Apple has chosen not to roll out major OS X features piecemeal throughout the year, though, which still makes this the biggest change your Mac will experience this year.
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- Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan VS 10.10 Yosemite.
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El Capitan, named after the large granite rock formation inside Yosemite National Park, is very much a refined version of OS X Yosemite, a recognizable progression from its predecessor. In iPhone terms, it would be Yosemite S. Apple says this update is all about a refined experience and improved performance. This is a packed release, but one that makes sense as a follow-up to Yosemite.
macOS Sierra vs OS X El Capitan: Everything You Need To Know
If your Mac is running Yosemite Often people are trepidatious about upgrading their computers. If an app you rely on is incompatible with the new version, your entire workflow can be broken. Most major OS X upgrades feature a lot of under-the-hood security improvements, which is a good reason to stay up to date, but some of those changes can also break software. One of the security improvements in El Capitan is a feature called System Integrity Protection, which clamps down on the ability of malware to hijack your Mac by masquerading as a user with system-administration privileges.
This is a good thing—but a few apps, including Default Folder X and SuperDuper, relied on that same vector to do their jobs.
Just the basics
You can turn off System Integrity Protection if you absolutely need to, but it seems like most apps will be able to function just fine with it turned on. Bottom line: We all use our Macs in different ways—and even the same person can use a giant 5K iMac in a different way than they use an inch MacBook Air.
I am one of those people. The most notable addition is the new Split View feature, which appears to be designed to be reminiscent of the Split View feature that appears on some iPads in iOS 9.
OS X El Capitan review: bringing even older Macs up to speed
Unlike the iPad, though, Mac users have always been able to run two windows next to each other. Still, what Split View is really doing is adding an extra dimension of utility to full-screen view. When you engage Mission Control, app windows are displayed in a way that mimics their actual placement on your desktop.
Perhaps my favorite addition, though, is to Mission Control itself. The entire feature feels friendlier and makes more sense than it ever has before. Mission Control now does a much better job of organizing and presenting your open windows. The Spaces Bar—that strip at the top of the screen that appears when you activate Mission Control—has also gotten a major upgrade.
When you move your cursor over the Spaces Bar, it expands. You can also drag a window to the top of your screen, and Mission Control will automatically activate with the Spaces Bar expanded, so you can quickly toss a window into a new or existing workspace.
When you click it, you see the two windows slide back into their place in the Mission Control landscape. Between Siri and Spotlight, Apple continues to build up its collection of searchable data sources. Make no mistake, the new features El Capitan brings to the table are definitely useful. Split Screen is great for windowed work, and long overdue in OS X. The new Notes app is a lot like what you would get if OneNote and Evernote had a lightweight, iCloud-syncing baby.
El Capitan runs much faster and more smoothly on my mid Macbook Pro than Yosemite ever did, and definitely better than Mavericks did, which is saying something considering how old it is. Of course, unless you have to be on the bleeding edge, wait a few days after the launch. Give the developers behind your favorite apps to update, respond to bug reports, and push updated versions to the Mac App Store.
One thing in El Capitan you might want to pay attention to is a new security feature called System Integrity Protection SIP , which has the potential to break some apps. In short, Apple introduced it as a way to limit even the level of access that root users and processes have, and to protect core components of the OS.
Mac OS X El Capitan VS Yosemite
You can read the nitty gritty over at Ars Technica. I ran into an issue with an old VirtualBox installation that caused a few scary kernel panics, but nothing else even remotely serious.
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- OS X El Capitan review: Mac upgrade that's as solid as a rock | Macworld;
Even so, like we always say: Everyone with a modern Mac, that is, who wants to upgrade. Like with every operating system, our best advice is simple: Wait a few days after the launch before you upgrade.
Then, set aside some time you can be without your Mac to do the upgrade. Even so, you know your system better than we do. If you like playing fast and loose, you can upgrade in place from the App Store. If you, like us, love your clean installs, do your due diligence.