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Apple announces the latest version of its Mac operating system: OS X El Capitan alongwith host of other announcements
Apple announces a revamped version of its Spotlight search software that will be included in OS X “El Capitan”
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference had kick off meeting in San Francisco this morning with a keynote talk at 10am PST. Surprisingly, Apple has skipped the usual round of business updates and went right for the big news. Following months of speculation and rumor mongering, the California firm has formally unveiled the next major version of the Mac operating system. It’s called OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
OS X 10.11 has new gestures like the shaking gesture to show the mouse pointer and more.
Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi began by demonstrating a few nifty gestures in Mail, including Mailbox-style swiping to delete or mark as new. Then he moved on to Safari, showing how users will be able to pin tabs within the browser, giving them a dedicated slot at the left side of the interface and pre-loading them when the browser is re-opened. He took the stage to debut the update, focusing on upgrades to Spotlight, the operating system’s built-in apps, and window management features.
Moving on to more nifty features, he demonstrated how Spotlight has been updated with natural language processing. You’ll be able to search for things like “Show me all mail from John that I’ve ignored” and it’ll parse your sentence to show you the correct content in apps on your Mac.
El Capitan also picks up some windows management features that might look familiar to Windows users. For example, you can now snap windows to either side of the screen directly in Mission Control, similar to Windows 7, which provides a great way to work split-screen. Also, if you drag a window past the top of the screen, it takes it immediately to the full screen and if you drag another window on top of it, you’ve just created a split-screen environment.
Federighi surprised the audience with an announcement that the Metal API, which allows for faster graphics performance on iOS devices, will be brought to OS X. Apple claims that it’ll bring 10x gains to rendering performance on the desktop leading to better battery life, and brought Epic Games on stage to explain the advantages of lower-level graphics programming.
Apple has got some major support coming for Metal on OS X, with 2K Games, Blizzard, Unreal, and Unity integrating the API into their rendering engines.
Mac OS X 10.11 follows last year’s ‘Yosemite’ release, which brought the look of iOS 7 and 8 to the desktop as well as close integration with the iPhone and iPad with features like “Handoff” and “Continuity.”
OS X El Capitan is available to developers starting today. A public beta will be unveiled in the month of July for members of Apple’s Public Beta program. The El Capitan will be rolling out to Mac users as free update this fall.