By Kane Fulton
In Pictures: OS X 10.11 El Capitan
Last year's OS X release, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, was a major one and brought a new flat visual style to Apple's Mac operating system. The company has now lifted the lid on its successor, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, which landed on the Mac app store on September 30. El Capitan makes some subtle tweaks to OS X's stock apps while improving performance in a number of areas. Click ahead to check out images of OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
1. Pinned tabs
Recent versions of OS X have brought numerous improvements to Apple's Safari browser, and OS X 10.11 El Capitan is no different. Safari now lets you pin your favourite websites to the toolbar under its navigation buttons. This provides easy access to your most visited websites, and you can continue to open new tabs in the usual way without them being disturbed. Even better, El Capitan now tells you which tabs are playing audio, so you can close them or mute them. You'll have no need to fear auto-playing videos ever again.
2. Spotlight gets smarter
Spotlight was one of the many features to get a visual overhaul on Yosemite, and now Apple has turned its attention to making it better. Spotlight now recognises natural language search phrases, so typing in something like "slides from [John] about [sales figures]" will bring up - you guessed it - a (probably quite dull) presentation from a co-worker on a company's performance. More excitingly, Siri data and sports scores will be supported in El Capitan.
3. OS X gets a split personality
Windows users have enjoyed split-screen functionality for some time, something that comes to OS X with El Capitan. It allows users to pin full-screen apps to either half of of the desktop, dragging a dividing line left or right to make either half bigger. Bound to give websites a more app-like feel, it's sure to come in equally as handy on the 11-inch MacBook Air as it is the 27-inch iMac 5K with Retina display.
4. Metal gives gaming a boost
Macs have been considered inferior to PCs for gaming, but OS X's Metal graphics engine could go some way to changing things. The Metal API is integrated into the snazzy Unreal Engine 4 game engine by Epic games, which promises to "open up new possibilities for rich and engaging worlds". With high-end Macs featuring powerful graphics cards and even ones with integrated graphics putting up more of a fight these days, Metal could signal a bright gaming future for Apple's machines.
5. Mission Control enhancements
Mission Control has been around for some time now, and El Capitan has given it a much need functionality boost. New features include updated gestures (including a three-finger sweep to activate it), the ability to drag full-size apps into already open split-screen desktops, and a way to create new desktop spaces in-between existing ones.
7. Easily find your cursor
Apple has fixed a problem you never knew you had: finding your mouse cursor. Should it get lost behind open windows and apps, giving it a quick shake will increase its size, allowing you to instantly rescue it. Simple, but effective.
8. Mail gets full-size attachments
The same natural language queries that have made their way to Spotlight can be found in OS X 10.11 El Capitan's Mail app. Typing in "mail I ignored from Jeff", for example, will bring up any unread mail from a contact called Jeff that's been sat unopened at the bottom of your mailbox. Mail has also received iOS-style swipe commands, allowing you to quickly save a an email to a folder or delete it by clicking and dragging left or right.