Last Gameboard wants to replace board games with a tabletop console. Volocopter debuts giant drone powerful enough to lift lb. Fisker will launch its all-electric Ocean SUV through app-based leases. Vintage Electric celebrates an automotive legend with limited e-bike. Japan proposes wooden cars made of plant-based cellulose nanofibers. Search Query Submit Search. Facebook Twitter Flipboard LinkedIn. El Capitan is out and available to all: but is it worth the upgrade? View 7 Images. Mission Control gets a cleaner, more intuitive layout.
Notes gets support for checklists, maps and pictures, as in iOS 9. Tabs can be pinned and muted in Safari for the first time.
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Public transit directions are supported in Maps, though the coverage is disappointing. Spotlight has more sources to work with and now accepts natural language searches. David Nield. Dave is a freelance technology journalist who has been writing about apps, gadgets and the Web for more than a decade. He lives in Manchester, UK, and when he's not tapping out words on a keyboard he can often be found watching dark and brooding detective shows online.
Sign in to post a comment. DennisGelinas October 1, PM. I am still having very annoying issues with my 5th Mac, a Mcbook Pro. As time goes on they have become less reliable.
OS X El Capitan Review: A Free Tune-Up for Your Mac
Nice enough product, but newer units are all defect-prone. I would gladly pay more for an American manufactured unit, keep the jobs at home and the quality there. After 10 years of glitches and OSX updates that cause more problems than they solve I never, ever update. Mac is perpetuating tech dinosaurs with this faulty business plan.
Couldn't agree more.
Just the basics
Apple as the lessor evil. How could it come to this? RogerHawcroft October 1, PM.
My current regular machine is a Macbook Pro 17" Early model that I've had for around 2 years. Apart from a need to contact Apple to transfer warranty and app ownership when first I bought it, this machine has been great.
Yosemite has been all it promised and is much more intuitve and aesthetically pleasing than anything else on the domestic computer market. With El Capitan the task is slightly different: improving the core elements of OS X to be simpler and more explicable compared to the single or split screen zen of iOS. And in the main it's a huge win: as with all recent OS X updates, this is a free upgrade, and installing it is a total no-brainer.
OS X El Capitan: Details, Hidden Features, and Performance Improvements
What's not clear yet is to what extent it paves a path to relevance for OS X in It's fair to say the big features in OS X El Capitan are resolutely unexciting to list, but tremendously powerful in practice. Window Management is a big area of improvement, and one from which El Capitan takes worthwhile inspiration from Windows. It's now simple to take apps full screen, and then split the view, so that one app occupies one side of the screen and another app the other side.
You can do this from the desktop click and hold the green full-screen button or Mission Control, which now has a cleaner design and a simpler process for creating new spaces -- just drag a window to the top of the screen. It's not a revolutionary feature but it's welcome, and makes working on a smaller laptop screen easier when you have Safari taking up the lion's share with a Pages document to the right, as an example.
Another reason users love iOS is that finding stuff is so simple compared to a desktop PC, with its interminable sorry, beloved folders and document trees. OS X El Capitan helps to resolve that too by improving Spotlight, delivering smarter results search 'documents I edited last week' and it will know what you mean as well as contextual data from the web, just like Siri on iOS. Search for transit directions and they'll pop right up in the now moveable Spotlight window, ready to be opened in the Maps app. The final big area of improvement is in core performance -- battery and speed.
And in this area El Capitan excels. It might not sound tremendously exciting, but Apple has found a number of core efficiencies and improvements to certain tasks in El Capitan making it 50 percent quicker to open a PDF, for instance, and 40 percent quicker to open many apps and introduced Metal, its new graphics bedrock, leading to much better performance in games and pro apps -- though WIRED only had limited compatible software with which to test this in the real world.
And because of a reduction in the CPU to help out with graphics rendering, Apple is claiming better battery life too. Since we were running El Capitan on a review machine, which we had not used without it, it's impossible for us to compare the OS on that score. Obviously many of these performance improvements are significant, but it may take some time for developers to fully realise them.
Games in particular have long been an issue for Macs, particularly since most of Apple's machines use graphics processors intended for laptops rather than dedicated gaming rigs. We'll have to see if developers pick up the baton and make games for OS X, when iOS still has such a bigger install base and potential profit waiting in its much busier app store.
Elsewhere a lot of the improvements in El Capitan come via Apple's core apps -- many of which mirror improvements on iOS. Photos adds support for Live Photos -- available in the new iPhone 6S -- though this reviewer was unable to try that out with just a lowly iPhone 6 in his pocket.
Maps adds transit directions, as already mentioned, and Safari improves with Pinned Sites, the ability to mute noisy tabs and new fonts and themes for reader. When you click it, you see the two windows slide back into their place in the Mission Control landscape. Between Siri and Spotlight, Apple continues to build up its collection of searchable data sources. On iOS, Siri and Spotlight seem to be merging and mingling in a bunch of interesting ways.
With El Capitan, Spotlight and Safari both have access to weather, stocks, sports, transit, and web video, as well as support for natural-language queries. I like this approach, because the fact is that many people search using natural language queries regardless of whether their search engine of choice supports it.
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So Spotlight gets smarter, we get to be lazier, and it should all work out. That said, the quality of the results from these data sources needs to be tightened up.
Not smart enough, Spotlight. Last year, Yosemite cut the cord between the Spotlight window and the Spotlight icon in the top-right corner of the Menu Bar.
Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan VS 10.10 Yosemite
It floated in the middle of the screen, disconnected from the icon it was supposedly attached to. Now with El Capitan, you can move the Spotlight box anywhere you want, and resize the results window, with the menu bar icon serving as nothing more than a shortcut. As someone who likes to bookmark a few very-favorite sites and visit them regularly, this has the makings of a cool feature.
Since Pinned Sites are always open, if you try to close a Safari window when viewing a Pinned Site, it will switch you to a new tab instead. Command-number shortcuts are now reserved for navigating Pinned Sites and browser tabs, moving from left to right. You can also access all the Bookmarks Bar items by adding in the Option key, in the format Command-Option-[number]. El Capitan is as solid as the giant granite monolith that towers over Yosemite Valley.
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