WWDC 2015 is underway, and we’re wasting no time getting to the announcements – no sales figures, no reflection on the last year’s growth: straight into the new products.
Apple’s getting us started on the desktop with the announcement of the latest OS X release, dubbed El Capitan.
Craig Federighi takes the stage to share some of the new OS X 10.11 features with us, proving that no tweak is too small as he highlights little but well easy-to-appreciate changes like how the system will enlarge the cursor as you shake it while waking from sleep. That gesture support continues with things like easily deleting messages with a swipe.
Just as rumored, there’s a new system default font, with the arrival of San Francisco from the Apple Watch.
Safari is set to pick up some important changes, like the ability to easily show users which tabs are playing audio (and mute them if you choose). You can also pin tabs by dragging them over to the left, for easy reference later.
Spotlight gains flexibility while also improving on its ability to reach into the system and find your files, all helped by the ability to recognize natural-language search queries. It also pulls info from more sources, giving you sports scores or weather forecasts.
Split View makes it easy to multitask, filling your screen with a side-by-side view of two programs. That ability to work with multiple apps continues with the Spaces Bar, letting you quickly switch between multiple desktops.
But OS X isn’t just about user-facing changes like new features – it’s also about giving the system a powerful performance boost. From program start-up, to switching between active software, you should find speed improvements everywhere. One place Apple is turning to for finding that extra performance is Metal, announced last year at WWDC for iOS 8. By giving software low-level GPU access, programs are able interact with graphics hardware at unprecedented speeds, and you should see the difference on-screen.
Interest piqued? We don’t blame you, and Apple’s making OS X El Capitan available for developers to start working with as of today. A public beta for non-dev Apple users looking for an early taste of what’s next will follow later this summer. Finally, the full release will come this fall, with El Capitan available as a free download for existing users.