Today marks the release of El Capitan, 2015’s release of Mac OS X. While last year brought a redesign of the system, this year’s release is all about the details. Here are some of our favorites:
While OS X has offered full-screen apps since Lion, El Capitan riffs on the idea, bringing in an iOS-like Split View feature to the Mac. A Split View desktop can include any two apps on your system, making creating custom workspaces easier than ever.
While we still prefer Alfred as our OS X launcher, Spotlight keeps getting better and better. In addition to information about local files, it can now return results for weather, sports, stocks, web video, and transit information. More impressively, Spotlight can now use natural language for searches.
Mail has picked up Spotlight’s natural language ability for search, plus a whole lot more. Full-screen support is better than previous versions, and you can now swipe on messages in a mailbox to take action on them, like on iOS.
Inside messages, OS X’s Data Detectors have gotten more powerful. Suggested events and contacts can now be saved to Calendar.app and Contacts.app with a single click. If a record is updated, Mail can tell you that, too.
OS X El Capitan brings Apple’s Notes app to parity with iOS 9. Backed by CloudKit, sync is rock-solid. All of the iOS features are here: media attachments, sketches, checklists, and more. With the Notes extension, saving content into a Note from other apps can be done with just a click.
Like most (I’m looking at you, Leopard…) versions of OS X, El Capitan is faster than the OS it replaces, Yosemite. Metal is designed to make things like games and image editors run faster, but Apple is claiming that everyday tasks are 1.4x-4x faster on the new software. From what we’ve seen on the beta, we’d have to agree — this version of OS X can help breathe new life in an older Mac.
Go Get It!
OS X El Capitan is available in the Mac App Store now.