Apple held its iPhone event last week where it unveiled the iPhone 12 and the HomePod mini. That event was 1 out of 2 that Apple has held this fall, with the first one being in September for the Apple Watch and iPad.
New hardware was clearly expected for both of the events, however, hopes were high that at either one, Apple would provide more information on macOS Big Sur, the next version of macOS. Too much surprise, it didn’t make mention either in press releases after the keynote, or during.
Despite being announced alongside iOS/iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, and others at WWDC, Big Sur still remains unavailable to the public. Big Sur is currently on its tenth beta release and is according to Apple set to be released sometime this fall. Apple released macOS Catalina on October 7th, days after it released iOS and iPadOS 13 last year. It’s not unusual for macOS to ship shortly after iOS and iPadOS updates, but the time is ticking this year.
While it was surprising that macOS didn’t come up at any of the two past keynotes, there is a logical reason behind it. If Apple were to have directly brought up macOS Big Sur at either keynote, it would have needed to bring up the Mac.
At none of the events was the Mac even mentioned once, and that’s due to the fact that Apple is set to hold a Mac-focused event in November, likely November 17th to be exact. Apple announced a major transition to Apple Silicon for the Mac at WWDC in June, promising themselves to have their first ARM Mac shipped by the end of the year.
In typical Apple fashion, it will want to give its first-ever Apple Silicon Mac all the attention, glory, and center stage spotlight at an event entirely dedicated to it. Apple could have very well added a segment at either of the past two keynotes and talked about it, but it didn’t and never would have.
Having that in mind, there are two paths Apple could take. First, hold off on releasing the software until sometime after the November event and alongside the launch of its first ARM Mac. Or, release macOS Big Sur before the event. If the latter, Apple would most likely do what it did with macOS Catalina and simply publish a press release announcing the update’s availability.
It’s hard to tell which path Apple will take in a year like this. Apple could decide to hold on off on its release until after the Mac event as to protect any possibility that the final software may include hints or information of unreleased Macs (although if true they’d likely be discovered during the beta testing period) or, it simply views the launch of macOS Big Sur alongside the first ARM Mac as easier to market.
There are vague and uncredible reports that Apple will announce something via a press release on its website this week (October 19th), if true, macOS Big Sur could be one of them. As stated above, macOS Big Sur is currently on its 10th beta release, the next beta update could be the GM (the final version of the software) or, beta 11 which is most likely.
It’s also worth noting that Apple will need to give developers a heads-up before macOS Big Sur launches to give them time to prepare their apps. Apple could do what it did with iOS and iPadOS 14 and only provide developers a one day notice, which would result in some passionate responses from the developer community, to put it nicely.