Sep 30, 2015 06:00 AM EDT

Apple OS X El Capitan Features, Release Date & Review: How Different Is It From Yosemite Update For iMacs, MacBooks?

Apple’s OS X is once again getting an update. The new OS X El Capitan is due to arrive to MacBooks and iMacs this Wednesday, but if you are already using Yosemite, this new update is just a refinement and nothing sort of a major revamp.

Apple silently announced yesterday that its desktop operating system for its Macs is getting an update. Silently, because Apple intentionally did not mention the OS X El Capitan during its two-hour product event as the Cupertino-headquartered company is currently giving its full attention to the Apple Watch, the new Apple TV and its mobile devices, the iPad Pro and its two new iPhones.

According to Ars Technica, the new OS X update gets the same treatment as Apple's iOS 9 that was launched two weeks ago. The site even noted the change in game plan for Apple as the new features that are present in the new iOS 9 update are also the same features that have been introduced to the OS X with El Capitan. Before, Apple first tested the waters with its iOS, before trickling down the features to the Mac OS.

Speaking of the new OS X update, Apple senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi said in a press release: "El Capitan refines the Mac experience and improves performance in a lot of little ways that make a very big difference. Feedback from our OS X beta program has been incredibly positive and we think customers are going to love their Macs even more with El Capitan."

Apple's OS X El Capitan, as stated earlier, brings refinement to the already established features of the desktop operating system. Users can now have a more streamlined Mission Control that files all open windows in a single layer for faster and easier finding.

Spotlight has been tweaked to display more info such as stock prices, weather forecasts, sports scores and many more. Apple's Safari has also been modified so that windows of favorited websites will remain active, and there's also a new mute button that silences any tab. Mail is now with Smart Suggestions, while the Notes app has been altered so that users can simply drag and drop photos and other media into a note, as noted on Apple's press release.

Split View, which was first featured in Apple's iOS 9, is also part of the new Mac update. This features allows the side-by-side display of two windows for multitasking purposes.

Apple also claims that the El Capitan improves the overall performance of the Mac by accelerating Core Animation and Core Graphics through Metal, a graphics technology that boosts efficiency by 40 percent and enhances rendering by up to 50 percent.

For interested Mac users, the OS X El Capitan is free of charge and can be downloaded from the Mac App Store. However, just like other updates in the tech market, the OS X El Capitan has system requirements.

It only supports Macs with at least 2GB of RAM. Since it eats up about 6GB of space, the Mac device should have 8GB of available storage. Also, only Mac devices running on OS X 10.6.8 and higher can get this new upgrade, according to Engadget. If any of these requirements are not meant, not all features from the El Capitan will work.

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