Home : Software Terms : El Capitan Definition

El Capitan

El Capitan is the 12th version of Apple OS X, also known as OS X 10.11. It was released on September 30, 2015 and succeeded OS X 10.10 Yosemite. It was followed by OS X 10.12 Sierra.

OS X 10.11 was not a significant update to Apple's operating system, but it included a number of performance updates. It was the first version to include "Metal," a graphics technology developed by Apple that accelerates Core Animation and Core Graphics processing. Metal makes full use of the CPU and GPU, boost system-level rendering by up to 50 percent. El Capitan also added "System Integrity Protection" (SIP), which protects files and directories from unauthorized modification.

While El Capitan was primarily a performance update to OS X, it did include a few new features. For example, it introduced "split view" for windows, which snaps a window to half the screen's width when you press and hold the green zoom button in the title bar. It also introduced text formatting in the Notes app and improved syncing with Notes and other applications that support iCloud. OS X 10.11 also added support for numerous gestures in Mail, Messages, and Safari. These gestures, such as swiping back or forward with more than one finger can done using the trackpad on a laptop or an external input device, such as Apple's Magic Trackpad.

NOTE: El Capitan is a rock formation within Yosemite National Park in California. Apple likely chose this name for OS X 10.11 since El Capitan was designed to be a refinement to Yosemite (10.10), rather than a major update.

Updated: July 21, 2017

Cite this definition:

https://techterms.com/definition/el_capitan

TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definiton of El Capitan. It explains in computing terminology what El Capitan means and is one of many software terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this El Capitan definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!