BigSur Is Here, Our Official Stance, and Recommendations

With the release of the next OS from Apple, macOS 11 Big Sur, you may be tempted to upgrade right away and enjoy the newest features and sparkling new look of Apple’s newest OS. With all the new features, it’s tempting to hit that “Upgrade” button right away, but Grove Technologies is recommending that you wait until version 11.0.5 is released, which usually takes a few months. New versions of operating systems can be sluggish and buggy, they can slow down your Mac, and there are always compatibility issues with some apps. Waiting until version 11.05 allows Apple the time to work out the bugs and make sure Big Sur is mature enough for use in business and enterprise. Big Sur also has many “under the hood” changes that could have a big impact on your work.

If you are using an older Mac (older than 6 years) it may be best to skip the update to Big Sur and Catalina all together, or upgrade your hardware. Since Apple’s switch to the APFS File system in 10.14 many clients have been complaining about a sluggish HD or spinning ball when trying to complete menial tasks. This is because the APFS file system was not designed with spindle drives in mind. Spindle drives are the old-fashioned “moving parts” type of HD that, until recently, Apple allowed budget conscious users to install in their Macs. Unfortunately the new file system caused some major performance issues. If you opted for an SSD in your Mac, this issue will not affect you. Before upgrading to Big Sur from older OS’s, be sure to reach out to Grove Technologies about the possibility of upgrading an older spindle drive to an SSD.

Although it’s not a new feature for Big Sur, Apple’s 100% reliance on 64bit applications may have put your favorite app out to pasture. Be sure to check the build of your favorite application to make sure they are running in 64bit. Go to the Apple menu, choose About This Mac, then click the System Report… button. From the system report, scroll down to Software in the sidebar, then select Applications. When you select an individual application, you will see a field titled 64-bit on the right side.

Just in the opening days of the Big Sur release many users have complained about the stability of their system. Kernel Panics, spinning wheels, crashing. This can be avoided by not “upgrading” but doing a clean wipe and reinstall of the OS. Especially if upgrading from more than 2 versions behind. This does however mean a longer upgrade process. If you think you will need a fresh install of Big Sur instead of the upgrade, be sure to mention that during your support call with Grove Tech or ask your support Rep which is right for you.

Lastly, users of 2013/2014 Macbook Pros have reported that in some cases the Big Sur update has bricked their Mac completely, making their Mac inaccessible. While other reports cite that some applications on BigSur are allowed to circumvent vpn connections a huge issue for those that rely on those for privacy protections. All efforts to boot into Recovery mode to wipe and reload are futile. The only option has been to take the Mac into the Apple Store. This seems like a worst case scenario, but with Big Sur being so new and untested, issues like this are sure to come to the forefront.

Once you have checked all the boxes and you are ready for the upgrade, the main question is: Will my Mac support the upgrade? If you are currently running Catalina and your Mac is manufactured after 2013 its probably a YES. ANY MacPro (black cylinders) and any iMac Pro can upgrade, as well as Macbooks 2015 or later. Macbook Pro’s, Macbook Airs 2013 or later, iMacs and Mac Mini’s 2014 or later. Big Sur has the largest installation file so far with a whopping 12 Gigs! Make sure you have a minimum of 100G of HD space available prior to upgrading.

Grove Technologies wants this upgrade to be as easy and painless as possible when you are READY. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our Mac Experts for questions about how to proceed!

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