Just days before the overly-hyped Windows 10 release by Microsoft, Apple announced their latest OS version, which is called ‘El Capitan’, named after the famous rock formation in Yosemite National Park.
The new Mac OS X version features quite a few improvements over its predecessor, Yosemite, as Apple’s SVP of software engineering eagerly pointed out during the keynote at WWDC 2015, stating that OS X Yosemite had the fastest adoption rate of any PC operating system in history!
He also compared the adoption rate of iOS 8 and Android 5, with a chart demonstrating that Apple’s customers were gaining access to the latest versions of their favorite apps much more reliably than the vast majority of users, who still prefer using Android.
In an attempt to draw attention to their products, Apple failed to state that stats (percentages) on the first chart were skewed by the sheer number of machines that run Windows! You could say that this particular jab at Windows completely missed the mark.
What is new in Mac OS X ‘El Capitan’?
Apple has implemented quite a few improvements in ‘El Capitan’, which will be offered as a free download to their users later this fall.
Improved Spotlight will give users cleaner results when performing a search, as it understands naturally-worded language in a more reliable and efficient manner. However, Apple didn’t implement iOS Siri (or any other kind of voice control for that matter) to Spotlight, which makes it somewhat inferior to Cortana.
Apple has implemented a major upgrade to the graphics of Mac OS X Yosemite, by integrating Metal into the update. The gpus of future Macs will be put to good use with this new feature. Apple claims that users will see an increase of ~50% in graphics rendering speed, compared to Yosemite. Sounds too good to be true!
More organized, cleaner windows for multitasking: in order to avoid cluttering and chaos, Apple has added a new feature that lets users swipe to make their open windows and apps appear neatly stacked on the desktop. They can also be moved to a new, clean version of the desktop.
In fact, users can now hold the full screen button of any apps or open windows in order to move them easily to a particular side of the screen, effectively creating a split-screen desktop in no time! Windows 10 offers this functionality, as well.
Beautiful Pinterest-style bookmarks in Safari, that help you access your favorites with much less hassle.
Improved Notes, that the user can draw on, add multimedia and maps to, and then share online.
Every Safari tab that produces sound is now marked with an appropriate symbol, just like Chrome has been doing for years. These tabs can also be muted independently of each other, or all at once.
Track-pad swiping in Mail, which means that most of the basic commands can now be given easily, by a simple swipe left or right. Will the users be able to edit their functionality according to preference? Time will tell.
Improved Maps, which feature public transportation information and guidance on how to get to your destination on time. The new Mac OS X ‘El Capitan’ ’s cursor will bloat up to many times its original size upon waking up, so that you can see it more easily.
What are our thoughts on Mac OS X ‘El Capitan’?
Well, to be honest this update doesn’t really seem very exciting at all, as it comes with a short list of new features aimed to improve the user’s’ experience, without doing much to improve the UI of the OS.
Compared to Yosemite, ‘El Capitan’ offers only a few new implementations, most of which aren’t really that original, since Apple seems intent on matching what the competition – namely Windows 10 – has to offer, but doesn’t show any interest in coming up with original, new ideas for their product.
Besides, the fact that Apple dictates device choice really bothers some users, who’d rather be more versatile and independent, even if that means their products get updates a little later than Apple users.
The lack of voice control and of a touch interface, for the lucky few among us who work on touchscreen monitors, renders Mac OS X ‘El Capitan’ inferior to Windows 10 -at least on paper!