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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Dr. Icon and the Icons of Big Sur

Note: This story has not been updated since 2020.

This week’s Upgrade is a walk through the many icons of macOS Big Sur. Stephen Hackett, Myke Hurley and I picked our favorites and least favorites. Staring at an icon at full size makes you question a lot of things about the premise of the icons. (Have you ever really looked at the classic Mail icon?)

In general, I think the icon refresh is a good idea. I can also understand that it’s a huge job and that not every icon is going to get a lot of attention. But while some of these icons are nice steps forward, a lot of them are the old icons slapped on a featureless white roundrect.

Here are all the icons in the Applications folder, with Big Sur on the left of each pair and Catalina on the right.

And here’s the Utilities folder:

utilities icons

I wonder if any of these will change between now and the end of the beta. We’ve already beaten back the bad battery icon.

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