Apple announced the availability of their newest Mac operating system, El Capitan, on October 2, 2015. The software upgrade boasts multiple speed improvements, along with streamlined apps that are designed to boost productivity. OS X 10.11 is now available as a free upgrade to all Mac owners.
Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Patrick Moorhead provided insight on the improvements Apple made in the operating system. The speed of basic operations has been increased, allowing files to open faster and enhancing performance when working with 3D graphics. Core apps like Calendar, Messages, and Mail also gain a speed boost.
El Capitan introduces new features familiar to iOS users. The new Mac OS now includes split screen functionality, allowing two apps to be displayed simultaneously on a single monitor in full-screen mode. This addition will help clean up some of the clutter caused by opening multiple windows. It adds to an already streamlined interface provided by Mac OS X’s Mission Control feature, which takes all open windows and displays them in a single non-overlapping layer to allow quick transitions from one to another.
The Spotlight search engine has gotten smarter in El Capitan. It now allows searches for information like transit info, weather, and stock prices directly from any Finder window. Search term interpretation has also been improved, producing more accurate results when searching for things like documents that were edited yesterday. Its a step in the right direction, but still leaves room for further development.
The new operating system continues the trend Apple is riding by bringing more and more iOS features to the desktop. There is more consistency across both platforms that has been gradually implemented. For example, El Capitan’s Mail app now offers swipe capability for marking messages as read or unread, in addition to deleting them. Mail will also scan messages to provide suggestions regarding events or contacts.
Mac OS X 10.11 also brings many other improvements to the game. Notes, Photos and Safari have all been updated. Security has been given a boost. While the new OS offers nothing revolutionary, it is clear that Apple is committed to the continued refinement of the software.