Review: OSX El Capitan - Initial Thoughts

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Ever since Apple's new OS became available for download last September 30, mixed reviews (some bad, some good) have been popping up, and as much as I wanted to upgrade on that same date, a number of reasons held me back. Now that I've been able to test OSX El Capitan on my Macbook Pro, I'd like to say a few things that I like and those that could be better.

The Positives


General Notes


Compared to Yosemite, El Capitan looks even more slick and intuitive. The new OS also runs incredibly well (and surprisingly fast) on my mid-2012 MBP, even with Adobe CS and a whole lot of files stored. I didn't even bother clearing my cache before installing, and it still works great. The trackpad functions (swiping, zooming, etc.) have become smoother and transitioning between screens is a lot better than before. It looks cleaner and more minimalist, something Apple has been doing very well recently with its iOS and OS releases. The lag has definitely decreased (especially when opening Word and Spotify) and the waiting time for opening apps has gone down. It totally feels like a new computer.

Apps


Since I'm a Graphic Artist by trade, the usability of certain software is crucial. After installing, I proceeded to test them one by one and I'm incredibly relieved that they ARE running on El Capitan. Adobe Photoshop CS6 and the whole suite is functioning nicely, Mixed In Key is also good, and Riffstation as well. Reading a bit of the documentation for this OS, I found out that most apps that ran on Yosemite will work like a charm on El Capitan as well.

The only thing left for me to test is if the current driver for my Wacom Manga Pen & Touch Tablet will continue working.

The Negatives


The Split feature has been on Windows for forever, and now that Apple has taken steps towards the same thing, it should be a good thing, right?


Well, not so much. I agree that being able to view two windows/apps at once is great, allowing for multitasking, but the way the pages are fitted into each side could've been thought out more. They could learn a few things from looking at a Windows screen with the split feature.

Another feature I'm having second thoughts about (takes a lot getting used to personally) is the ability to 'pin' your most visited or your favorite websites to the browser for easy access. Here's how it looks:


If you look at the top left corner, my pinned sites are there. The reason why they take effort to get used to is because it sometimes gets confusing, and I find myself looking for that "Facebook" label on the tabs. I know it'll be helpful in the long run, but for now, I'm not so sure. Does it double the mac's processing need or not? It'll always be active whether or not you're actually using it, right? (This might be more of a positive than a negative though.)

Basically, this is just a short, right-off-the-bat review of OSX El Capitan. I might post a follow-up once I play with it more, but for now, here's my two cents.

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