At the keynote event kicking off the start of its Worldwide Developers Conference today, Apple announced the next version of the Mac operating system, dubbed El Capitan after the rock formation in Yosemite National Park.
“OS X delivers unparalleled integration between Mac hardware, iOS devices, apps and online services, and has helped Mac sales outpace the PC industry every year for the last decade,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Customers loved last year’s landmark OS X Yosemite release and made it the fastest-adopted PC operating system ever. With El Capitan, we’re further refining the Mac experience with enhancements to window management, Spotlight and built-in apps, and improving performance so everyday activities — from launching apps to accessing email — are faster and more responsive.”
Several apps and functions will get new features in El Capitan. In Safari, favorite sites can be "pinned" to stay active and updated in the menu bar for easy access. Spotlight search gets natural language capabilities to facilitate searching. For example, you could type “documents I worked on in June” to find all documents that were created or edited in June.
Mail gets tabbed composing windows to make the creation of multiple messages more organized. Notes will get text formatting features plus multimedia capabilities to include pictures and videos. Mission Control has been enhanced to allow easy creation of new screens and apps can be run in split screen mode to maximize screen real estate while multi-tasking.
Developers have access to El Capitan today to begin testing and development. A public beta will be available in July and the final version will be released in the fall and will be a free upgrade. You can sign up to participate in the public beta at the Apple Beta Software Program site.