MacOS 10.11 (El Capitan)

MacOS 10.11 (El Capitan)

OS X El Capitan (el-KAP-i-TAN) (version 10.11) is the upcoming twelfth major release of OS X, Apple Inc.'s desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers. It is the successor of OS X Yosemite and focuses mainly on performance, stability and security. Following the California landmark-based naming scheme introduced with OS X Mavericks, El Capitan was named after a rock formation in Yosemite National Park.

The first beta of OS X El Capitan was released to developers shortly following the 2015 WWDC keynote on June 8, 2015. The first public beta was made available on July 9, 2015. OS X El Capitan was announced to be available to end users on September 30, 2015, as a free upgrade through the Mac App Store.

OS X El Capitan adds multi-touch gestures to applications like Mail and Messages that allow a user to delete or mark emails or conversations by swiping a finger on a multi-touch device, such as a trackpad. OS X also analyses the contents of individual emails in Mail and uses the gathered information in other applications, such as Calendar. For example, an invitation in Mail can automatically be added as a Calendar event.

Apple Maps in El Capitan shows public transit information similar to Maps in iOS 9. This feature will be limited to a handful of cities upon launch: Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York City, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Shanghai, Toronto and Washington D.C.

The Notes application receives an overhaul, similar to Notes in iOS 9. Both applications will have more powerful text-processing capabilities, such as to-do lists (like in the Reminders application), inline webpage previews, photos and videos, digital sketches, map locations and other documents and media types. Notes will replace traditional IMAP-based syncing with iCloud, which offers better end-to-end encryption and faster syncing.

Safari in El Capitan allows users to pin tabs for frequently accessed websites to the tab bar, similar to Firefox and Google Chrome. Users will be able to quickly identify and mute tabs that play audio without having to search for individual tabs. Safari will also support AirPlay video streaming to an Apple TV without the need to broadcast the entire webpage. Safari extensions shall be hosted and signed by Apple as part of the Apple Developer programme and Safari will receive native support for content blocking, allowing developers to, among other things, block advertisements without JavaScript injection.

Spotlight is improved with more contextual information such as the weather, stocks, news and sports scores. It will also be able to process queries in natural language. For example, users can type "Show me pictures that I took in Yosemite National Park in July 2014" and Spotlight will use that request to bring up the corresponding info.



Main article: Metal (API)

OS X El Capitan will support Apple's graphics API Metal, after it was introduced in iOS 8. Similar to Metal on iOS, Metal on OS X will take advantage of the extra performance capabilities of Macs to deliver fast performance in games and professional applications. The overall speed of OS X El Capitan has been greatly improved from that seen in OS X Yosemite.

System Integrity Protection

Main article: System Integrity Protection

OS X El Capitan will have a new security feature called System Integrity Protection (also known as "rootless") which protects certain system processes, files and folders from being modified or tampered with by other processes, even when executed by the root user. Apple says that the root user can be a significant risk factor to the system's security, especially on systems with a single user account on which the user is the de facto administrator. System Integrity Protection is enabled by default, but can be disabled.

System requirements

All Macintosh products capable of running OS X Yosemite are supported by El Capitan, which includes all models supported by OS X Mavericks and most models supported by its predecessor OS X Mountain Lion. However, not all features are available for each model. Apple notes that Metal is available on "all Macs since 2012". It is speculated that the GPU must at least support OpenGL 4.3.

The following models are compatible with OS X El Capitan:

  • iMac: Mid 2007 or newer
  • MacBook: Aluminium Late 2008; Early 2009 or newer
  • MacBook Air: Late 2008 or newer
  • MacBook Pro: 13-inch, Mid 2009 or newer; 15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or newer; 17-inch, Late 2007 or newer.
  • Mac Mini: Early 2009 or newer
  • Mac Pro: Early 2008 or newer
  • Xserve: Early 2009

The Mid 2007 iMac is the first iMac to support eight major OS X versions: 10.4-10.11.