Gizmodo’s hands-on with Apple’s OS X El Capitan: Tiny tweaks make a big difference

“After the visual overhaul Apple gave to Yosemite, it’s perhaps no surprise that this year’s desktop and laptop refresh is altogether more muted,” David Nield writes for Gizmodo. “This is a step rather than a leap forward, but there are still a lot of little improvements that are worth the upgrade.”

“I’ve been working with OS X El Capitan for a couple of weeks now,” Nield writes. “Assessing speed and stability improvements on a developer beta isn’t really fair game but from our experience Apple isn’t kidding—overall the system feels slicker and more robust. Yes, we spotted bugs and graphical glitches, but they’re few and far between even a few months away from launch.”

“This brave new world of free OS upgrades has largely removed the debate about whether or not to make the switch: El Capitan looks faster, more useful and more reliable than anything that’s come before it,” Nield writes. “The average Mac owner may not notice too much of a change—apart from that font—but those savvy enough to adapt to the new shortcuts, tools, and tweaks are going to find they add up to a more useful machine.”

More info and screenshots in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In some ways, both the iOS 9 beta and OS X El Capitan betas feel more stable than Apple shipping OSes (not counting OS X 10.4 or iOS 8.4, both of which are finally at the quality level we expect from Apple).


  1. – Fix the font back to Lucida Grande. People of all ages including retirees need to be able to read the system menus. Any doubts, bring in 100 of them and actually test the font. Maybe a preference with the three fonts listed and we pick what we want.
    – Finder Preferences> Uncheck “Open folders in tabs instead of new windows” actually opens a new window, not the same window.
    – Put the god dam scroll arrows back. Excel power users are ready to burn down Apple for this one feature that was stupidly removed. Why remove it? Just make it an option! Thats why there are preferences to begin with.
    – Transparency, option to turn off completely.
    – Get rid of the preschool pastel colors in one glorious shade. I paid how much for a retina Mac that can display photos with millions of shades of colors but my icons look like 1985 revisited.

    1. I’m not really sure what you are getting at…

      Can you be a little more specific? Don’t beat around the bush and be so squirrelly. Be confident; tell us exactly how you feel.

      Show some emotion for heaven’s sakes!

  2. Bring back the View By Title function in Apple Photos. It’s insane that a company would give people gigabytes of space for their photos, but limit them to viewing by date alone.

    Would never have left iPhoto for Photos had I known.

  3. I think MDN means 10.10.4 and not “10.4,” in the Take. 😉 (although 10.4 “Tiger” was indeed a very solid version of the Mac’s OS)

    Some of my games seem to play noticeably better with the new OS X. This is with my Mac mini (a 2011 design). For example, Civ 5 has a tendency to become a bit “laggy” toward the end of games (when I previously played it under Yosemite). When I played it under the new beta OS X (a newly installed test system running on a 64GB SDXC card in the built-in SD card slot), the game felt “smoother” overall. It could be my imagination, or maybe my day-to-day system is not as efficient as a freshly installed system. However, my day-to-day Yosemite system is on the internal SSD, and it seems to be “healthy.”

    Can the new “Metal” improvements affect existing games, without the games being updated to take advantage the graphics improvements in L-Cap?

  4. Photos sucks like a Dyson and iTunes launches an ad for Photos every time you plan an iOS device to it.

    Still wanting to hear someone from Apple tell us why Aperture was flushed for Photos. Have yet to hear one good reason.

  5. Apple just sucks for what it did to Aperture. I’m still using it while I can but f…k knows where I’ll go for a decent photography app after it eventually falls over. Except for iPhone snappers Photos is just pathetic. I could buy Lightroom but then I might as well run it on a MS Windows machine. Perhaps they don’t break as often as my Macs have done over the last decade. Anyone know if El Capitain breaks Aperture?

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