Hands-On Look at iOS 9 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan

At yesterday's WWDC keynote, Apple unveiled its next generation operating systems for Mac and iOS, introducing both OS X 10.11 El Capitan and iOS 9. We've done a hands-on overview of the two new operating systems, to give you a look at some of the changes that Apple has implemented.

With iOS 9, there are several underlying improvements that improve battery life and reduce the amount of storage space the operating system takes up, a huge benefit for users with 16GB devices. Siri's become more intelligent, and the whole OS has been updated with "Proactive" features that help you better manage your life.


A revamped search screen on the left of the home screen offers up a list of commonly used apps, favorite contacts, restaurant and venue recommendations, and important news, all available at a glance. Maps gained Transit directions, Notes has new features, there's a new News app, and we're finally getting a much-desired split-screen multitasking feature for the iPad.

And those are just the big changes -- check out our roundup of hidden features, too, and visit our iOS 9 forum to learn even more about the new version of iOS.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan is named for a notable mountain within Yosemite, signifying its position as an update that builds on and refines the features introduced with OS X Yosemite. El Capitan includes improved window management features with a new Split view for displaying two full screen windows at once, plus it has an improved Spotlight search with natural language support, and updates to apps like Notes and Maps.


Safari has gained features like Pinned Sites and a mute button that can silence audio from any tab, while Mail supports new gestures and Smart Suggestions. Most importantly, El Capitan improves system performance, making many tasks on the Mac faster than before. It also includes Metal for much improved graphics performance.

Want to know more about El Capitan? Make sure to visit our OS X 10.11 forum, where members are discussing the new update and sharing many smaller changes that went under the radar.

El Capitan and iOS 9 are both available to registered developers, and Apple plans to provide them to public beta testers in July. A public release of both software updates will come in the fall.

Top Rated Comments

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67 months ago
Hm, he looks like he's having a little too much fun panning around two apps at once.



Oh, yeah. Slower.

Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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67 months ago

The new slide out search is totally an Android feature!!

Yes, and the entire Android OS is a shameless rip off of Apple iPhone OS, Symbian and Palm OS. Of course Android trolls will never ever acknowledge that because they were not even born yet. Aka not being part of the Church Of Google.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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67 months ago

The new slide out search is totally an Android feature!!

And totally an iOS feature prior to it being removed in ios7.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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67 months ago
El Capitan is a mountain inside Yosemite National Park, so really the naming scheme is keeping in line with Leopard/Snow Leopard, Lion/Mountain Lion and now Yosemite/El Capitan.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago

The mute feature in Safari is nice but I'd prefer something that stops video from playing. Hate those autostart videos. Why mute it when you can stop the video and the processing that it uses.

At least Safari stops them from autoplaying in a new background tab. I love that feature and no other browser does that on OS X.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago
The mute feature in Safari is nice but I'd prefer something that stops video from playing. Hate those autostart videos. Why mute it when you can stop the video and the processing that it uses.

The best new "features" in El Capitan other than performance related improvements are the multitasking features that are already available with BetterTouchTool but it is nice to see integrated into OS X as well as the new mail tabs in Mail. The biggest problem with Full Screen Mail is when you are composing a draft and need to get to other info in another email (save draft, copy info, open draft) or when you need to drop in something (exit full screen, work side by side, pull in images or docs, send, go back to full screen).
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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