I did it. I switched to Mac for a week. After people repeatedly telling me that I needed to try it, I finally did. For the test, I used a 2007 iMac and a 2013 Macbook Pro (when possible). It’s important to note that I wasn’t judging by the speed of the hardware – just by the software experience. I was using a mix of OS X El Capitan and macOS Sierra.
I learned something valuable during my experience: an OS is an OS. For the most part, Mac felt like a typical OS. It felt stable, user-friendly (mostly), and simple. Once I got past the “quirks” like having to “quit” programs, and once I got used to Finder, I began to appreciate the OS for its simplicity.
So, going on the basic functionality, what sets macOS apart from its counterparts?
3rd Party Software
There’s a unique selection of 3rd party software available on Mac. There are some exclusive programs such as Logic and Final Cut Pro 10. In addition, there are some apps that are “better optimized” for Mac, like Pro Tools. Finally, there is the Mac App Store, which is an entirely unique ecosystem in itself. Many quality apps are offered, such as Clear, Spark, and Newton Mail, which aren’t available on Windows. It’s not all positive, though. Some lesser known programs like WinSCP and Notepad++ aren’t available on Mac. Those are two programs I use daily, so I really missed them! In the end, the 3rd party software selection is a huge factor in deciding if macOS is right for you.
This is my biggest gripe about the Mac ecosystem: locked down hardware. Want to “build” a Mac? You can either use the wizard on the Apple website and pay absurd prices, or you can build a “Hackintosh” and illegally install and run macOS. While a Hackintosh is a valid solution to many, I personally choose to keep things legal. That means I am 100% confined to Apple’s “box.” No custom builds for me! This is what really bothers me. I don’t like the feeling of being limited by what Apple offers me on their website, and don’t get me started about their absurd prices. I understand why Apple did this: for convenience, and also for greed. Regardless, I’m not a fan of Apple’s choice to do that.
After 7 Days, Will I Switch?
Nope. While I appreciate macOS for what it is, and I see its target audience, it simply isn’t for me. I use WinSCP and Notepad++ regularly, so it would be a big adjustment period to switch. In addition, I’d have to subscribe to Photoshop on Mac, which is a big expense, considering I own (outright) Photoshop CS6 Extended for Windows. Finally, I’d have to find a new editing software, as mine will not run on Windows. Yes, I know, Final Cut is awesome. It’s also $300. Switching to Mac would be both time consuming and expensive, plus I’m already satisfied with Windows!
macOS is a solid operating system. I can recommend it to anyone who needs it for an exclusive piece of software. I can also recommend it if you simply like Mac. Maybe you live in Apple’s ecosystem, maybe you admire its simplicity. Whatever the case is, macOS is a wonderful option for a daily OS.