Apple has publicly revealed the next version of its desktop operating system, OS X El Capitan. Yes, that is the real name. It’s not introducing a ton of changes this time around, but there’s enough to keep Mac fans happy for another year.
What’s New in OS X El Capitan
Apple is focusing on improving the experience and performance of OS X with El Capitan.
Spotlight search has been bumped up even more with the ability to respond to natural language queries. Instead of digging through Finder to sort your documents by date, you could type into Finder “documents I worked on last week.”
Apple is also revamping Notes and Mission Control with new interfaces to make them easier to use.
Speaking of new interfaces, fans of Windows 7’s Aero Snap feature will like OS X’s Split View. You can divide the screen in half, with one app on each side. As anyone who’s used the feature in Windows can attest, it’s extremely useful.
Safari has been overhauled as well. You can pin sites to the tab bar, as well as see which tabs are playing audio. Thank you, Apple, for copying two of Chrome’s most useful features.
Need for Speed
For performance, Apple is making a lot of under-the-hood improvements to make OS X run faster. Apple claims apps open 1.4 times faster, apps switch 2 times faster, and PDFs open up to 4 times faster.
Apple is also introducing Metal for Mac, similar to Metal for iOS. Metal is an OpenGL alternative for graphics rendering, offering up to 40 percent greater rendering efficiency.
When Can I Download It?
El Capitan releases this fall as a free update for all Mac users. The beta will roll out to everyone enrolled in Apple’s developer program today.
OS X El Capitan, apart from the silly name, looks like another step in the right direction.
There are the much-appreciated performance improvements, though I’m not sure how much they will affect most everyday performance. My 2013 MacBook Air already opens apps near-instantaneously. At a certain point, we’ll be reaching diminishing returns.
The biggest unanswered question is how Apple is approaching bugfixing and stability. It’s no secret OS X has been getting more and more unstable with each release. Hardcore Apple fans need appeasing, and a bugfix release focused on fixing problems would go a long way.