OS X El Capitan is version 10.11 of Apple Computer’s Mac OS X operating system for Macintosh desktop, laptop and server computers, and serves as the successor to OS X Yosemite. OS X El Capitan was introduced at Apple’s 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in early June 2015 along with iOS 9, with official availability for both operating systems occurring later that fall.
El Capitan is the twelfth update for Mac OS X, following earlier updates for the operating system: Cheetah (v10.0), Puma (v10.1), Jaguar (v10.2), Panther (v10.3), Tiger (v10.4), Leopard (v10.5), Snow Leopard (v10.6), Lion (v10.7), Mountain Lion (v10.8), Mavericks (v10.9) and Yosemite (v10.10).
Starting with the Mavericks release, Apple dropped the big cat-based nomenclature of OS X releases and launched a new series of names based on locations in Apple’s home state of California. OS X El Capitan is named for a well-known vertical granite rock formation found within the Yosemite National Park.
What’s New in El Capitan?
OS X El Capitan enhancements largely focus on performance and user experience over major new features. With El Capitan, Apple redesigned the Mission Control windows management tool and the Spotlight search tool, and it has improved core apps like Mail, Notes and Maps throughout the operating system.
Among the new features in the El Capitan release are Split View functionality for displaying two full-screen applications side-by-side, Pinned Sites in the Safari web browser, and support for Metal graphics technology. El Capitan also introduced a new systemwide font called San Francisco.
Mac OS X El Capitan’s successor, macOS Sierra, debuted in fall 2016.