Apple Announces Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan

At its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple just announced the latest iteration of its desktop operating system.

Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi took the stage to debut the update, focusing on upgrades to Spotlight, the operating system’s built-in apps, and window management features.

Federighi began by demonstrating a few gestures in Mail, including Mailbox-style swiping to delete or mark as new. Then he moved on to Safari, showing how users will be able to pin tabs within the browser, giving them a dedicated slot at the left side of the interface and pre-loading them when the browser is reopened.

Moving on to more nifty features, Federighi showed how Spotlight has been updated with natural language processing. You’ll be able to search for things like “Show me all mail from Phil that I’ve ignored” and it’ll parse your sentence to show you the correct content in apps on your Mac.

El Capitan also picks up some windows management features that might look familiar to Windows users. For instance, dragging windows to the sides of your desktop will auto-fill that side of the screen, saving time spent on resizing windows to fill unused space.

Federighi surprised the audience with an announcement that the Metal API, which allows for faster graphics performance on iOS devices, will be included inĀ OS X. Apple claims it’ll bring 10x gains to rendering performance on the desktop, and brought Epic Games onstage to demonstrate the advantages of lower-level graphics programming.

Apple says it’s got some major support coming for Metal on OS X, with 2K Games, Blizzard, Unreal, and Unity integrating the API into their rendering engines.


Mac OS X 10.11 follows last year’s ‘Yosemite’ release, which brought the look of iOS 7 and 8 to the desktop as well as close integration with the iPhone and iPad with features like “Handoff” and “Continuity.”

The developer beta for El Capitan is available today, but others will have a chance to try the operating system early with a public beta launching in July.