Apple’s desktop computers are getting a software upgrade. Starting Wednesday, Mac owners can download the latest version of its desktop operating system: OS X El Capitan.
The follow-up to OS X Yosemite comes with a number of small and large changes, ranging from a split-view feature that lets users view apps side-by-side to a new Notes app that can add photos, PDFs and videos. One of the biggest changes in El Capitan is a revamped Spotlight search, which goes beyond searching for files. With the update, Spotlight can be used to check stock prices, weather forecasts, sports schedules and more.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
Other changes to OS X include a system font change to the San Francisco typeface, which is also used in iOS 9, tvOS and watchOS. San Francisco replaces Helvetica Neue, which was used in OS X Yosemite. El Capitan also comes with more support for international languages, including a new Chinese system font with 50,000 designed characters and support to transform Hiragana into written Japanese text. Beyond aesthetic changes, Apple claims El Capitan brings performance improvements to the Mac -- up to 50 percent faster system-level graphics rendering to speed up apps.
OS X El Capitan will be available for download through the Mac App Store. Apple’s latest version of OS X supports all Macs introduced in 2009 or later. Some models introduced in 2007 and 2008 are also compatible.