OS X El Capitan Is coming, here is what to expect.
Tomorrow, September 30th, OS X 10.11, otherwise known as El Capitan, will be available to Mac users, at least to those who did not install the preview version made available during this Summer.
El Capitan is a considerable improvement over Yosemite. Some have described El Capitan as being to Yosemite, as the iPhone 6S is to the iPhone 6, which makes sense, as El Capitan’s instantly visible improvements entail a more intuitive and clean user experience than its predecessor, like an improved Mission Control, Spotlight search, and Safari.
Mission Control in El Capitan, is now leaps and bounds ahead of its Yosemite version, with an interface that is much more intuitive and easy to navigate, especially on larger displays, such as the 5K iMac Retina. Each app displayed in Mission Control has its own thumbnail, which uses relative positioning to ensure that all apps are visible and available.
Full screen apps have gotten their fair share of criticism, for offering a poor user experience when it comes to workspace management. With that in mind, El Capitan’s Split View mode now allows for a much easier experience, by allowing multiple full screen apps to share the desktop.
The Spaces Bar now hides by default, which allows more room to Mission Control, and can be summoned back, by hovering the cursor at the bottom of the screen.
Airplay has also been enhanced to work better with Apple TV, by adding an icon on compatible apps, that shows when in range of Apple TV. This feature is reminiscent of Chromecast, as it finally allows users to beam content directly to Apple TV from their Macs, as well as their iPhone and iPad.
Other, less visible enhancements have been made under the hood, and include advanced security features, such as System Integrity Protection, which prevents hackers from trying to log in by disguising themselves as administrators.
Search capabilities in El Capitan have expanded considerably, with a more advanced mixture of search results from the web, and from local sources. For instance, searching for “Excel documents from 2011”, will search local drives automatically, while “Current weather in Los Angeles” will display weather-related information from web sources.
This approach is very similar to how Cortana works on Windows 10, and it’s rapidly becoming the mobile-first standard of how search works across all devices and services.
A nice improvement in Safari is the ability to pin sites onto the title bar. This feature is reminiscent of the bookmarks toolbar found on other browsers like Chrome, however, it’s not nearly as cluttered, and delivers an easy and quick way to open favorite sites without delving into bookmarks or the browser’s history.
A great feature introduced in Safari is also the ability to manage audio playback on tabs. One of the most annoying things about managing several open tabs is that some of them may have audio playing from ads. This can be managed quickly and efficiently by clicking on the speaker icon that appears on each tab. This brings up a menu that allows to turn off audio for the current tab, or for a different tab, so as not to take the focus away from the task ahead.
Batch editing data in Photos
An exciting new feature has been introduced in Photos, which allows for batch editing of image data, such as the title of an image, the location, keywords, and a description, in a fashion reminiscent of how websites work, to allow for faster retrieval.
Improved performance and graphics
Many of the visual components in El Capitan’s interface now use Metal, instead of OpenGL, which makes it for a smoother experience when using menus and other interface elements. Metal is also available to third party apps, such as Adobe Creative Cloud.
Under the hood, enhancements have been made to boost how applications can be switched between one another, and how fast they open, which, compared to Yosemite on slower systems, should be noticeable.
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