Apple on Thursday issued a macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 release candidate to registered developers, hinting that the macOS update is imminent.
The new macOS Big Sur beta can be acquired from the Apple Developer Center, or as an over-the-air update on devices with the proper configuration profile installed.
The release candidate version released Thursday comes just one week after Apple seeded the first beta version of macOS Big Sur 11.0.1. That confused the beta testing process, since macOS 11 is still unreleased despite running through 10 rounds of beta builds.
As far as why macOS Big Sur has been slow to release, it’s likely due to the complexity of the redesign and the fact that the software update must support both Intel-based and upcoming Apple Silicon Mac devices.
It isn’t clear whether macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 will be the first Big Sur update to release to the public, but it’s also possible that 11.0.1 will be released separately as the version running on Apple Silicon devices when they debut.
AppleInsider, and Apple itself, strongly suggest users avoid installing betas on to “mission-critical” or primary devices, due to the potential for data loss or other issues. It is instead recommended to install betas onto secondary or non-essential devices, and to ensure there are sufficient backups of important data beforehand.