Eight hidden improvements for your Mac in OS X 10.11 El Capitan

“During Yesterday’s keynote presentation on the upcoming OS X El Capitan, Apple’s Craig Federighi outlined a number of the new features of the upcoming release of OS X,” Topher Kessler reports for MacIssues. “In particular he focused on new window management approaches, and Spotlight searches, as well as some performance improvements with the optimized ‘Metal’ API.”

Kessler writes, “However, there are a few additional improvements in OS X 10.11 noted that Federighi did not discuss, but which might be quite beneficial.”

Hidden improvements for your Mac in OS X 10.11 El Capitan:
1. File copy resume
2. Copy file path in Finder
3. Redesigned Disk Utility
4. New service extensions
5. File and folder rename in the contextual menu
6. Auto-hiding menu bars
7. Improved autofill
8. New color picker

Each of the eight features discussed in detail in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Which new feature of El Capitan are you most excited about getting?

SEE ALSO:

Metal for Mac is so huge, bye-bye Mac Pro – June 9, 2015
Apple announces OS X El Capitan with refined experience and improved performance – June 8, 2015

29 Comments

  1. I downloaded the Developer Beta. How funny, still called Yosemite there. It’s not a great release, by the way. Spotlight window can be scaled in vertical direction, very nice. But not in horizontal direction. Who had thought about that feature? Will they add horizontal scaling next year?

  2. You are a “developer” and you are saying things like, “its still called Yosemite”, and “it doesn’t scale in horizontal direction” to a Beta that Apple just gave to those attending the developers conference. It couldn’t be any more Beta! On a scale 1 to 10 of how Beta this release is…… it would come in at 11!

    I have to ask, what kind of a developer are you?

  3. El Capitan:
    More swiping, and now a big fat cursor arrow on startup!

    What we know:
    – font from the Apple Watch, still no user choice. Still no serif font option. Apple continues to ignore users with less than perfect vision with its ugly gray flat interfaces and poor skinny fonts.
    – Mission Control gets window management from Windows 7 Aero Snap from last decade
    – Safari gets pinned sites from Google Chrome & IE. and you can mute the annoying ads from whatever browser tab is driving you nuts.
    – Spotlight gets more Googlized and more creepily “predictive” as Apple continues to ignore support for useful non-intrusive widgets. and yippee, you can now type long “natural language” questions instead of simple short boolean search terms
    – Mail gets Smart Suggestions and forces the desktop user to use iOS-like swiping motions
    – Photos gets a few updates like Locations and 34d party plugins that should have been there from the beginning. Still sucks compared to Aperture.
    – Maps finally gets public transit. Still likely a pain in the ass to plan a multi-destination itinerary…
    – Notes becomes more like Evernote and MS OneNote and forces more iCloud on the user.
    – Graphics uses iOS language rendering (Metal) instead of the Mac’s previous OpenGL or supporting the industry standard graphics (DirectX) that leading GPU makers prefer. Seems to be primarily designed for allowing iOS developers to push more games to the Mac instead of making it easy for PC software and hardware developers to port over to the Mac. older Mac owners most likely won’t see any graphics improvement.
    – Language support updates will please the Japanese market
    – claims of faster app launching and switching, better battery life (which likely means just recovering from the Yosemite slowdown)
    public beta to be released in July, developers got it June 8
    – Swift 2 is open-sourced
    – Apple claims that 55% of Mac users are running Yosemite. They avoided mentioning the ratings that Yosemite gets on the Mac App Store or the fact that reverting to a more stable prior OS is intentionally difficult for the average user.
    – EC is free.

    What was not announced or clarified:
    – no acknowlegement or identifiction of fixes to known big problems like WiFi flakiness (it is assumed that discoveryd is replaced with the old mDNSresponder as Mavericks). what about memory leaks, Mail IMAP and other glitches, and other bugs intruduced over the years?
    – no clear list of supported hardware – it is assumed to be the same as Yosemite
    – no discussion of “save as” dialog box fix
    – no file system update
    – no 10-bit color, or any user color options
    – no user options for color, window borders, and other interface aids.
    – no easy way for user to achieve a consistent “dark mode” or eliminate window blur
    – no mention of fixes to iTunes and server syncing
    – no discussion of how to eliminate notification annoyances or enable a “presentation” mode free of distractions
    – no improvements to the App Store, where the search function feels 20 years old
    – no mention of better printer support
    – no mention of iBooks fixes
    – no discussion of video support improvements — will Safari actually play Flash content when necessary?
    – no mention of OS X Server
    – no restoration of title bars, 3D appearance, and other GUI elements that used to make the Mac pleasurable to look at
    – no mention of improvements to solve iCloud / handoff/ etc bugginess
    – no fix for the abomination that is iTunes. is Apple Music to replace iTunes or what?
    – no discussion of long-overdue improvements to System Preferences

    I think I will install Snow Leopard on my next Mac, since the current management in Cupertino seems not to have any direction at the moment. They are all working so hard on subscription-based services that they couldn’t bother to get their fundamental desktop OS improved for the user to have control and actually be delighted with an easy, powerful OS again.

      1. the music and podcast apps on iOS are relatively difficult to use. but instead of fixing iOS limitations, Apple seems to have made iTunes on the Mac less easy to use. What you could do in a click or two now takes several. the search function is weak and not user friendly. if you own music, Apple seems to forgotten about you. Cook just wants you to rent songs now. FU Cook.

          1. First of all, iTunes has not really been improved in many years. So it’s not like I am in love with some prior version. But the new GUI of iTunes 12 sucks big time.

            In iTunes 12, it takes three separate sets of controls on the second top bar to select what you want to see. that’s just dumb. Window controls are inconsistent. Why would one click an “X” icon to close the mini window?

            If you only ever use one type of media and one view, then maybe you don’t see the big deal. But if you use internet radio, podcasts, TV episodes, audiobooks, and music, then the long lingering inconsistencies and new limitations are objectionable. It’s as though different committees designed each view.

            If you are a music lover who owns his music, then the default Album view is the most useless way to find anything. iTunes U and Podcasts are really hard to manage now. Apple took away multiple windows and the sidebar. When you change views, you get inconsistent displays. TV Shows presents recent stuff first, but not in Podcasts.

            Intelligent searching is still missing. why can’t one do a real multi-metadata search? why can’t the user turn OFF store searching when he is trying to search only his collection?

            Syncing is unreliable and takes forever. iCloud bites if you have a even just a moderately size library. I have totally given up on the iCloud. Also, when showing device content, Apple shows a colored content bar (just about the only color in iTunes). Problem is, one can’t get any info about each type of content. WTF is “Other”, and why is it taking up 20 GB of an iPhone? Apple won’t tell you, it’s a secret.

            iTunes Store is worse than ever, which is quite a feat. It’s always in your face, but it’s harder than ever to find what you want. Rather than having a nice large intelligent search pane or category viewer, Apple shows its bargain bin up front and shoves all user inputs in tiny fonts to the right. It takes many clicks to get anywhere. Hell, it takes two clicks just to leave the store. Apple lost my Wish list when “upgrading” to iTunes 12. Still no Apple Lossless content or permanent preferences for views or search filtering. Also, iTunes can never remember my account because for some unknown reason it’s buried as a Safari cookie rather than being saved in iTunes itself.

            Next, Apple has chosen to make track info pages worse. Instead of displaying all metadata on a clean laid-out info window, an apple-i click gives the user a dumbed down info page. To see the rest of the metadata, the user needs to option click-i. WHY??? Or how about adding your own genres? iTunes 12 seems to have taken away that user control too.

            If you create your own content — home movies, music, whatever, … then Apple makes it a complete pain in the ass to upload and fill in metadata. Dragging in your own cover art? Apple doesn’t allow it anymore.

            Finally, iTunes 12 is flat and ugly. the font is skinnier and harder to read than before. borderless windows suck big time. you can’t tell which fields are editable in the info window.

            I just don’t see what iTunes 12 does better than iTunes 11. I’m disgusted that Apple seems to be regressing so rapidly without Jobs at the helm.

    1. Please add; STILL no fix to the Finder’s idiotic Icon View, which opens with images hidden to the right and ‘Sort By’ defaulted to None. Go through pics by right arrowing… when you get to the end of the row it just stops without going down to the next row down (as it does in *every* other app or OS). Huh?
      It’s 2015 and I cannot believe this still is ignored. O_o

      Quite simply the most uninspiring and uneventful WWDC in two decades.
      Sorry Craig…..

  4. El Capitan:
    More swiping, and now a big fat cursor arrow on startup!

    What we know:
    – font from the Apple Watch, still no user choice. Still no serif font option. Apple continues to ignore users with less than perfect vision with its ugly gray flat interfaces and poor skinny fonts. (TIME FOR THICKER GLASSES)
    – Mission Control gets window management from Windows 7 Aero Snap from last decade (I HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR THIS FOR YEARS AND PROBABLY SWITCHERS HAVE BEEN TOO)
    – Safari gets pinned sites from Google Chrome & IE. and you can mute the annoying ads from whatever browser tab is driving you nuts. (DIDN’T GOOGLE JUST DO THIS TOO)
    – Spotlight gets more Googlized and more creepily “predictive” as Apple continues to ignore support for useful non-intrusive widgets. and yippee, you can now type long “natural language” questions instead of simple short boolean search terms (BUT APPLE DOES IT WITHOUT PRIVACY INVASION)
    – Mail gets Smart Suggestions and forces the desktop user to use iOS-like swiping motions (APPLE DOES MAKE A TRACKPAD FOR DESKTOPS YOU KNOW)
    – Photos gets a few updates like Locations and 34d party plugins that should have been there from the beginning. Still sucks compared to Aperture. (NOT A PRO PRODUCT APPLE SUGGESTS USING THE ADOBE VERSION WHATEVER ITS CALLED….LIGHTROOM I THINK I FORGET)
    – Maps finally gets public transit. Still likely a pain in the ass to plan a multi-destination itinerary… (USE IT THEN COMMENT….BUT YOU CAN PUT IN AN ENHANCEMENT REQUEST AT BUGREPORT.APPLE.COM)
    – Notes becomes more like Evernote and MS OneNote and forces more iCloud on the user. (CLOUD IS THE FUTURE SUCKS WITH PRIVACY INVASION, BUT NOT WITH APPLE IF THEY ARE TELLING THE TRUTH)
    – Graphics uses iOS language rendering (Metal) instead of the Mac’s previous OpenGL or supporting the industry standard graphics (DirectX) that leading GPU makers prefer. Seems to be primarily designed for allowing iOS developers to push more games to the Mac instead of making it easy for PC software and hardware developers to port over to the Mac. older Mac owners most likely won’t see any graphics improvement. (THERE ARE HUGE IMPROVEMENTS FOR OLDER HARDWARE AND NOT SURE ABOUT DIRECTX IS IT OPEN SOURCE SO APPLE COULD USE IT IF IT WANTED TOO?)
    – Language support updates will please the Japanese market
    – claims of faster app launching and switching, better battery life (which likely means just recovering from the Yosemite slowdown)
    public beta to be released in July, developers got it June 8 (I’M SURE THEY WANT DEVELOPER TO GET ANY MAJOR BUGS FOUND BEFORE GENERAL PUBLIC GETS THE FIRST BETA)
    – Swift 2 is open-sourced (YAAAY)
    – Apple claims that 55% of Mac users are running Yosemite. They avoided mentioning the ratings that Yosemite gets on the Mac App Store or the fact that reverting to a more stable prior OS is intentionally difficult for the average user. (MOST USERS AND POSTS I HAVE SEEN 10.10.3 HAVE FIXED MOST ISSUES ALONG WITH 8.3 FOR IOS)
    – EC is free. (WHAT IS EC?)

    What was not announced or clarified:
    – no acknowlegement or identifiction of fixes to known big problems like WiFi flakiness (it is assumed that discoveryd is replaced with the old mDNSresponder as Mavericks). what about memory leaks, Mail IMAP and other glitches, and other bugs intruduced over the years? (MDNSRESPONDER LOOKS TO BE IN 10.11 BETA TOO)
    – no clear list of supported hardware – it is assumed to be the same as Yosemite (http://osxdaily.com/2015/06/09/os-x-el-capitan-system-requirements-compatible-mac/)
    – no discussion of “save as” dialog box fix (SAME AS YOSEMITE)
    – no file system update (SAME AS YOSEMITE AS FAR AS I KNOW)
    – no 10-bit color, or any user color options (FILE AN ENHANCEMENT REQUEST AT BUGREPORT.APPLE.COM)
    – no user options for color, window borders, and other interface aids. (FILE AN ENHANCEMENT REQUEST AT BUGREPORT.APPLE.COM)
    – no easy way for user to achieve a consistent “dark mode” or eliminate window blur (FILE AN ENHANCEMENT REQUEST AT BUGREPORT.APPLE.COM)
    – no mention of fixes to iTunes and server syncing (NO PROBLEMS HERE)
    – no discussion of how to eliminate notification annoyances or enable a “presentation” mode free of distractions (DO NOT DISTURB DOESN’T HELP?)
    – no improvements to the App Store, where the search function feels 20 years old (AGREE)
    – no mention of better printer support (?? FILE AN ENHANCEMENT REQUEST AT BUGREPORT.APPLE.COM)
    – no mention of iBooks fixes (FILE AN ENHANCEMENT REQUEST AT BUGREPORT.APPLE.COM)
    – no discussion of video support improvements — will Safari actually play Flash content when necessary? (NO PROBLEMS HERE)
    – no mention of OS X Server (ITS STILL THERE AND AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD FOR DEVELOPERS)
    – no restoration of title bars, 3D appearance, and other GUI elements that used to make the Mac pleasurable to look at (FILE AN ENHANCEMENT REQUEST AT BUGREPORT.APPLE.COM)
    – no mention of improvements to solve iCloud / handoff/ etc bugginess (HOPEFULLY FIXED NOT TESTED YET)
    – no fix for the abomination that is iTunes. is Apple Music to replace iTunes or what? (NO PROBLEMS HERE………..BUT NOPE BOTH ARE SEPARATE APPS)
    – no discussion of long-overdue improvements to System Preferences (NO PROBLEMS HERE…….FILE AN ENHANCEMENT REQUEST AT BUGREPORT.APPLE.COM)

    I think I will install Snow Leopard on my next Mac, since the current management in Cupertino seems not to have any direction at the moment. They are all working so hard on subscription-based services that they couldn’t bother to get their fundamental desktop OS improved for the user to have control and actually be delighted with an easy, powerful OS again.

    (……………….WINDOWS 10 IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!)

    1. Hate to tell you, but filing an enhancement request at bug report.apple.com is about as effective as pounding sand. Based on the list, El Capitan looks like a bug fix release. Apple’s description doesn’t seem to fix any of the problems I have though.

      I would have been happier to see Apple just fix the buggy flat hideousness of Yosemite with another 10.10.x release or two and then put serious effort into a realistic, intuitive, 3D-look desktop OS 11 for release in early 2017. With an advanced, encrypted, modern, ZFS-like file system.

    2. I was having all sorts of issues after installed 10.10.3 – after a while I download the combo updater for 10.10.3 and installed that over my App Store installed 10.10.3. Spinning Wheel, WIFI, and Spotlight issues have gone away. Phew.

  5. I use Disk Utility heavily, and I’m terrified that their “redesign” will wreck it. Hope that it wasn’t assigned to the couple of part-time interns who’ve been messing up Podcasts recently.

  6. Ummm. Any “developers” are still under NDA in re the beta. And no its not “still called Yosemite” that is a thing called a hyperlink, you have heard of them, next to the Download button. It is too bad Apple lowered the Developer Program price to a point where anyone can DL the OS and comment stupidly on it.

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