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Apple Announces OS X El Capitan

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A key announcement at Apple‘s annual WWDC event today in San Francisco centered around OS X El Capitan, the latest version of the company’s Mac operating system. The main areas of focus for El Capitan will be in experience and performance. New features include Gesture capabilities, which continues the trend of making OS X feel more like iOS. You’ll be able to swipe to delete messages in the mail app and pull up Mission Control with a three-finger swipe. Safari will add “Pinned Sites,” a new form of live bookmark, and audio will be shown in tabs for easy muting. The new and improved Spotlight search function will generate more results, including weather, stocks, sports, transit and web video. Desktop search will have new context-specific tools, with users able to search for “documents I worked on last June,” and Spotlight finds the applicable files. Finally, Split View will make it easy for two apps to run on the screen at once, allowing for multitasking on one screen.

In terms of performance, apps are said to open 1.4 times faster, app switching will be twice as fast, and PDF files will open up four times faster in the Preview app. Apple is also bringing Metal to the Mac, the programming language that the company released for graphics on iOS 8. It replaces OpenGL for graphics rendering and offers up to 40 percent greater rendering efficiency. The ostensible hope is that Metal could spur developers into creating games for Apple’s desktop platform.

Available to developers starting today, OS X El Capitan will roll out as a free upgrade to all Mac users in Fall 2015.