Apple OS X El Capitan: 5 Reasons to Upgrade

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

11 El Capitan features that make upgrading worthwhile.

For those Mac users feeling a little left out in all the new iPhone and iOS update madness of recent weeks, rejoice; the next version of OS X is nearly here.Apple announced that OS X El Capitan, the latest major release of the desktop operating system, will be available starting today as a free update for Mac users.El Capitan adds some power under the hood, bringing Apple’s Metal APIs over from iOS, which lets apps take better advantage of your Mac’s graphics processor for increased performance.

Downloading is recommended by most experts because as well as the new features, El Capitan will bring security updates so that staying on the current version will also keep your computer safe. Apple said at the first announcement back in June that the focus for El Capitan was on “experience and performance” and, with that in mind, these are some of the key reasons to consider upgrading. One of those tiny details that can make all the difference, El Capitan introduces a new cursor feature that sees the pointer enlarge when you wiggle on the touchpad, making it much easier to find when you first wake the computer. Apple has confirmed a fairly detailed list of various iterations of the iMac and MacBook that will be able to download, install and run the latest OS. Also, the new Split View feature automatically positions two app windows side-by-side in full screen so you can work with both apps without distraction.

The complete compatibility list is: iMac (mid 2007 or newer), MacBook Air (late 2008 or newer), MacBook (late 2008 aluminium, or early 2009 or newer), Mac Mini (early 2009 or newer), MacBook Pro (mid/late 2007 or newer), Mac Pro (early 2008 or newer) and Xserve (early 2009). You can do that using Apple’s own Time Machine, which will turn any hard drive into an automatic backup that can be easily restored, or through an external backup service like Backblaze. You can also search with Spotlight to find a file using natural language and also, resize the Spotlight window to display more results or move it anywhere on the desktop.

Another clever edition is an audio finding tool, that kicks in when apparently random audio begins to play in one of the many tabs you have open (we’ve all been there). Mail introduces Smart Suggestions, which recognises names or events in a Mail message and prompts you to add them to your contacts or calendar with a single click. In Photos, you can now edit locations, batch change descriptions, sort albums by date or title, and take editing to the next level with third-party editing extensions from your favourite developers.

El Capitan also features an all-new Notes app that lets you drag and drop photos, PDFs, videos and other files into a note, and add content directly from other apps, such as Safari web links or Maps locations, using the Share menu. A real screen tidier, a new three-finger gesture on the trackpad instantly pulls all your windows into a neat single screen – perfectly laid out like Tetris pieces. An extension of the screen organising that Mission Control brings, Split Screen is much like the feature we’ve just seen Apple announce for the iPad Pro – enabling users to multi-task between two apps by splitting the screen in two. The whole process might take a while — the computer will need to download and then install the update — especially if you’re doing it soon after it has come out.

Once you’re on that beta programme, you’ll stay on it — receiving the incremental upgrades that come through the year, earlier than other people — but you might want to come off, now that the full version is out. From there, you can select the “Change…” button next to the “Your computer is set up to receive pre-release Software Update seeds” section, and set them to do “Do Not Show”. On the Mac, Apple makes it much simpler to save an as-is image of the entire system, including the OS, documents, images, music, apps and more, using a feature called Time Machine.

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