Apple had already announced repeatedly that the release of OS X The Captain would take place on September 30th , but even so, he has kindly reminded us how important this day is tomorrow, Wednesday. In fact, in about twenty-four hours you’ll find OS X 10.11 available on the Mac App Store as a free update for all supported Mac users.
Under normal circumstances, and more so considering the headaches iOS 9 has caused many users until the hasty release of the 9.0.1 update, we would recommend patience and caution to professional users who depend on their Mac, but the truth is that The Captain has proven to be rock solid … and no, it’s not just a play on words.
The update process requires virtually no intervention on our part
The new version of Apple’s personal computer operating system is as stable or more than the latest version available from Yosemite, improving the performance , the security and the user experience of our Mac without us having to spend a single euro. In addition, the upgrade process requires virtually no intervention on our part, so unless you’re an installation freak from scratch, it’s by far the most advisable way to switch systems with the least risk possible.
Just check to see if your Mac is supported, access the Mac App Store from the apple icon in the menu bar, find The Captain, and click the blue button to download it. That, or wait for Yosemite itself to notify you with a notification that a new version is available. Piece of cake.
Seriously, update… it’s worth it
You may think that The Captain is a modest update compared to Yosemite last year, but if the improvements under the hood interest you less than the clearly visible novelties you won’t be disappointed either.
Window management and full screen mode have taken a definitive leap forward thanks to new features such as Split View which squeezes every last pixel on the screen when we need to work with two apps at the same time, notable improvements in Mission Control to quickly locate and organise the window we need, or greater flexibility in Mail while using its full screen view.
Like iOS 9, Spotlight is much smarter on The Captain, allowing us to get results from more sources without going to the browser and using natural language. “Today’s documents”, “Weather in Madrid” or “Real Madrid results” show you just what you would expect.
OS X El Capitan
Built-in apps like Notes have evolved to a point where they are almost unrecognisable, Photos has grown up, and Safari has won my heart back with new features like Bookmarked Sites, fixed pages in the tab bar that remain active in the background, or the mute button to turn off the sound on any browser tab. Mail recognizes names and events and asks us if we want to add them to our contacts or calendars with one click, and also gains new gestures for deleting messages just like in iOS. Ah! And Maps adds support for public transport directions as a quick alternative to planning a trip and sending it to the iPhone in two clicks.
Finally, The Captain expands support for international languages with a new font for traditional and simplified Chinese with 50,000 characters of outstanding screen readability, input methods with regularly updated vocabulary lists, improved writing with the trackpad and a smarter hint window. Japanese text input also advances, with automatic transformation from hiragana to written Japanese and four new Japanese fonts.
This last one may not tell you anything but everything else… Well, and all those little details that we love so much: visual refinements of the interface, great ideas like the cursor that turns into a giant when you shake the mouse to help you locate it. From tomorrow we’re going to bombard you with everything you need to know about it so… ready, steady…