Big Sur Is Here, but We Suggest You Say “No Sir” for Now

I decided to jump right in as soon as the download issues were resolved. 2016 MBP 15" with Touch Bar here.

My take:

  • The new Apple icons are crap as they lost their essential distinctiveness in the dock. Ghost of Joni Ive? Replaced them with the old ones where possible.
  • Had one kernel panic so far and a few app crashes. Stability is not up to scratch yet.
  • Using CMD-T in Safari takes up to 10sec to produce the new tab.
  • Top Right now sits a date&time item that can’t be (re)moved or modified; it’s in the way and I absolutely hate it. Why use that as the Notification Centre handle? Apple could have chosen some distinct icon, but no. It has to go regardless!
  • MP3’s I add to Music get uploaded to iCloud, but they don’t show up on my iPad and iPhone.
  • Little bits of confusion and wrinkles here and there, but no further big issues (so far).

So, for a production environment, not yet indeed.

That’s true. It can be better controlled on Jamf-managed macs. But the majority of macs in our fleet are pre-jamf, and those are the ones that we have the most trouble with when it comes to the annual nightmare of a new macOS release. Our ability to lock those down is somewhat restricted by management demands.

I find these numbers incredible, considering the likelihood of mail loss that was warned about here and still remains unresolved. Why have so many moved to Catalina with such a risk? Are they able to upgrade to the latest devices and thus forced to use Catalina? Are they just uncaring about losing mail? Do they immediately take the “latest and greatest” without weighing the risks? The move to Catalina by so many is just confounding.

Some of us don’t use Apple’s Mail app, so this particular bug is a non-issue.

I do nearly all of my e-mail work through the providers’ web-mail interfaces (Google, Yahoo,, Comcast, etc.) On those rare occasions when I want to access mail with a Mac app, I use Mozilla Thunderbird.

I doubt most people are aware of the problems to start, so it’s just not coming up. Certainly, if you buy a new Mac, you don’t really have much of a choice.

I also suspect that the problems aren’t that widespread or necessarily reproducible, and a lot of people really don’t care enough about email to notice or worry about it.

And, as @Shamino said, plenty of people who might be aware of the issues don’t use Mail.

Unlike @Shamino I actually use a lot, basically almost exclusively (apart from rare web interface use or mutt sessions via remote ssh). I can only say that although I was very worried about the bugs initially, and read and double-checked everything I could on the matter before hesitantly upgrading to Catalina, it ended up working without a hitch.

And to this day, my Catalina has been performing exactly as it had under Mojave. Mostly well, with two or three annoyances (one I just recently noted here on TidBITS Talk). I have to this day experienced zero email loss or had to restore anything from backup and that’s the case for all my accounts: iCloud, Gmail for work, and my private IMAP server for personal stuff.

Not trying to generalize or say these issues aren’t real (I have no doubt they are), just trying to point out they are not necessary universal and that for some of us there has been a path forward with Catalina that appears to have worked quite well. Thank goodness, since you really have no choice when you get a new Mac.

[I realize I probably should never have written this and that I just jinxed myself. Ugh.] :wink:

I use exclusively, for a quite large traffic of email (~ 100 a day; I use it as an Exchange365 client).
I also never ever had any issue with since I installed Catalina version 0.0.It surely is an issue, but AFAIK it is an issue for a quite small minority of users.
I installed Big Sur few days ago, and everything works as it should.
I insta

Is there going to be a Take Control of Updating to Big Sur book?

When I purchased a new iMac 2019 it came with Catalina and I was very nervous that it would be a mess. Actually had no problem at all. Worked fine from the very start. I use Apple Mail as my main email program and have had no problems at all. The iMac allowed me to reformat and restore my MBP 2013 (using High Sierra) which had become corrupted and I wanted to have a good computer before trying to fix that. It all worked out and again, my main point, I’ve had no problems with Catalina but it was installed from the get go on the new iMac.

We’re not associated with Take Control anymore, but Joe Kissell’s book has been out for a bit.

Yes, I have that one. He usually puts out a book devoted to the upgrade. Haven’t seen it yet.


He combined the books this year.

Thanks for letting me know that. I hadn’t opened it yet. I’m still going to take TB’s advice and wait to upgrade until you say so. Thanks again.

New tabs in Safari show up instantly for me on a 2019 MBP 16". If it’s taking up to 10 seconds, I would suspect there’s something weird going on with your system.

The date and time item can be customized in the Dock & Menu Bar preference pane. You can turn off the date completely, but not the clock. If you opt for an analog clock, however, it won’t take up much space in the menu bar.

We’re curious to see if Apple’s new M1-equipped Macs ship with 11.0 or 11.0.1.

My M1 Mac Mini arrived with macOS 11.0.

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Yes, there just wasn’t enough time after 11.0.1 went GM to get it to hardware manufacturing to install on initial shipments, nor open sealed boxes to update them. I would expect those coming off the production line now to get 11.0.1.

What could that be? No time to experiment right now, but turning off plug-ins may be the way to go…

I don’t have anything like that in my preferences. Does the picture look like what you have?

OK, found it. But I would not have looked for Date&Time preferences outside the Date&Time preferences in a million years; that is MS territory.
Thanks for the pointer!

“Well, there’s spam egg sausage and spam, that’s not got much spam in it.”

You seriously can’t turn off the menu bar clock in Big Sur? I’ve been using alternative menu bar clocks for a couple of decades. Okay, it’s a trivial thing, but it sure sounds annoying.

Extensions were the first thought that occurred to me. You could try set up a new user and see if you can replicate the problem on a clean account.

Yeah, I only found it because someone on another site was lamenting the disappearance of the battery percentage in the menu bar but then eventually found the setting in the Dock & Menu Bar pref pane.