My Experience with a Mac

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As someone who has hated the walled gardens of Apple, I had to start working on a Macbook Pro with M1 chip for my work. This was my first experience with a Macbook, although I had used a couple of them owned by my friends for some time.

The only things you read about it on the internet are either from Apple lovers or Apple haters. There are very few people who have given it a balanced review.

My 10 months of use upto now has shown me that it is not “OMG! OMG! It is the besttttt thing in the world”. Neither is it a “piece of crap shoved down my throat.”

The good:

  • Everything is integrated.
    • Notification types are the same. The status bar is the same for each program. Because of this, Apple lets you create keyboard shortcuts for each action present in the status bar of each app.
  • The M1 chip is really efficient. The hardware is well-built and it is really light. I am easily able to use my Mac for about 2 days of work even with Docker and PyCharm running. It has easily made Mac my preferred work laptop. I can take it anywhere I want and work for a long time before needing to worry about charging it.
  • The touch bar is a really nice addition. It’s not something I use a lot but I see why it can be useful. I can add my favorite actions there and they are always at my disposal.

The bad:

  • The hardware side of the Mac is really impressive. It is the software that disappoints. For all the Apple UX lovers, there are still a lot of rough edges that have not been covered. The following is a work-in-progress list about what I find good and bad UX patterns in the Macbook.

Bad UX

  • Cmd+tab lets you switch windows. But you will also see the programs which you have closed but not quit. And if you switch to that program, it does not spawn a new window of that program.
  • If you select 20 files and then right click and select “get info” option from the context menu, it will spawn up 20 copies of the get info “window”. What is the expected behaviour? That it should open a single window that shows the info about the 20 files.
    • This expected behaviour is the behaviour in Mac as well if you do it for more than 20 files.
  • OK so you go to Finder, find the file (or folder) you are looking for, and then press enter to open it. But lo, enter actually renames it! This is still my biggest question to the designers as to why they chose the Enter key to rename a file in finder. If you want to open it, you should use a bigger shortcut, Cmd+O.
    • Obviously, a person is more likely to rename a file than he is to open it.
      understandable have a great day meme

Good UX

  • Cmd+` lets you switch among the different instances of the same program. This is a really nice option that Windows does not have. However, you do not see those instances when you want to switch using Cmd+tab. I use AltTab for Mac (open source) to overcome this. Now I can use Alt+tab to switch between all the instances of any program. Alt+` lets me switch between the instances of the same program.

The list is incomplete as only these points come in my mind at the time of writing. But I will add more as I remember and discover them.

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2 thoughts on “My Experience with a Mac”

  1. Holding alt while right clicking will give you the option of opening the inspector rather than Individual get info windows

    1. Prashant Sengar

      I had absolutely no idea about that! Thanks for sharing this!
      Now that you tell me about this, I find it a good approach since it offers a lot flexibility.

      I still have to explore Mac much more than I already have. Spending most of my time on terminal and the browser hasn’t helped in that lol

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