While we just hit the fourth public (and developer) betas of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple has been taking it a little slower with the rollout for macOS 11 Big Sur. But the wait for a public beta is finally over.

On Thursday, Apple officially seeded the first public beta of macOS 11 Big Sur to public beta testers. With this seed, it means that folks who want to try out the prerelease version of the desktop operating system can do so, just as long as they are registered with the Public Beta Software Program. If you are already registered, you can download and install the new software via the Software Update tool on your registered Mac(s).

If you are not already registered, you can do so by clicking this link.

What’s new (in brief)

As the version number should suggest, macOS 11 Big Sur is a major update for the desktop operating system. While it will look instantly recognizable to macOS users, Apple implemented a new color palette for the software, is introducing new icons, and making even more tweaks to the software to give it a fresh new approach.

There are new features, too. For instance, Control Center is making the leap from iOS to macOS with Big Sur. This will give users even faster access to things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, screen brightness, and more. What’s more, Notification Center is getting tweaked, with redesigned widgets that are reminiscent to iOS 14 and notifications will now be grouped by app.

Safari is getting new features, including a built-in translation tool, more security and privacy features, and a new customizable home page.

Messages on macOS is getting a big overhaul, bringing it more in line with what you would expect to find on iOS. It will let users pin conversations, take advantage of the new mention feature, new Message effects, and much more. The Maps app is also getting redesigned in macOS 11 Big Sur, adding support for the Look Around feature, indoor maps, and much more.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more noteworthy changes coming to Apple’s desktop OS later this year:

As mentioned just above, macOS 11 Big Sur is set to launch to the public sometime this fall. It will be a free upgrade when it arrives.

Are you planning on trying out the macOS Big Sur public beta?