Highlights of Newest OS X and iOS

El Capitan and iOS 9 Coming in September

By Emily Zoda

With the hype of a new iPhone coming out on September 9, the first ever iOS public beta rolled out on July 9, along with the second Mac OSX beta, named El Capitan.

These betas are available through the Apple Beta Software Program that started last year with the Yosemite beta.

I downloaded El Capitan, which, if you’re wondering is named after a mountain, immediately after getting the email notification, but was reluctant to use my iPhone for beta testing keeping in mind that, any and everything could go wrong.

But after hearing about the newly designed News app, replacing the Newsstand app, I had to get my hands on it.

Using my iPad mini to download the iOS, the process took no longer than 20 minutes. The first thing that got my attention was the new system font called San Francisco, giving an honorable nod to the motherland of tech.

The Spotlight search has been made more accessible by being stationed to the left of the home screen, similarly to the way Google Now is on pure Android devices like the Nexus. It displays the most recent apps you’ve visited and people you’ve contacted through Messages.

It can give you suggestions on places to eat, movies to see, and news you might want to read, making the overall perception of Spotlight a lot more helpful than it’s ever been before.

The News app is a simplistic answer to reading news in a hurry. It asks you what topics you like to read about and where you want to read from.

It then displays articles in a familiar newspaper format. It’s everything you want to read, all on one page.

When you want to read the full article it’ll expand the story for you and when you’re done, bring you back right to where you were browsing. If you’re a news fiend like me, you’ll enjoy it.

Another feature for iPad is a sidebar you can access by dragging your finger from the side of the screen to pull out a menu where you can open apps from—unfortunately, at least for the moment, these can only be system apps.

When I opened it, it displayed stories from News that I was able to read while in another app. However, I couldn’t scroll through both of them at the same time, rendering the feature a distraction from the initial app I’m currently in.

Switching to El Capitan felt a lot smoother when switching windows and apps. The font looks particularly nice on a larger screen.

I opened up Safari to do some web browsing and came across the pin feature, where you can keep a tab pinned in the browser and it’ll be displayed as a little box on the side until it’s needed again. In Yosemite if I had too many tabs open it would create a scrolling tab effect which threw off my workflow, so pinning tabs will be of great use.

The Notes app brought some more changes, too, being that lists can be made and adding pictures to it transforms it into a mini version of Pages. What’s better about the app is that you can access notes across all your devices. A grocery checklist or an address from Maps is readily available for later or on the go.

Overall, the user interface is consistent when switching from Mac to iDevices, with important ones being the font and more-helpful-than-Siri Spotlight search.

If you get the notification to update for iOS 9 on your device, it’s safe to say it won’t be a headache.


Categories: Lifestyles

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