After 10 years of being a professional Windows user, I’ve recently made the big switch to Mac. For a long time I thought Windows is the best platform to use for my daily computing needs and I feel like purchasing a Mac would be more like a splurge as compared to getting a Windows laptop. Also, I like playing around with partitions and BIOS settings for maximum performance and I feel like my zero knowledge with Mac would frustrate me. But I really want to explore more freelance work and after consideration, I decided to finally get one with the sole purpose of learning a new skill: iOS development.
I am not a fan of brand loyalty, mainly because such mentality sells people short on products they might enjoy. With smartphones, from Blackberry to Android to Apple — they all have their pros and cons and I believe that experiencing them all is always a good thing. But you can’t easily do the same for computers given their hefty price tags — I know a lot of people who switched to Mac suddenly wanting to return their units to get a PC instead. Thank goodness I did not have that after-thought.
So after a week of using my brand new Macbook Pro, here’s what I learned so far:
1. It boots up unbelievably fast! Apart from aesthetics (I think we can all agree that Apple computers are such a beauty!), the first thing that I liked about my Mac is how fast it boots up (about 10 seconds or less!). I seriously thought it was just on sleep mode! I was so used to Windows taking a while to boot up and shut down that is why I am very impressed by how fast it is to power up, shut down and reboot a Mac.
2. Battery life is THE best I have ever seen. I have been using it for 6 days now at 12-16 hours daily (yes I work that much during the week!) and my battery cycle is only 5. A full battery lasts for about 10-12 hours of normal usage. I’ve never had a Windows laptop that has managed to get such extreme battery life out of a single charge. Now I can work in a cafe w/o the need to bring my laptop charger all the freakin time. I wish iPhone batteries are as good as Macs!!!
3. Retina display really does make a difference when working on graphics. I considered getting the non-retina Macbook Air since the specs are very close to the Pro for 20k less, but I reckon I’d be needing a heavy-duty one for dev work so I invested on a Macbook Pro. And I am so glad I did it. Working on images in Photoshop has never been clearer, sharper and so much better. I now look at my Windows display w/ slight annoyance as it now feels dull and pale.
4. The Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac is impressive. One of the complaints I keep hearing from friends who use a Mac is that the Office 2011 (particularly Excel) is very hard to use especially if you’re used to using Office for Windows. The new Office for Mac 2016 now has very similar features to that of Office for Windows 2013, only better-looking! I work w/ Excel all day everyday so I am very relieved that Microsoft released this new version the same month that I’ve decided to switch to Mac.
5. I can survive using the trackpad. Using a Windows laptop w/o a mouse is a total pain in the ass and any task that you do will make it twice as long to finish if you don’t use a mouse. That is not the case for Mac. Apple’s new Force Touch trackpad now makes trackpads very pleasant to use. For the first time in my life I was able to survive using a laptop for an entire day w/o a mouse!
1. Navigation and shortcut keys will take some getting used to. While I love the Mac keyboard (the best tactile keys on the planet!), its layout and shortcuts are completely foreign to me so working on documents takes me a little longer to finish since there are times when I keep hitting CTRL+A when it should be ⌘+A!!!
2. Files and folder management are a pain (at least for now). I am extremely anal when it comes to my work files — I have to have multiple folders that are organized by project and is saved in a separate partition. The Finder, Mac’s counterpart for the File Explorer, can be really confusing especially if you are used to Window’s drag and drop functionality. It even took me forever to rename a folder only to find out that just pressing Enter does the trick!
3. I cannot use my external hard drive unless I format it. This is one of my biggest frustration now that I’m using a Mac. Since Macbooks now have very little storage (I only got the 128gb SSD), the only option is to use an external hard drive to keep all my files. I have a 1TB external usb hard drive where all my TV series are saved and I had no idea that I can’t use it on my Mac unless I format it. My hard drive runs on NTFS which is designed for Windows and for me to be able to use it on my Mac, I have to format it to FAT32 — which meant removing all my files, formatting it, then putting all the files back. Something I’m not very willing to do because that will take forever! 🙁
So there it is! I know I still have a long way to go for me to achieve the same level of knowledge I currently have with Windows than I now have with Mac but each day is a learning experience for me. I am sure some of you geeks know the excitement of getting familiar with a new piece of technology until you eventually become an expert on it! And to tell you honestly, I do not miss Windows. Switching to Mac has been an amazing breath of fresh air to a geek chic like me!
Thinking of making the big switch too? Let me know what you think by hitting the comments below!