Mac Owners Can Now Download Apple's OS X El Capitan

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By Keith Wagstaff

Yosemite is old news. El Capitan is the newest Mac operating system and Apple is releasing it on Wednesday.

Announced back in June, OS X El Capitan will be available as a free download in the Mac App Store. Anyone with a Mac released in 2009 or later will be able to use it, as will some Mac owners who bought top-of-the-line models in 2007 and 2008.

"El Capitan refines the Mac experience and improves performance in a lot of little ways that make a very big difference," Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, said in a statement.

Is El Capitan worth downloading? Apple thinks better performance and some new features will convince Mac owners that the answer is yes.


Mac owners can now create multiple desktops, or "Spaces," where they can place different documents and apps. "Mission Control" is the place where users can see all of their desktops at once and switch between them -- a strategy that might help Mac owners tired of dealing with overly cluttered screens.

Split View

El Capitan lets users have two app windows open at the same time, much like iOS 9 does for the iPad. Is one app more important than the other? Users can adjust the size of each window as they see fit.

Related: Apple Sells a Record 13 Million iPhones in First Weekend


As with iOS 9, El Capitan users can enter a search term in "Spotlight" and get back results pulled from the Internet, as well as apps, emails, news sites and other sources.


El Capitan includes new graphics technology called "Metal" that Apple says boosts rendering by 50 percent and efficiency by 40 percent. Essentially, that means graphics in apps and games should run faster and more smoothly.