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macOS 11.3 Big Sur: New Goodies

11.3 Beta is out

Abhinav Chandoli
Feb 10 · 4 min read

Apple just released macOS Big Sur 11.2 and right after that they also officially released the Beta tester version of macOS as a public release. Like any beta release of macOS, macOS 11.3 is packed with new features, fixes, and a few other quality of life improvements under the hood.

As this version is still beta testing phase, you might find some rough edges around the corner, which will be ironed out in the next stable release. Apart from that, everything is pretty fast and smooth much like a stable update. Here’s everything new in the macOS Big Sur 11.3 beta.

App Preferences & iPad Apps

Since Apple announced native support for its iOS and iPad apps on M1 Apple Silicon Macs. The app and touch alternative preferences were pretty basic. It even lacked a dedicated preference panel for controlling those apps. Now in 11.3, you get a dedicated preference panel section. Now you can control or enable each different touch alternatives like a tap, swipe, drag, and multi-touch.

This now enables us to use keyboard arrows for example to simulate a swipe in the iOS or iPad apps. In the previous versions of Big Sur, you couldn’t use some large iPad apps. Now with the update, you can manually resize the windows of these large apps to your preference.

Remainders & News

The reminders app is getting some much-needed additions. You can now sort your reminders by Title, Due Date, Priority, or Creation Date right in the app itself. You can even manually move all of your reminders around in all lists. It also allows you to print your reminders quickly and create to-do lists and more features to come in the future.

Apple also redesigned the News app, which now has a dedicated section for News+ subscriptions. The app now has a dedicated library for all your news magazine subscriptions in a clean and organized way. The News+ section divides your subscriptions into four new parts such as My Magazines, Downloaded magazines, Newspapers, and Catalog.

NextGen controller support

Photo by Krzysztof Hepner on Unsplash

Apple is beginning to ease its restrictions over controller support and cloud gaming on its devices. Recently we got to see, iOS latest update gaining next-gen controller support. Now it’s time for M1 Apple Silicon Macs. In macOS 11.3 update, Apple added support for the latest Xbox Series X and PS5 controllers.

Now you can play Apple arcade games and even games from cloud platforms like Stadia, GeForce now gaming using the controller. Apple Arcade is also projected to receive updates to support these changes in the near future.

Safari Customizations & Extensions

Safari already got a lot of additions when Apple announced Big Sur. Now with 11.3, Safari is getting even more customization options and browser extensions. You can now customize and re-arrange the sections on the Start Page including your favorite websites, reading lists, and Siri suggestions.

In coming versions of this beta tester, you will be able to customize your new tabs with extensions. This change could allow you to better use the empty space on your new tab page.


The macOS 11.3 beta is available for all M1 Macs, MacBook released in 2015 and later, MacBook Pro released in 2013 and later, iMac — 2014 and later, Mac Pro — 2013 and later, MacBook Air — 2013 and later, Mac Mini — 2014 and later, iMac Pro — 2017 and later.

You have to signup for the beta program here to get beta releases of macOS to experience these new features and changes on your own Mac. The size of the update can vary based on your Mac.

Those were some of the features and changes in the new macOS 11.3 Big Sur. Though a minor update over the 11.2, it has fixed some issues like Bluetooth and more. Apart from these, 11.3 also brings the ability to stereo-pair HomePods, a ‘Made For You’ library in Apple Music.

It also redesigned the Apple support app and support menu. And many more features to come in the coming weeks of the beta program. They might even bring back Catalina like notifications to Big Sur. What do you think of this release? Let me know.

Mac O’Clock

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