Today Apple released OS X 10.11 El Capitan. El Capitan adds power under the hood of the latest OS. Apple has brought Metal APIs over from iOS, which lets apps take better advantage of your Mac’s graphics processor for increased performance and battery savings. Here is a list to ten features that will make you love El Capitan.
1. Split View
Split view allows you to have two applications split the screen. I find that I use this all day. I always have a web browser sharing half the screen while I have a text editor or terminal window on the other half. I have used an app called Better Snap Tool for years that allows the same functionality but I will most likely retire this old go to app now that it is built into the OS.
2. Wiggle to Enlarge Cursor
We all do it when we are trying to find our cursor. You shake the mouse or wiggle your finger across the track pad in order to try to find the tiny cursor. When you do that in El Capitan the cursor gets large to help you find it on the screen. I love this feature especially if you are using dual screens.
3. Cleaned up Mission Control
The new Mission Control works just about the same as the old one, but its cleaner, and brighter. Swiping up with four fingers on the trackpad reveals a view of every open window on your desktop without stacking them by app like Yosemite does, so you can find the exact one you want.
Spotlight gets a nice update in El Capitan. First off, you can now resize and move the Spotlight window just as you can with any app. More importantly, Spotlight’s search has been expanded. As in iOS 9, you can now search for context sensitive stuff using natural language. You can search for things like sports scores, rosters, or schedules. Beyond that, you can search your own system like this, skipping the complicated keywords needed before. For example, you can search from “pictures from September,” “emails from Bob,” or “files created yesterday.”
5. Full-screen Mail and tabbed replies
Are you the type of person who likes to write multiple emails at once? Congratulations, El Capitan’s new version of Mail makes that a heck of lot easier with tabs. You can now open up new tabs for emails with Command+N just as you would with web browsers, though it only works in fullscreen mode.
6. New Mail gestures
Swipe to Delete for emails on iOS is one of those great little features that pretty much every email app uses nowadays. In El Capitan, you can do that same gesture with your trackpad. Just use two fingers on your trackpad, and swipe left to reveal a Delete button on the right, or swipe right to reveal a Mark as Unread button on the left.
7. Hideaway menu bar
Just like the Dock, you can now easily show and hide the menu bar. Open up System Preferences > General, and check the box marked “Automatically hide and show the menu bar”
8. Put a pin in your favorite tabs in Safari
I keep a lot of tabs open all day. I have my email, calendar, Google Drive, tools I use for work, and social media tabs open. The more tabs I open to do the rest of my job, the more crowded Safari’s tab bar becomes. Pinned sites is great for cutting that clutter. I can right-click a tab and select Pin Tab from the popup menu, and that tab will stay open—and stay updated—but with a much smaller footprint in my tab bar. The pinned tabs appear on every new Safari window I open, which I love. You can’t even accidentally close them by pressing Command-W—instead, just right-click one again for the options to close it or unpin it.
9. AirPlay Videos without Sharing the Full Screen
For whatever reason, the only way to AirPlay web videos out of Safari before El Capitan was to share the whole browser screen. Now, you can tap the AirPlay icon on a video in Safari and pick your device without showing everything else on your desktop.
10. Notes is much more than text
Like iOS 9, the Notes app gets a big overhaul in El Capitan. You get much richer notes, including the ability to make checklists, and instantly add in attachments, or share info from other apps. I have found that I am using this app as my go to note taking app now.