Apple announces Mac OS X ‘El Capitan’, iOS 9, and watchOS 2 updates

Apple announces a wave of updates for its operating systems bringing new changes and improvements on Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Mac OS X El Capitan

On June 8th, Apple announced three major updates at WWDC 2015, including an update for the Mac OS X “El Capitan”, iOS and watchOS, which the company assigned to the operating system running on its Apple Watch.

Here’s the breakdown of features:

Mac OS X “El Capitan” (ver 10.11)

OS X El Capitan Split View

El Capitan is the update that replaces Yosemite, but it’s just a name, the new release it’s actually Mac OS X 10.11, and it includes a number of enhancements and improvements over the previous update. The Cupertino company explains that “El Capitan” will focus on improving the user experience and performance.

Among the new features users will see:

Window management: Apple’s operating system for desktops includes a feature to manage windows known as “Mission Control”. On version 10.11 the feature gets a new Spaces Bar at the top of the screen where users can drag and drop apps to different desktops, just like virtual desktops works in Windows 10.

There is also a new Split View mode that allows users to run two apps side-by-side, extremely similar to Snap view mode found in Windows 8.x.

Call out your cursor: Lost your cursor on your crowded desktop? Just shake your finger back and forth on the trackpad or give your mouse a shake, and the cursor gets bigger so it’s easy to spot.

New font family: In Mac OS X 10.11 is moving away from its traditional font family and the company is introducing a new system font called “San Francisco”, which was made specially to work best on Retina displays.

Spotlight: The search functionality, which doesn’t include Siri at this time, picks up a few updates with weather, stocks, transit, and web video data sources. In addition, the new update allows users to search with natural language.

Better performance: According to Apple, customers will see a 40 to 50 percent improvement on performance. Users can also see up to 1.4 times increase on performance launching apps, up to 2 times on app switching, display of first mail massages, and up to 4 times faster performance opening PDF in preview.

Built-in apps are getting a minor update as well. Developers interested on testing Mac OS X El Capitan can download the software on June 8th, and a public beta will be available sometime in July with a full release later this fall.

iOS 9

Apple iOS 9 Slide Over

We have seen many Microsoft commercials promoting Windows as an operating system that lets users work with more than one app at a time on a tablet. On iOS 9, Apple is taking some ideas on Windows 8 and applying them to its tablet operating system. Now on iOS 9 users will have the ability to snap two apps side-by-side, but it will only work with the latest iPad Air model.

Other new features will run on most iOS devices. For example, there is a new Slide Over feature that let users run two iPad apps in a single window. The Slide Over feature allows users to run an app on top of the interface, while running the main app in full screen. However, on iPad Air 2, users can also run two apps on split view.

The updated operating system also offers a new picture-in-picture mode that could make users work more efficiently.

Siri update: Apple’s digital assistant will now offer a number of proactive new features, such as contact and app suggestion based on location and usage patterns, notifications for appointments based on time and traffic, reminders based on time, and a lot more.

Notes update: The note taking app from Apple gets new fonts, finger-handwriting, to-do checklists, photo attachment, and more.

Maps update: Apple Maps gets a new transit feature that allows commuters to better navigate their cities using public transportation. In addition, there is a “Nearby” functionality to help users find places to shop, eat, and drink.

Apple Pay update: Apple Pay now works with rewards and store cards, and with Discover.

News app: iOS 9 gets a new News app, just like the News app for Windows, the app is very similar to Flipboard with content tailor to your taste.

Other improvements to iOS 9 include better performance and reliability, security, storage usage, and battery life.

Developers can download iOS 9 now and a public beta will be available in July, with a final release expected this fall.

watchOS 2

Apple Watch - watchOS 2

The Apple Watch operating system has a new name: watchOS, and perhaps the most important change is that developers will be able to write native apps for the wearable. Additionally, the Apple Watch is getting a new nightstand mode, Apple Pay improvements, voice activated workouts, and a number of other improvements.

The Apple watchOS 2 will be available to all users as a free update later this fall.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He's also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ & Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, and LinkedIn.