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Apple Seeds Fifth OS X El Capitan Beta to Developers

Apple today released the fifth beta of OS X El Capitan to developers for testing purposes, less than one week after releasing the fourth El Capitan beta and nearly two months after unveiling the operating system at its 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Today's update is available through the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store and through the Apple Developer Center.

It is not clear if this update will add any outward-facing changes to El Capitan, as the past few betas have focused on under-the-hood performance improvements and bug fixes to optimize the operating system ahead of its public release. We'll add new features and bug fixes in beta 5 to this post should any tweaks be discovered.

As an update complementary to OS X Yosemite, OS X El Capitan builds on the myriad features introduced last year. Behind-the-scenes improvements in El Capitan make a number of apps and processes on the Mac faster, and the introduction of Metal makes system-level graphics rendering 40 percent more efficient.

El Capitan introduces a new system-wide font, a revamped Mission Control feature, a split-view feature for using two full-screen apps at once, deeper functionality for Spotlight, and improvements to Safari that include Pinned Sites and a universal mute button.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan is currently available to both registered developers and public beta testers. Apple plans to release El Capitan to the public in the fall.

Top Rated Comments

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53 months ago
Chris: Guys, we should do something totally crazy
Tom: I second that; my wife says she wishes I was more "spontaneous"
Chris & Tom: What is it, Larry?
Larry: I was thinking we could seed the beta on a MONDAY.
Larry: Or do you guys think that's a little too extreme
Chris: Larry. You devious son of a gun! I'm in!
Rating: 18 Votes
53 months ago
Wonder what bug was so big they had to release a new update so fast.
Rating: 13 Votes
53 months ago
I wonder if the finder sidebar bug of always sizing to very small is fixed in this build.
Rating: 11 Votes
53 months ago
iOS 9 beta 5 please
Rating: 9 Votes
53 months ago

I wonder if the finder sidebar bug of always sizing to very small is fixed in this build.

Rating: 8 Votes
53 months ago

Games won't use Metal unless coded to use it. And no game has been updated to use it yet. So strange you would see a dramatic improvement in games already.

This is not true... they announced that the improvements were made to the Core libraries and therefore existing apps would benefit from it as well.
Rating: 8 Votes
53 months ago

Sweet! Public should be tomorrow or the day after hopefully.

I actually really notice a big improvement in gaming performance in El Capitan vs Yosemite thanks to metal. Very solid so far.

Games won't use Metal unless coded to use it. And no game has been updated to use it yet. So strange you would see a dramatic improvement in games already.
Rating: 7 Votes
53 months ago
Well that was unexpected.
Rating: 6 Votes
53 months ago

and I highly suspect that Metal is built on much of Vulkan.

No it doesn't. Please, have you even looked at the preliminary API specs? What we saw of Vulkan so far is essentially AMD's Mantle plus some bits of Metal concepts. But Metal is vastly different in the way resource are bound to shaders for instance.

No... because the gaming industry is looking for standard API's. It makes it immensely easier to use the same API for every platform. By Apple creating their own graphics API they've just guaranteed that less game developers will jump on their platform... because every different API requires programmers who know that API. Which means it costs more money not only to implement, but also to support.

I think your analysis is wrong. What the gaming industry is looking for is not standard APIs but reliable, easy to work with APIs that come with performance guarantees. Standardisation is only needed in the shading language, this is why I really hope that Apple will pick up SPIR-V. For a game developer, it is cheaper to implement three renderer backbones in three different APIs than to debug idiosyncratic behaviour in a single bloated API such as the modern OpenGL. Not to mention that most developers use ready-made engines so they don't even need to care which API is used. As to the 'programmers need to know the API'... once you understand how one graphical API works, it takes literally few hours to learn another one. Besides, modern graphical APIs are so straightforward (not to mention similar) that a developer who can't learn them is simply not competent enough to land a job. All these teams reporting that it took them a week to port their code to Vulkan/Metal are not exaggerating. Its really that easy. Again, the trickiest bit is the shading language.

Now, there are obvious benefits to having unified API for all the platforms. On the other side, Apple wanted some improvement now, they already had a very nice API (which is btw much programmer-friendly than Mantle/Vulkan) and the status of Vulkan is unclear at this point. It made sense for Apple to release their own API first. I can imagine that next year, when Vulkan API is finalised, Apple might extend Metal with Mantle-like descriptor sets and then implement Vulkan as a wrapper around Metal. It would probably make the most sense in the long run.

And if you knew anything about Mantel (now becoming Vulkan), you'd understand just how silly your comment sounds.

I really wonder how much you know based on what you write :p
Rating: 5 Votes
53 months ago

I'm sorry, but these "upgrades" are so minor it's unbelievable they're actually releasing this as a newly named OS. Could care less about a new Notes app and where audio is coming from on the web. BFD.

Metal is actually a huge addition to the OS.
Rating: 5 Votes

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