What’s New in Big Sur and Macs with the New M1 Chip

by Elaine Evans, on Nov 11, 2020 11:27:33 AM

Apple M1 Chip Macs for business

Apple just had its latest announcement on Tuesday (Nov 10, 2020). They announced that the public version of Big Sur (macOS 11) is being released on November 12th and new Macs with the M1 chip will be available the week of November 17th.

Should my business upgrade to Big Sur or wait?

Businesses should always do testing before upgrading their company’s devices to a new operating system. Most major software developers will have their apps ready to go, but the only way to be sure is to test your business-critical software in Big Sur. This way you can make sure you aren’t losing any functionality that will have a negative impact on your business. 

The second thing to consider is the age of your Macs. See Apple’s support articles to find out if your Macs can run macOS 11. 

What's new in Big Sur?

User updates

Users will love the new look of macOS 11. It creates a greater consistency between macOS and iOs than ever before. 

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • A redesigned user experience that seems to reflect iOS design sensibilities with a translucent and sleek system design
  • A customizable control center for Mac
  • Refresh of Safari 
  • Messages revamp including inline replies and pinning conversations 
  • AirPods automatic device switching 🙌
  • See full list of new features here

IT Management updates

There's lots of exciting changes in IT Management functions that will continue to make the use of MDM (mobile device management) tools even better for your IT admins. Don't have an IT team? Springboard IT would love to be your IT team. 

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Managed apps for supervised devices 
  • Lights out management for Mac Pro 
  • Easier forced Mac OS updates via MDM 
  • Skip setup steps after OS Upgrade via MDM 
  • Auto-advance for Mac to skip setup assistant 

You'll need to make sure you have Apple Business/School Manager and an MDM to take advantage on many of these. 

What is the big deal about Apple’s new Macs with M1?

Apple has long differentiated itself from the Goliaths in the marketplace by designing both the hardware and operating systems of their product. This greater control allows them to create a better user experience since the hardware and software are designed with the same vision so they work hand-in-hand. 

With Apple designing and manufacturing the M1 chip, this means they now have even greater control over the hardware and how the software will leverage one another. This move harkens back to Apple’s roots (in fact they even boot with Apple's signature startup chime 😍). Because of this, Macs with M1 running Big Sur are made to have impressive stats over PC competitors and previous generations in everything from GPU to Machine Learning while still consuming less power. They boasted that the new 13-inch MacBook Pro can "play back full-quality, 8K ProRes video without dropping a single frame" (Apple).

Read more about all the improved performance stats from Apple here

How will this impact applications I use?

Apple has created their new Macs and macOS 11 to run both Intel applications and new Universal Apps. For software that hasn't updated to a Universal App platform, Apple has created Rosetta 2 to run almost any app your business is running on Catalina.

For power users and business critical apps, we recommend that our clients test the Macs with M1 to make sure that their business critical apps are operating as needed before deploying an entire fleet.  

What new Macs did they announce? 

Apple announced new Macs in a few popular lines:

  • MacBook Air (with no fan!) starting at $999
  • Mac Mini starting at $699 ($100 less than the previous generation)
  • 13” Mac Book Pro starting at $1299

For now, the 16” MacBook Pro and the other desktops are waiting on a refresh. The new Macs also have Thunderbolt/USB 4 built in. 

Order the Mac with M1 Chip



Apple continues to push innovation and take their products to new heights with the introduction of Big Sur and the M1 chip. This appears to only be phase one of this development and we should expect to see even more innovation now that Apple has pursued this path. 

Are you in need of an IT partner that knows businesses that run on Apple? Springboard IT has a team of friendly, experienced consultants and technicians that can help pick the right IT plan for your organization. Schedule a free consultation today. 

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Credits: Photo by Apple

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