OS X El Capitan

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Another year, another operating system! Last year Apple announced that they would name their new operating systems after landmarks in California. Last year it was Yosemite, this year it’s El Capitan. El Capitan (OS X 10.11) is another smaller mountain inside of Yosemite, so this is obviously saying El Capitan is going to fix Yosemite’s little mistakes. Just like how OS X Snow Leopard fixed all the annoyances of OS X Leopard.

Not much has changed interface wise, but there are some key under the hood improvements. The first improvement is more utility than function. The average computer user wakes their PC from sleep dozens of times per day. The most common thing for a person to do is shake their mouse to try to find their cursor. Now in El Capitan if you shake your mouse your cursor will enlarge for a brief moment letting you find it’s location on the desktop.  The next big improvement is speed and responsiveness of the operating system. Apple did some tweaking to fine tune the performance of El Capitan so your mac will run even faster than before. Statistics show over 4X speed when opening applications as well as 2X the speed when switching between multiple applications. A small change in El Capitan is a new system wide font called San Francisco. San Francisco will be easier to read than the previous Helvetica Nueue font used only in Yosemite. San Francisco is also being used on the upcoming iOS 9 and Apple Watch OS 2. Personally I don’t like this new font as it is thin and even harder to read than Helvetica Neue.

One new huge performance feature is called Metal. Last year Apple announced Metal. Metal is a graphics API (Application Programming Interface) which allows more graphics performance to enhance game play performance and rendering power. Well now, Metal is on the Mac. Having Metal on the mac allows for better graphics performance and enhanced CPU power as well as efficiency.  The powerful search tool in OS X called Spotlight has now been updated in El Capitan. Spotlight can now search using more human like input. Now you can say “Show me documents from last year in June” And Spotlight will do just that. It can understand more natural human language so you can ask it even more things than before.

Another key feature is Split View. I wonder where Apple got this idea from. (Cough Cough Windows 8) Split View basically allows the user to snap or pin two apps side by side for better multitasking. Many other applications have been updated with small tweaks such as the ability to make bullet lists in notes. And Safari, which can now keep track of your favorite webpages and pin them to the URL bar.

From my own experience El Capitan has managed to speed up my already speedy Mac! The new system font will take time to get used to but when El Capitan brings to the table, it’s worth it!

“It’s cool but, they took most of their new features from Windows 8 and the name is not the best.”~Sean Cunningham, 8th grader in Mohawk.

With all of these welcome improvements and tweaks El Capitan is a nice update to OS X. And it’s free so why not upgrade. El Capitan will be available October 1, 2015. Now it’s time to wait until next June to see what version of OS X comes next!

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