Lets be honest, Yosemite was the “Vista” of OS X versions. It had a fresh new look but was rather buggy. Now El Capitan should be the “7” of versions.
The focus is on power and stability. They have optimised it a lot. I think this may have to do with the new MacBook. It is certainly lacking in the power department so they will have to make lots of improvements to support it for years to come.
Some other new features are:
Spotlight was one of the best features in OS X Yosemite. I use it daily and extending it will make it more and more useful. It is now a resizable window and offers rich features built it. It is essentially Siri for the Mac with the wait it works. You can ask it to set reminders and search for sport scores. They have also added natural language search to bring up “photos from July last year” and “files I worked on last week.” This should be very useful.
Built in Apps
Apps like Mail and Notes will get the biggest overhaul. The “rich” features from iOS9 Notes also come to the Mac. You will be able to include checklists, pictures and rich links.
Metal for Mac
This is only for very hardcore developers and game developers but most users should see performance improvements here. It is essentially an optimised OpenGL. This should make 3D rendering faster which is great for power users. It will also make the Mac more appealing to game developers. Expect a few more games to support the Mac.
New System Font
Much like iOS9, the font will be updated to the Apple Watch like San Fransisco. This should help readability as this particular font was designed to be easy to read on the small screen of the Apple Watch.
Pinned tabs that remain there as well as mute for sound coming from certain tabs will be great features for power users. I always have more than 5 tabs open of which many can be pinned. Links from these tabs will also open in a new tab so they remain constant. That will be a good improvement on Chrome’s implementation of this feature.
Window Management and Split Screen
Full screen apps will now be able to be made split screen. This will be good for making notes and working on multiple things at once. The demo of Twitter next to other apps is a great example of this usability feature. Windows will also be able to be resized to exactly half the screen for easy side by side placement. I used Cinch for this for ages so it is a very welcome feature. Full screen apps will also be able to have overlays which will make more apps more usable in fullscreen. An example of this is the compose window in Mail.
For anyone who was introduced to Mac after using iOS devices, this will be a very welcome feature. Hopefully it will work a lot like iOS where almost any video will be able to be Airplayed. This will promote the usage of the AppleTV even more before the rumoured refresh later this year.
OS X El Capitan will be available later this year. This looks like a good improvement and will hopefully breath some new life into some older Macs.
As I get a chance to use OS X, I will update this with more features and discoveries.