The Coolest Tips and Tricks of OS X El Capitan Part II

A week ago, we posted seven notable tips and ticks of OS X El Capitan.

However, only mentioning a few does tricks that I’ve learned does not do Apple’s new operating system enough justice: it has dozens of new features that I feel the need to mention right now.

By this point, I’m sure you have likely downloaded and installed it (unless you still are clinging to Snow Leopard, and the golden days of OS X). Though El Capitan lacks the shock and awe factor of Yosemite (although I’m in the court that this is good thing, as Yosemite screwed some things up), it’s still a great and worthy addition to Apple’s operating systems. With that being said, here’s another list of the coolest tips and tricks to fully using OS X El Capitan:

Display notifications by date

Yosemite and earlier versions of the operating system, Macs grouped notifications in the Notification Center by app, which in turn made it quite disorganized. With OS X El Capitan however, the notifications are grouped by date.

This makes it easier for you to browse the notifications you missed during a certain period. It’s more convenient than having to sort notifications by app.

Dictate your Mac through speech

Probably the closest thing we’ll get to a Siri on a Mac for now. If you have the Dictation feature built-in on your Mac, try it out since it has a number of new adds for El Capitan. One of which includes muting its audio while you’re dictating commands which can help reduce errors.

The Spotlight can now move

Yosemite frustrated users due to Spotlight being an immovable object when you’re using it. Basically, it’s stuck on the middle of the screen and there’s no way to move it around.

Fortunately, El Capitan resolves this problem and you can now move it around just like any other window. This might not sound like much, but it’s definitely a welcome addition.

New font

Though it’s barely noticeable, El Capitan has a new font – San Francisco has displaced Helvetica Neue. It is more readable and provides a sharper view for Retina-display devices. Newer Macs now feature the said displays, so it’s a wise move by Apple to introduce this into their computers.

Metal: for gaming and multimedia


One of El Capitan’s greatest tricks is a relatively quiet – but a tremendously impressive one. Apple has included Metal, its graphics API, into El Capitan. Basically, this boosts your Mac’s performance in games and in any app which involves graphics and videos. It comes in handy for video editors and people working in the graphics field.

Sports results on Spotlight

Though we’ve already talked about OS X El Capitan’s ability to perform searches using natural language, we’ve overlooked the feature which enables it to look for sports results. You can now follow your favorite team’s exploits in major leagues around the USA.

A new-look “beach ball”

Known to Mac users as the beach ball, encountering this icon can quickly tick off any Mac user: after all it only appears when there’s something going horribly wrong, like your computer being unresponsive. It now features a flat, minimal design.

Regardless, it’s something you would definitely hate seeing.

A better Safari

Safari had its fair share of improvements in OS X El Capitan, including the ability to mute tabs, the Pinned Tabs feature, and the ability to stream video directly from the browser to your connected TV. Read more about this in our hands-on test with the new Safari 9. However, most of these features have been around in other browsers, but it’s a great addition and will help Safari compete with them in the long run.

Transit directions in maps

Though Apple Maps is not the best maps app, it added a new feature in OS X El Capitan. It now displays transit information in selected cities, helping you know your way around. However, this feature is still raw and only present in selected locations.

Find my Friends

Though we’re sure your friends won’t like it if you know where they are just by propping your Mac, the Find my Friends widget in the Notifications Center is a cool feature.

It’s pretty helpful if you enable Family Sharing, helping you keep tabs with where your loved ones are.

Overall, El Capitan’s newest features are pretty cool and will definitely improve overall experience with the Mac. If you want to learn more about El Capitan, be sure to check out our full review.

And if you’ve been using El Capitan yourself, please let us know what your thoughts are about it so far in the comments!

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