Apple is updating its OS X operating system for Mac notebook and desktop computers. The next version of the company’s desktop operating system is called OS X: El Capitan, and the company says it’s faster, offers better graphics, and offers improvements to search and managing your running apps, among other things.
OS X: El Capitan can open apps up to 1.4 times as quickly, includes new graphics technology called “Metal” which lets developers create apps that offer better graphics performance while using fewer system resources. Metal was originally introduced in 2014 for iOS, and now it’s available for Mac.
Apple has also improved the search experience in OS X by offering a new version of Spotlight search that lets you search using natural language queries such as “slides from Brian about el capitan” to get a list of presentation slides shared from a certain user about a certain topic. Spotlight also now shows Google Now-like information cards with details about things like weather forecasts and sports scores.
The improved search also works in other apps such as mail or Files, letting you try things like “mail I ignored from Phil” and “documents I worked on last June.” All of those queries are things that Apple demonstrated in a demo during the WWDC 2015 keynote event.
The Safari web browser has a few nifty improvements including support for pinning website tabs. That’s something many other browsers already support, but pinned sites in Safari have a few nice features including the ability to automatically open any links you click in new windows.
Something I’m more excited to see in the browser is an option to mute audio coming from a browser tab with a single tap… or to view which tab is causing the sound so that you can take action quickly to make your browser shut up.
Window management has been improved to make it easy to run apps in a split-screen view by dragging and dropping a window to the side of the screen and then choosing another app you want to position side-by-side.
You can also drag apps from Mission Control to the top of the screen to drag them into new virtual desktops or to open them in full-screen or split-screen views.
Apple is making a developer preview of El Capitan available today. A public beta will be available in July. And the operating system will be available as a free upgrade for OS X Yosemite users starting this fall.