El Capitan, or Mac OS X 10.11, is the latest update of Apple’s operating system for Mac. This marks the first time in a while that the release of OS X and iOS (iOS 9) have appeared almost simultaneously – allowing for more synergy between the platforms. This also benefits Mac users, as usual they are left waiting as Apple’s mobile platform has received more attention in recent years.
Note that if you want to read a review of previous build of OS X for comparison, they are here.
What's new El Capitan?
With El Capitan, Apple has focused on two key elements: user experience and performance. Improved window management and an improved Spotlight search function make how we use our computers more efficient, while Metal technology ensures that apps themselves run more efficiently.
El Capitan also wants to make multitasking easier: Spotlight allows more complex options and has more sources, Mail supports the new iOS style gestures to manage messages, and Smart Suggestions can recognize names and events to immediately add them to contacts and calendars.
Installing El Capitan
This fifth release of OS X is only available as a free download for Mac users. To install it you must have a Mac that is compatible with El Capitan. This version of OS X shares compatibility with the previous version, OS X 10.10 aka Yosemite.
Here are the Mac systems with which El Capitan is compatible:
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer) - MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer) - MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer) - Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer) - MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer) - Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer) - Xserve (Early 2009)
Not all Macs are compatible with all functions of OS X. The most interesting developments require a Mac built in 2012 or later. Here is a specific list:
- MacBook (early 2015) - MacBook Pro (2012 or newer) - MacBook Air (2012 or newer) - Mac Mini (2012 or newer) - iMac (2012 or new) - Mac Pro (Late 2013)
To install El Capitan on one of these devices you only need to select the installer on the App Store. Your only option once the process starts is to choose the partition on which you want to install the OS. After that you should be prompted to enter your Apple ID to start the installation proper.
A small advance
El Capitan, in the real world, is one of the most famous rock formations in Yosemite National Park. In the virtual world, El Capitan the Mac OS X is much the same: a brilliant addition to Yosemite, not vital but a nice improvement to enjoy if we chose.