Now that OS X 10.11 El Capitan is out in the App Store for all Mac users, it is time to make the switch. The new operating system is not a revolutionary update but rather an evolutionary one which gives more performance and value out your same old or new Macs. As Apple’s tagline for El Capitan correctly says, ‘there’s more to love with every click’.
In case you are contemplating whether to update to the newest OS X version or not, here is a round up of reviews from reputable sources that should help you make the jump. We also plan to share our detailed write up and impressions on El Capitan over the weekend, but for now, these reviews should be your guide. Spoiler: most of them are positive.
The Verge reviewed El Capitan and gave it a score of 8.5 out of 10 (Windows 10 had gotten 8.8 out of 10). They focus on the fact that there are a lot of iPhone features and apps that have been crossing over on to the Mac and how everything works very well together across both devices.
There was a time when the only part of your Mac that knew anything about your iPhone was the worst part of your Mac: iTunes. Now, the whole damn thing is infused with software that dynamically and intelligently talks to it, and vice versa. And if the software isn’t talking directly to the iPhone, it’s taking interaction cues from it that you already learned and can use again.
That’s powerful. And it’s going to help a lot of people do a lot more with their computers.
ArsTechnica has one of the most in depth reviews on OS X, as usual. I agree with their conclusion that the updates in El Capitan such as Split Screen and additions to built in apps are primarily for power users.
Almost all of El Capitan’s updates are aimed at detail-oriented power users who are intimately familiar with the platform and its apps. I’m sure that not all OS X users even make use of the window management features present in Yosemite, so they’re not really in a position to appreciate the improvements in El Capitan. You’d miss pretty much all of Mail’s improvements if you don’t use trackpad gestures or Full Screen mode. The additions to Safari, Notes, and Maps are all nice but low-key, and things like Metal and System Integrity Protection are, by design, features that don’t draw much attention to themselves.
MacWorld gives El Capitan a rating of 4.5 out of 5 and recommends it because of the stability, speed and security:
There was a time, only a few years ago, when OS X updates were fraught with should-I-or-shouldn’t-I peril, along with a real price tag. Those days are long gone. Should you update to El Capitan? Unreservedly yes—I’ve found it to be stable, it’s free, it’ll download and install itself on your Mac with nearly no intervention, and it’ll bring with it improved security, speed, and functionality.
Engadget says that El Capitan is a modest update and not enough to make a Windows user switch to a Mac. I doubt any single OS X update ever convinced Mac users to switch. It has always been the experience of using OS X on a Mac, as a whole but with Windows 10 like Split Screen management, El Capitan might be the one.
This newest upgrade is a modest one, bringing lots of small improvements to last year’s release. With the possible exception of Split View multitasking, I’d be hard-pressed to choose a standout feature that really defines the OS. So, if you weren’t impressed with Yosemite’s flat design and tight integration with iOS, you won’t find much here to get excited about, especially if you’re considering making the switch from Windows, which has had split-screen multitasking for years now. If you’re a loyal Mac user, though, and appreciated the big-picture changes that came with Yosemite, you’ll likely welcome the various tweaks here too, especially those performance gains. Can’t ever have too much speed.
The takeaway from these reviews is that El Capitan is stable, provides performance improvements and power user features. That makes it a very solid update in my books.