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Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan release date and new features

Karen Haslam | Aug. 20, 2015
If you are already convinced you want to run El Capitan and are wondering just how quickly you can get you hands on it you will be glad to hear that you won’t be waiting for long - in fact if you aren't risk averse you can get it now.

Our other wish for Spotlight hasn't been fulfilled (yet) - the Spotlight window still disappears as soon as you click into another application. When using Spotlight to perform calculations or conversions it would be useful to be able to see the answer when you are trying to add it to the document you are working on.

Spotlight does gain a few other improvements, though. The most notable is probably the fact that Spotlight now lets us users write queries in natural language. Search for "documents I wrote last July" for example and Spotlight will find those documents. We think that this new intelligent Spotlight could hint that Siri is coming to the Mac since that is exactly the phraseology that a user would use to ask Siri the same question.

Spotlight also gains access to weather, stocks, sports, travel, and web video, so searches cover a wider variety of places.

OS X El Capitan: Photos

Apple rolled out Photos for the Mac earlier this summer. It's a companion app to the iOS version so we weren't expecting a big change in OS X 10.11, however, there are some new features and enhancements to the editing options, including support for third-party editing tools and third-party image-editing extensions, which you will be able to download from the Mac App Store.

When El Capitan arrives geotagging will return - the ability to tag a location is absent in Photos currently, but was in iPhoto so it is missed by many. Users will also be able to sort albums by date as well as title, and batch-change titles. Photos will be better at handling Faces too.

You will also have the ability to edit image data both individually and in batches. You'll be able to add location information, batch-organise faces and batch-change title.

You'll also find more flexibility for sorting albums - currently it's date only, but you'll be able to search by date, title and more.

OS X El Capitan: Safari

Apple spent some time showing off two new features in Safari during the WWDC keynote, first, the ability to pin your favourite sites, and second, the ability to spot audio playing in tabs. These features are both known to Chrome users, so they aren't exactly groundbreaking, but they are welcome.

Pinned sites are like tiny tabs. shortcuts to those sites you visit every day, like Facebook or YouTube. It struck us that this is yet another way to store our favourite sites - we already have Favourites and Top Sites which essentially do the same thing. Apple needs to decide which of those we should be using (I stick to Favourites since those come up when clicking the URL field).


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