After cleverly teasing the official launch of OS X 10.11 El Capitan during an iPhone 6s features demo, Apple on Tuesday confirmed that the final version of OS X El Capitan is finally ready for mass consumption and will be released on September 30th.
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The major OS X update, which is supposed to bring several performance improvements and a slew of new features, will be available as a free download from the Mac App Store. OS X El Capitan is compatible with a wide variety of Mac models, including laptops and desktops. In fact, if your Mac model can run OS X 10.10 Yosemite then it’ll also be compatible with El Capitan although some features that require specialized components won’t be available.
The new Mac operating system has been available for a few months in beta version to developers and public testers, and early adopters who are on one of the beta versions will also be able to update to the final El Capitan release once Apple makes it available for download
Apple’s full press release follows below.
OS X El Capitan Available as a Free Update Tomorrow
Refined Experience and Improved Performance Make Your Mac Better than Ever
CUPERTINO, California — September 29, 2015 — Apple® today announced that OS X® El Capitan, the latest major release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, will be available on Wednesday, September 30 as a free update for Mac® users. El Capitan builds on the groundbreaking features and beautiful design of OS X Yosemite, refining the Mac experience with updates to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight® search, and performance improvements to make everyday activities — like launching and switching apps, opening PDFs and accessing email — faster and more responsive.
“People love using their Macs, and one of the biggest reasons is the power and ease-of-use of OS X,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “El Capitan refines the Mac experience and improves performance in a lot of little ways that make a very big difference. Feedback from our OS X beta program has been incredibly positive and we think customers are going to love their Macs even more with El Capitan.”
Refinements to the Mac Experience
El Capitan gives you simpler and smarter ways to do the things you do most with your Mac. A streamlined Mission Control® makes it easier to see and organize everything you have open on your Mac. With a single swipe, Mission Control arranges all your windows in a single layer so you can find the window you need even faster. When your desktop gets crowded, simply drag a window to the top of your screen to create a new Space and spread out your work. And the new Split View feature automatically positions two app windows side-by-side in full screen so you can work with both apps without distraction.
Spotlight gets even smarter in El Capitan. You can now use Spotlight to check stock prices, weather conditions and forecasts, sports scores, schedules and standings, and even athlete information. You can also search with Spotlight to find a file using natural language. Simply type “email from Harrison in April” or “presentation I worked on yesterday” and Spotlight will help you find exactly what you are looking for. You can resize the Spotlight window to display more results or move it anywhere on your desktop.
OS X built-in apps are even better in El Capitan. Safari® now features Pinned Sites to keep your favorite websites open and active and a new mute button to quickly silence browser audio from any tab. Mail introduces Smart Suggestions, which recognizes names or events in a Mail message and prompts you to add them to your contacts or calendar with a single click. You can also swipe to delete messages, just like in iOS, and juggle multiple emails while Mail is in full screen. In Photos, you can now edit locations, batch change descriptions, sort albums by date or title, and take editing to the next level with third-party editing extensions from your favorite developers.
El Capitan features an all-new Notes app that lets you drag and drop photos, PDFs, videos and other files into a note, and add content directly from other apps, such as Safari web links or Maps locations, using the Share menu. Easy-to-create checklists help you keep track of important to-do items, and the new Attachments Browser organizes your attachments in one simple view, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. With iCloud®, your notes stay in sync so you can create notes on one device and edit them or check off items on your other devices.
Improvements to System Performance
OS X El Capitan improves system performance across your Mac, making many of the things you do everyday faster and more responsive. Metal™, Apple’s groundbreaking graphics technology, accelerates Core Animation and Core Graphics to boost system-level rendering by up to 50 percent, and efficiency by up to 40 percent, resulting in faster graphics performance for everyday apps.* Metal also takes full advantage of your CPU and GPU, delivering up to 10 times faster draw call performance for a richer, more fluid experience in games and pro apps.*
El Capitan also features enhanced international language support, including a new Chinese system font for both Traditional and Simplified, with 50,000 beautifully designed characters for crisp on-screen readability. Chinese keyboard input methods now offer regularly updated vocabulary lists and a smarter candidate window. El Capitan makes entering Japanese text faster by automatically transforming Hiragana into written Japanese and reducing the need to individually select and confirm word conversions. You can now also select the perfect font for your documents using four new Japanese typefaces.
Pricing & Availability
OS X El Capitan is available as a free update starting Wednesday, September 30 from the Mac App Store℠. El Capitan supports all Macs introduced in 2009 and later, and some models introduced in 2007 and 2008.
*Testing conducted by Apple in August 2015 using 2.7GHz Intel Core i5–based 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with 128GB of flash storage and 8GB of RAM. Tested with prerelease OS X v10.11. Not all features are available on all devices. Performance will vary based on system configuration, application workload, and other factors.
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, the Mac and Apple Watch. Apple’s three software platforms — iOS, OS X and watchOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.