Today at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference, they announced OS X 10.11, which is El Capitan. The name references the El Capitan mountain in Yosemite National Park. Popularly called the new Snow Leopard, the name makes sense as El Capitan is meant to be an incremental upgrade rather than a full-blown one.

El Capitan Features

The biggest change in El Capitan, as well as iOS 9, is natural language search. Featured not only in Spotlight but also Mail, natural language search means that you’ll be able to open Spotlight, type “what’s the weather today”, or “emails I’ve ignored from Cliff Wade” and it will show you those things.

El Capitan IMG 2

What makes this feature and iOS 9’s Proactive different than Google Now is how data is treated. Apple will be bringing these capabilities to you and your devices, rather than pulling you into the cloud. Your personal data is never uploaded to Apple, and will remain where you can keep a close eye on it. Like Tim Cook noted in his privacy speech last week, “We at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security.”

Another exciting feature coming to El Capitan is one that Windows users have enjoyed for many years now: window snapping aka Split View apps, which let’s users evenly split their screen 50/50 by having one open window snap to one side of the screen, and another app snap to the other side.

El Capitan is also introducing Metal, a feature originally designed for iPhone and iPad and introduced in iOS 7. Metal is a programming language specifically for handling graphics, and it means that gamers can enjoy a better, faster experience on El Capitan.

Other small improvements include apps that launch 1.4 times faster, opening a PDF in Preview will be 4 times faster, and app switch will be 2 times faster. Updates to Safari are the ability to mute audio from websites with a single click, and pinned tabs that automatically re-open when Safari launches.

El Capitan is available for Apple developers beginning today, with a public beta coming in July, and for the rest of the public El Capitan will be released for free this fall.

About the author

Andrew Orr

Andrew Orr is a young man who loves gadgets, photography and cats. You can find him most places under the username @orrandrew91.