At long last, Apple has finally released the consumer version of its OS X 10.11 El Capitan update for Mac. Revealed back in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, El Capitan brings a slew of new features, including full screen Split View and context-sensitive search in Spotlight.
As we detailed earlier this year, this edition of the Mac operating system emphasizes marginal performance refinements rather than introducing a wealth of new features. Most notably is Metal for Mac, a low-level graphics API which Apple brought to its mobile devices back in iOS 8. In theory, this feature allows developers to create GPU-intensive software without the need for high-end hardware specs.
Another essential addition to OS X is the integration of natural languages searching. For instance, in Spotlight, users can now search specifically for an “email from July,” with instantaneous results. While this isn’t exactly revolutionary, natural language searches like this could more easily translate to the incorporation of Siri for Mac at some point down the line.
Also new to El Capitan are Transit directions in Apple Maps, which were also brought to this year’s rendition of iOS. However, these directions are presently limited to a few select cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. A few minor additions to the OS include the ability to add attachments in Notes and a quick way to mute audio in any given Safari tab.
OS X 10.11 El Capitan is now available on the following platforms:
- iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
- MacBook (13-inch aluminum or later)
- MacBook Pro (12-inch mid-2009 or later, 15-inch mid-2007 or later, 17-inch late 2007 or later)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)
- Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
As long as your Mac released more recently than 2007, there’s a good chance you’re safe to install the update. To do so, you can either open the App Store on your Mac and head to the “Updates” section, or click the Apple logo in the upper left-hand corner of your screen, select “About This Mac,” and click “Software Update.”