The announcements at yesterday’s WWDC weren’t just about Apple Music and iOS.
Apple also used the conference to introduce OS X El Capitan, the new version of OS X that aims to refine the Mac experience and improve system performance.
We’ve put together a handy guide to all of the key things you need to know about OS X El Capitan.
What new features does OS X El Capitan offer?
El Capitan introduces enhancements to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search, and makes everyday activities — from launching apps to accessing email — faster and more responsive. Metal, Apple’s breakthrough graphics technology, is integrated into El Capitan, delivering system-wide performance gains and enabling games and pro apps to tap into the full power of Mac graphics processors.
The system features a new font, San Francisco, and offers Mission Control, the fastest way to view all open windows. It has a cleaner design so you can find the window you need faster than before. When your desktop gets crowded, simply drag a window to the top of your screen to access the new Spaces Bar in Mission Control and create a new Space, OS X’s intuitive way to group applications. The new Split View feature automatically positions two app windows side-by-side in full screen so you can work with both apps without distraction.
What built-in apps does OS X El Capitan have?
Safari has been upgraded to feature Pinned Sites allowing you to keep your favourite sites open and active in your tab bar. It also has a mute button so you can quickly silence browser audio from any tab.
Mail introduces Smart Suggestions, which recognises names or events in a Mail message and prompts you to add them to your contacts or calendar with a single click. You can also now swipe to delete messages, just like in iOS, and juggle multiple emails while Mail is in full screen.
Photos will now allow you to add locations to a single image or an entire Moment as well as sort albums by date or title. Additionally, you’ll be able to download third-party editing extensions from the Mac App Store and access them directly within the Photos app.
Notes has been given a big upgrade allowing you to drag and drop photos, PDFs, videos and other files into notes, and add content directly from other apps, such as Safari or Maps, using the Share menu. Easy-to-create checklists help you keep track of important to-do items, and the new Attachments Browser organises your attachments in one simple view, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. With iCloud, your notes stay in sync across all your enabled devices.
Spotlight is even smarter, generating results for even more topics, including weather, stocks, sports, transit and web video. You can now resize the Spotlight window to display more results or move it anywhere on your desktop, and use natural language to find documents and files on your Mac based on when they were created or who you sent them to.
What system improvements will OS X El Capitan bring?
The update will make many of the things you do faster and more responsive. Metal, Apple’s groundbreaking graphics technology, accelerates Core Animation and Core Graphics to boost system-level rendering by up to 50 percent, and efficiency by up to 40 percent, resulting in faster graphics performance for everyday apps. Metal also takes full advantage of your CPU and GPU, delivering up to 10 times faster draw call performance for a richer, more fluid experience in games and pro apps.*
There is enhanced international language support, including a new Chinese system font for both Traditional and Simplified, with 50,000 beautifully designed characters for crisp on-screen readability. Chinese keyboard input methods now offer regularly updated vocabulary lists and a smarter candidate window. Entering Japanese text faster by automatically transforming Hiragana into written Japanese and reducing the need to individually select and confirm word conversions. You can now also select the perfect font for your documents using four new Japanese typefaces.
When will OS X El Capitan be available?
The developer preview of OS X El Capitan is available to Mac Developer Program members starting today. Mac users can participate in the El Capitan Beta Program in July and download the final version for free from the Mac App Store this fall. Customers interested in signing up for the public beta can visit www.apple.com/osx/elcapitan-preview/ for more details. Features are subject to change. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages.
Are you excited about OS X El Capitan? What features are you looking forward to most? Leave your comments in the usual place.