MacOS Big Sur: Apple's new M1 chip will make apps run faster and smoother

You'll be able to work seamlessly between your iPhone, iPad and Mac with new universal apps for MacOS.

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Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome
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At a virtual event on TuesdayApple unveiled new Macs that run on its new M1 chip for Macs, which will bring major improvements to app performance on its new operating system, MacOS Big Sur

With MacOS Big Sur running on Macs with the new Apple silicon-based M1 chip, launching apps is nearly instantaneous, Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, said during the event. With Safari, the OS will run JavaScript one and a half times faster, and the entire system will be almost twice as responsive -- so apps that require strong performance to render 3D animations or edit raw video footage will run more smoothly. 

"We've optimized all of our apps for M1," Federighi said.

Watch this: Apple's new M1 chip engineered for MacOS Big Sur

The M1 chip will also bring increased security, including hardware verified secure boot, automatic high performance encryption for all of your files and MacOS run-time protections. All together, this gives you "the most advanced security of any personal computer," Federighi said. 

MacOS Big Sur also brings universal apps, which can run on an Intel- or M1-based Mac. Adobe is releasing universal versions of its apps, starting with Lightroom next month and Photoshop early next year. 

For the first time ever, you'll be able to run iPhone and iPad apps directly on your Mac, Federighi said.

MacOS Big Sur rolled out to all users on Thursday. For more, find out if your Mac is compatible with Big Surhow to download MacOS Big Sur, and all of the best Big Sur features we've found