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Apple details new features of OS X El Capitan

Katharine Byrne
8 Jun 2015
Apple Mac OS X El Capitan Overview
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Apple unveils new multitasking features, pinned tabs and new and improved Spotlight and Finder in El Capitan

Apple has unveiled the next version of OS X. Named OS X El Capitan, Craig Federighi took to the stage at WWDC 2015 today in San Francisco to explain how it builds on the strengths of Yosemite.

Performance and user experience are the main areas of focus for El Capitan. For instance, when you first wake up your Mac, the cursor springs out of the screen, increasing in size so you know where it is before shrinking back down to normal size.

Safari has also received some handy new improvements, as you can now pin sites to the left edge of the browser by simply dragging them to the side. Pinned sites also open in new tabs. Likewise, if an irritating ad starts playing somewhere in a different tab, you can either mute it immediately from the address bar, or click the speaker icon to find out where it is and silence it manually.

Apple Mac OS X El Capitan pinned tabs

Spotlight was next on the agenda. Apart from being able to resize and move the window around the screen, Spotlight now gives you more personalised answers for topics like the weather and sports scores. You'll also be able to search for things on your Mac using rambling phrases such as "photos from Utah last June".

Likewise, in Mail, you can search for "emails I ignored from Phil" and you'll be presented with all the emails you haven't read yet from certain contacts. The same rules apply to Finder as well, so you can accurately find documents from certain dates or locations without typing in exact search terms. Mail has new swipe gestures on the trackpad, too, such as swiping away to delete and swiping with two fingers to keep. Likewise, you can add additional tabs to the 'Compose' window. 

Apple Mac OS X El Capitan Multitasking

El Capitan improves splitscreen window management as well. When you're working on two windows, for instance, El Capitan will prompt you which side of the screen you want to place each window. Of course, you'll be able to resize these windows to your liking. What's particularly useful is how you can drag links from Safari in one window and drop them into Compose windows, which will automatically appear if minimised. 

El Capitan is available for developers today, but a public beta will be made available in July. As per usual, OS X El Capitan will be made available for free for all Apple users this September. 

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