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Definition: El Capitan


Version 10.11 of the Mac OS X operating system, named after a rock formation in Yosemite National Park. Introduced in 2015, El Capitan includes faster performance and a raft of enhancements, plus new features in Notes, Mail, Safari, Maps and Mission Control. On startup, the cursor starts out large for instant recognition on huge screens, and two selected apps can snap side-by-side to fill the screen. Spotlight is more context sensitive and accepts natural language.

A new security feature was incorporated that denies access to the lowest level of the OS (see System Integrity Protection). Enhancements to Chinese and Japanese input, and to Arabic and Hebrew dictation were added. In addition, the Metal programming interface (API), introduced in iOS 8, was added for faster graphics (developers can get closer to the hardware). El Capitan was the last Mac operating system to officially be an OS X version. It was superseded by Sierra, which debuted under the macOS moniker. See El Crapitan, Mac OS X and Yosemite.