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On Tech: Mac OS 11

For the first time in years (at least that’s what it feels like), I watched the entirety of an Apple press event, while it streamed live. I used to live and breathe for these — and that’s when they were being streamed at ridiculous late-night (or early-morning) hours in Tokyo — but have felt myself slowly caring less and less for them over the years, with the majority of what is presented feeling more like “updates” than new exciting products. But I’m currently on vacation, and so yesterday I decided to see what they were going to show at their WWDC event, and I gotta say, I enjoyed it.

First off, I think pre-recording these is the way to go now. Sure, we all know why they did it that way, but it came off better than the usual live stage show we’re now accustomed to, and gives voice to more people in the company. But what got me most excited was the peek at the aesthetic changes to the Mac OS UI (under the next upgrade, Big Sur), and it’s only today that I understand why: this is in fact a departure from Mac OS X, which has been the end-all be-all of Mac OSes for 20 years.

My first Mac, the white MacBook, which I imagine I would have gotten in 2000 (I remember it came with the beta for Mac OS X, which came out in September of that year).

Interestingly, this also made me realize that I’ve been a Mac user for 20 years now. The very first Mac I bought (a MacBook) came with the beta for Mac OS X, and so I was straddling the convergence between OS 9 and this new gooey future OS. I was always a big fan of Mac computers — I still remember drooling over the multi-page pamphlet for the original Mac back in 1984 — but alas my parents never wanted us to have one, preferring to stick with the tried and true PCs of the time (our first computer was a Commodore VIC-20, but all the PCs that followed during the 80s were Commodore PCs, from the PC-10 to the PC-40).

But yeah, a more significant OS update feels fun and fresh, a lot of the features they shared for their other OSes looked great (especially the changes to how you organize your “screens” in iOS), and I imagine my next Mac will be one that runs on Apple’s new ARM architecture.

It’s the first time in years that I’m excited about using Apple products.

By Jean Snow

Senior Manager, Esports at Ubisoft. Before that, half a life spent in Tokyo.