assign a Shared Reminder

Before now, you’re only limited to share reminders only to family members, but now Reminders can be assigned to other specific people. Meanwhile, go to your shared list and select the + icon to add a reminder, then click on the “Assign to” icon and tap the specific name of the person you want to handle this task.

Rename and Change icon for a List

Big Sur now allows you to customize a list in your Mac’s Reminder not just only by changing its name but also by changing its icon. Just double-tap the list-icon to show the info screen. From there, you can now change the icon or name of a list in your Reminder. Hover over the specific icon and click on it to select a new icon from varieties of emojis and symbols.

Manage the Smart List

Meanwhile, the Reminder app-only automatically creates smart lists based on items due today, all items, flagged items, and scheduled items. Fortunately, in macOS Big Sur, you can rearrange and customize the order of those smart lists including removing any you don’t like to see. Just drag and drop a particular smart list to a new spot. To hide it, right-click on it and select Hide.

Voice Memos

Once again, Apple has done a lot of work by maintaining its stance in making Voice Memos a universal app across all platforms including its iPad and iPhone systems. However, it’s good to see the program continue to improve especially on Mac.

Enhance a Recording

The macOS Big Sur updated Voice Memos can now automatically improve the audio of a recording including reverberation and background noise. You can choose to try this tweak by the first record, before playing your memo. Select the Edit button in the upper right corner and then click the Magic Wand icon. Also, you can choose to play the memo again to check whether there’s an improvement in sound quality.

Arrange Your Memos Into Folders

In previous macOS models, when you create a lot of memos, it might be difficult to organize them and find specific ones. Meanwhile, in macOS Big Sur, you can now store your numerous memos in different folders. Click the sidebar at the top left corner then select the New Folder icon to perform this action. Also, you enter the name you want to save the folder with, then drag the specific memo into your new folder.

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The launch of Big Sur has brought a whole lot of interesting features to Mac. Undoubtedly, Mac is now leading the desktop market having Windows as its greatest competitor. On our today’s Mac review is an overview of how macOS Big Sur improves your favorite built-in Apple apps. Stay updated with our page and read the latest tech innovations. You can choose to subscribe to be the first to get daily updates from us.

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