Mac products have been described as ostentatious but the truth is that they have several advantages above Windows products which are much cheaper. And the idea of switching to a Mac computer after being a Windows user is a common temptation. Here are some interesting reasons why Mac has advantages over Windows.
1 – Retrieve something you’ve deleted from your file: Apple introduced Versions alongside OS X Lion in October 2011. This staggeringly useful feature catalogues a history of the document you are working on, as you save any changes. You can then browse through the different iterations of the document, comparing it side-by-side with the latest draft.
You can restore entire past versions, or bring single elements from past drafts – like an image you deleted three hours ago, or a line of text you drafted last year – back into your working document.
It’s essentially a super-charged version of Undo, and when it’s combined with Apple’s in-built Auto Save feature (which saves during pauses in your work, or should you work continuously, saves every five minutes) means you will never lose a detail you’ve overwritten or deleted from your file.
Granted, Windows users can retrieve entire files. But you’ll struggle to dig-out a conclusion you penned in the same Word Document six months ago.
2– Defragging your hard drive: Any Windows users reading this will likely be familiar with the process of defragging their machine – rebranded to Optimize Disk in the most recent software updates – but Mac owners might be a little more confused.
De-fragmenting the hard drive is something Windows users have to do at regular intervals to speed up their machines. It reorganizes the data written to your hard drive and fills in any holes that have appeared, minimizing how far the heads have to travel across the drive to load files or apps.
Apple’s desktop operating system, OS X, is designed differently to Windows and will quietly defragment your files in the background whenever you install new software. That means the system is always up-to-date.
3– Quickly preview the contents of a file: This incredibly simple feature – once you start using it – will leave you wondering how you ever lived without it.
Dubbed Quick Look, the system-wide functionality lets you peek into the contents of almost any file on your machine – without having to open it.
Apple users can quickly select a file within their Finder window and hit the space bar to launch a large preview window showcasing the contents of the file. Quick Look will let you scroll through a lengthy word document, zoom into a photograph, and will even play a movie file.
It’s incredibly convenient, and lets you double-check you have the right file before you commit to launching a fully-featured application like Photoshop, or Final Cut Pro. It also means you no longer have an excuse for attaching the wrong file to an email.
4 – Back-up your files and data: Apple introduced its hassle-free Time Machine back-up solution alongside OS X Leopard back in October 2007.
And nine years on, nothing on Windows comes close. The effortless in-built app launches the first time you plug an external drive into your MacBook or iMac and checks whether you want to create a back-up. Time Machine saves hourly back-ups for the last 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly back-ups for everything else.
These back-ups can be used to restore your computer to a specific date after a fresh operating system installation, or import all of your documents, music, files, saved settings and in-app preferences to a new computer.
You can also delve into your back-ups via the stunning user interface, and shuffle through saved snapshots to retrieve a single file from a folder you deleted months ago. Once you’ve located the file in your back-up, you just drag-and-drop to a chosen folder on your current machine.
5 – Uninstalling apps: On Windows and Apple desktop machines, users are asked to drag a file into the Recycling Bin or Trash to delete it from the system.
When OS X users want to delete an installed app, the same principle applies, meaning all they have to do is drag the offending software into the Trash.
Confusingly, Windows users cannot uninstall software using the same technique they use to remove unwanted files. Instead, Microsoft wants its users to launch a standalone app from the Control Panel dubbed Uninstall a Programme. You then have to find the software you want to uninstall, select it, and then click Uninstall.
6 – Move and rename a file, even when it’s open in another app: This is another entry that could baffle life-long Mac users, but Microsoft’s almost-universal desktop operating system kicks up an almighty fuss whenever you try to rename or relocate a file that’s open in another app.
“The action can’t be completed because the file is open in another programme,” the prompt warns users.
OS X users do not experience the same restrictions and can drag-and-drop files around the system without breaking a sweat. Files can be renamed from the Finder, or from the open app.
And while we’re on the subject, Apple users have much more freedom when it comes to naming files. You may have noticed Microsoft throws its toys out of the pram whenever you try to the following characters in a filename / ?<> : * | “ . Granted, Apple has restrictions on characters, too. But this is limited to only one – the colon. And if try to type one by mistake, the OS automatically replaces it with a dash.
7 – Multi-touch gestures: As Apple has evolved the multi-touch display on its best-selling iPhone, many of the biggest innovations have emigrated across to the Mac range too.
Mac users can swipe between full-screen apps, scroll, launch Mission Control, pinch to zoom and rotate photographs by circling two fingertips on the track pad. Apple has included a dozen or so more gestures, as well as a number of slickly-produced tutorial videos, enabled from within system preferences.
Expanding your thumb and three fingers apart across the track pad, like you are miming brushing away the virtual windows on-screen, shuffles all of your open apps out of the way to reveal the desktop – a personal favorite.
Apple’s latest laptops include a Force Touch track pad, which uses haptic feedback to imitate a physical click with accuracy. Force Touch also brings variable levels of sensitivity, driven through software, which lets users control the speed as they fast-forward through a QuickTime video simply by the amount of pressure applied to the track pad.
You can also Force click on a name to quickly preview their contact details, Force click a tracking number in Safari or Mail to see shipping details in a popover, and more.
Granted, many Windows 10 PCs now ships with touchscreen displays, which solves some of the same problems as the multi-touch track pad on OS X, but for our money, these often feel less intuitive on a desktop machine
And as Apple continues to advance its Force Touch capabilities with Mac OS Sierra, Windows users could find themselves being left further and further behind.