Apple has revealed macOS version numbering following Big Sur

When we were all worrying about how we’d cope with the sudden change in version numbering in macOS 11 Big Sur, one unanswered question was how numbering would work after 11.0. I think that Apple has already answered that question for us.

To recap, Apple’s ‘official’ version numbering system uses three numbers: a major version, minor version, and a patch. So macOS 10.15.7 is the seventh patch in minor version 15 of major version 10 – you see, they weren’t following it anyway. But back in the days before Mac OS X, that was what was used, some of the time at least.

Just recently, and before the release of the first version of Big Sur 11.0 or 11.0.0, Apple released to beta-testers the first beta of the first update to Big Sur, and numbered that macOS 11.0.1 beta 1, as widely reported in the press and in Apple’s own release notes. So in a year or so’s time when the next ‘major’ version of macOS is expected, pandemics notwithstanding, we should expect macOS 11.1 rather than 11.0.1. Unless of course we’ve a whole year of betas of 11.0.1 to look forward to.

Anyone who needs to plan ahead when coping with version numbers for macOS can therefore safely expect the next year to take it from 11.0.0 to 11.0.6 or thereabouts, with 11.1.0 due next autumn/fall.

Unless, of course, Apple changes its corporate thinking again.