Monthly Archives: June 2015

El Capitan: The Good and the Bad

The Good

Basically you should upgrade to the latest version of OS X, El Capitan, right away if possible, the performance improvements are amazing.  I haven’t seen my mac operate with such silky smoothness and fluidity for what feels like … years.  It’s great.

One of the easiest ways to demonstrate this is 3 fingers down on the trackpad to see all Safari windows, or 3 fingers up to see all windows of all apps.  There is no comparison to Yosemite.

Overall I’ve found most of my apps work fine and indeed better than before.  Really noticeable performance improvements can be found in

  • Mail, Safari and Launchpad
  • huge difference when you make something fullscreen, finally feels like right animation.  
  • Flyover tours in – no comparison with Yosemite, all jitteriness is now gone, the animation run silky smooth

Still testing out the rest.

The Bad

There is a list of compatible/incompatible apps building up over at Macrumor’s forums and I will list bugs as I find them here:


  • Apple Mail: there is one serious bug where IMAP fetching for any gmail accounts fails.  There seems to be a bug where the port number is updated to zero which causes the authentication to fail.  It’s easy to fix, go to Mail > Preferences > Accounts > Advanced and in the port field you will see a zero, change it to 993 then change accounts in the source list to prompt the app to save you changes, see here; on a subsequent launch of the app the SMTP passwords for 2 accounts disappeared, re-adding them in  Mail > Preferences > Accounts fixed the problem
    • ok this problem in fact seems to come from Google in fact, now they’ve decided that anything other than logging into gmail in a browser is “insecure” 
  • Bartender: the icons don’t show up in the Bartender bar at first, but eventually fresh when you play with the settings
  • Monosnap: this is dead in the first EC update; update: only on retina screens
  • it seems to have trouble finding the iCloud (main) account, I edited a note on my iPhone then all of a sudden the account was found on the Mac
  • Spotify: the works but crashes frequently
  • Calendar: notifications seem to get stuck.  You get a badge for pending invites but even after you accept/decline the badge persists.  Restarting the app 2-3 times clears it
  • Messages: the badges are a little messed up, you read a new message and the badge doesn’t clear for a while …
  • Preview: weird bug where you can’t zoom into some PDFs, you get a blank view


  • keyboard: first time I’ve ever seen this, after a sleep/wakeup cycle my external USB keyboard was not recognised.  Plugging it in/out of various USB slots did not help, restart fixed it
  • USB CD-ROM drive: Interestingly, support for an external Mac CD-ROM drive is dead, you can’t even slip a DVD in after you plug in the USB drive.
  • wake from sleep probs: as widely reported, it happens every once in a while that my Mac doesn’t even wake up, the screen just stays black.  Hold down Power key for 10 seconds …

Macrumors also has a list of reported bugs.

I should also mention it wasn’t easy getting El Capitan to download.

Update: Beta 2

Only changes from above mentioned.

  • Maps app won’t even stay open, crashes after few seconds, continuously (from the crash log, the exception note: EXC_CORPSE_NOTIFY… )
  • Preview: above bug fixed

Update: Beta 7

Wow it’s been a rocky ride.  Had I known it would be this rough I’m not sure I would have taken this route.  For around 3-4 betas the Mail program was unusable, either crashing when selecting flagged emails, or just randomly crashing.

  • Mail: even on Beta 7 the Rules don’t work at all.  You set them then after a few launches the target folder for a rule is forgotten.  Perhaps Apple is not aware of this?
  • Bluetooth/Mouse: This bluetooth issue also existed in 10.10.3 but was eventually fixed.  Basically if you use more than one mouse for your Mac you’re in big trouble.  For example, the case where you have a laptop and you use it at home with one mouse, then at work with another mouse because you don’t want to cart the mouse around with you on the go.  The current version of the problem is more severe than before where you could kill the bluetooth daemon blued and the re-spawned instance would work.  I’ve just tried restarting the mouse around 10 times, and attempted pairing the same amount of times, and neither worked.  A full reboot of the machine plus deleted the mouse profile and re-establishing it seems to work.  A massive PITA.  I find it quite interesting the OS X developers don’t appear to have the hardware equivalent of unit tests that would catch these kind of regressions.
  • Dual Monitors: For a long time, the problem has existed that windows you put on the smaller Monitor (the laptop), reappear 95% offscreen, and you have to pull them all back to appear within the screen bounds again.  With Beta 7, they go completely offscreen, in the case of Mail you can restart the app again to see the window.
  • Calendar: Major glitches from the last release appear to be only partially fixed, when you enter an event and it reverts to “new event” when you tab out.  Fixed: you can paste events into a date in Month view, this worked in b6 but required a restart of the app to update the UI.
  • System Prefs, iCloud: This is more stable in b7, it was totally broken in b6, sometimes you could select sections in System Preferences, the window wouldn’t redraw and showed artefacts from previous states, iCloud accounts requests froze and crashed the app .. now seems back to normal