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MacOS 11.3 finally available, an update on the new features

MacOS 11.3 finally available, an update on the new features

macOS 11.3, now available in its final version, may not be as full of new features as iOS 14.5, but this new version of macOS Big Sur is still worth a look. Here’s a quick overview.


Beyond the usual batch of fixes, macOS 11.3 brings several new features that improve Safari, Notes or Apple Music. Even gamers are not forgotten! The final version of macOS 11.3 is numbered 20E232, it is identical to the release candidate of last week (so you can also read: macOS 11.3: how to activate the “Hello” screensaver).

  • Safari: new customization options
  • Reminders: sorting and printing tasks
  • Finally support for HomePod stereo pairs
  • Apple Music: infinite playback
  • Safari: WebM support
  • Support for PS5 and Xbox Series X controllers
  • Battery charges before an appointment
  • Clearer warranty information

Safari: new customization options

Version 14 of Safari introduced a new start page that allows you to change the background, giving the browser an operating system look. macOS 11.3 brings a welcome refinement: it is now possible to reorganize the categories that appear on the home page.

A set of extensions should allow developers who wish to do so to design new categories. We haven’t seen anything like that yet and maybe Apple dropped the idea along the way, but we’ll keep a close eye on it.

Notes: sort and print tasks

The Reminders application, for its part, welcomes two new features desperately awaited by millions of users in tears: sorting of tasks and printing of a list of tasks. All good things come to those who wait, all this is finally available with macOS 11.3.

Finally support for HomePod stereo pairs

While the iPhone or iPad have no problem managing HomePod stereo pairs, macOS was deprived of it until now. Of course, it was always possible to use the audio output setting in iTunes or Music to play on two paired HomePods, but that was not possible in the system. macOS 11.3 corrects this injustice! It is now possible to select a stereo pair in the Control Center.

Apple Music: infinite playback

Still on the subject of music, but this time for Apple Music, subscribers to the streaming service are now entitled to infinite playback, which is embodied by a red badge with the infinite logo on the Next icon in the top right of the Music app. This feature adds tracks one after the other to create an infinite music ribbon inspired by the songs already in the playlist.

Safari: WebM support

Back to Safari, with something that was long overdue, so much so that we thought Apple had skipped it. Like Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Edge, Apple’s browser can now display video content in WebM format.

PS5 and Xbox Series X controller support

In addition to compatibility with the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X controllers, macOS 11.3 makes life easier for Mac M1 users who love mobile gaming. The Big Sur update emulates controller controls for iOS games that run on the Mac. The keyboard and mouse or trackpad can mimic the behavior of a controller, which will be found in game preferences.

In addition, support for iOS apps on M1 Macs continues to improve with preferences for press alternatives and more obvious handling of notifications and Bluetooth access.

Battery charging before an appointment

The management of battery charging is refined in macOS 11.3 through a clever system that allows the system to refill the battery of a laptop before an appointment listed in Calendar.

Clearer warranty information

Because it’s not just iOS devices that are entitled to clear information about their coverage status, macOS 11.3 revamps the Service window in the About Your Mac panel. It will show details of the warranty or, if applicable, AppleCare+. All with links to initiate a repair or support.

macOS 11.3: the release notes

macOS Big Sur 11.3 adds support for dʼAirTag, includes improvements to the lʼiPhone and lʼiPad apps for Macs with the Apple chip and introduces skin color variations for Emoji with couples.

AirTag and Locate

  • Support for AirTag to track and find your important items, such as keys, wallet, backpack and more, confidentially and securely in the Locate app
  • The Locate network of hundreds of millions of devices can help you find your AirTag, even if it’s not nearby
  • Lost mode notifies you when your AirTag is found, and you can enter a phone number to be contacted

Apps for the iPhone and iPad on Macs with the Apple chip

  • Option to change the size of the window of a dʼiPhone and dʼiPad app
  • Support for displaying the version with the best possible resolution of a iPhone or iPad app in full screen
  • Keyboard support for iPhone and iPad games designed to use the deviceʼs tilt
  • Keyboard, mouse, and trackpad support for iPhone and iPad games that support game controllers

Emoji

  • Support for different skin colors for each person in all variations of the kissing couple Emoji and the couple with a heart Emoji
  • New Face Emoji, Heart Emoji, Woman with a Beard Emoji

Apple Music

  • Autoplay drives music streaming by automatically launching a similar song when you reach the end of a song or playlist
  • City-by-city rankings show what is popular in over 100 cities around the world

Podcasts

  • The podcast pages have been redesigned to make it easier to start listening
  • Option to save and download episodes, automatically adding them to your library for quick access
  • Download behavior and notification settings can be customized for each podcast
  • Popular ratings and categories in search help you discover new podcasts

Safari

  • The order of sections on the start page can now be customized
  • Additional WebExtensions APIs allow developers to offer extensions that replace the new tabs page
  • The Web Speech API allows developers to incorporate speech recognition into their web pages for real-time captioning, dictation and voice navigation
  • Support for WebM and Vorbis video and audio formats

Reminders

  • Ability to sort todayʼs smart list
  • Support for synchronizing the order of reminders in lists across all your devices
  • Ability to print your reminder lists

Games

  • Support for Xbox Series X|S and Sony PS5 DualSense™ wireless controllers

Macs with the Apple chip

  • Support for lʼhibernation

About this Mac

  • About this Mac displays Apple warranty status and AppleCare+ coverage in the Service tab when you are logged in with your Apple ID
  • Support for purchasing AppleCare+ and enrolling in the service for eligible Macs from About this Mac

This release also fixes the following issues:

  • Reminders created via Siri may be set for the first few hours of the day unintentionally
  • iCloud Keychain may not turn off
  • AirPods send audio to the wrong device after a phone call
  • AirPods Auto Change notifications may be missing or duplicate
  • External 4K monitors may not display full resolution when connecting via USB-C
  • The connection window may not sʼdisplay properly after restarting the Mac mini (M1, 2020)
  • The Wait feature may not work in the accessibility keyboard

Some features may not be available in all regions or on all Apple devices and require an Apple ID. To learn more about this update, please visit https://support.apple.com/kb/HT211896 To learn more about security fixes in Apple software updates, please visit https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201222

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