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Apple announces OS X 10.11 El Capitan, focusing on experience & performance

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Apple's next major release of OS X will be dubbed "El Capitan," the company announced on Monday, featuring a number of tweaks and improvements, including enhancements to Spotlight, new gesture-based input methods for built-in apps, and more.

Unveiling OS X 10.11 El Capitan on Monday, Apple software chief Craig Federighi said that the new operating system will focus on two major areas: experience and performance.

Gesture-based improvements in the operating system include a new, larger mouse cursor that temporarily displays when a computer is awoken from sleep.

In Spotlight, Federighi showed searching for the San Francisco Giants and finding the team's next games, weather for that day, and more. Search results can also be resized and moved around.

In Safari, users will be able to pin sites, reducing them to an icon. And a new audio icon allows users to mute websites and identify which tab is playing sound.

A new fullscreen mode in Mail lets users work on multiple messages at once. Federighi demonstrated minimizing a compose window, then dragging a photo from another message into his composer without leaving a single full-screen view.

Additionally, El Capitan gains new window management features. OS X will help users automatically divide their screen between different apps, which the company calls Split View.

Performance improvements are also a key part of El Capitan, with Apple saying that OS X will offer two-times faster performance when switching apps or getting messages in Mail. Opening a PDF in Preview, meanwhile, is said to be 4 times as fast as in Yosemite.

El Capitan is available to developer starting today, while the public will be able to get their hands on a beta starting in July. The operating system will be freely available to all this fall.