Why I, designer, do not use Mac
I have been getting a lot of questions lately why I do not use Mac as my primary work machine. I really love iPhone and iPad, and people get confused when they see all of my (primary) work is produced on Windows PC. The confusion gets bigger when people see that I even use Apple Keyboard (wired, full scale one), but it is attached to the Windows machine.
So, in three (plus one) points, here it is: why I do not work on Mac.
a) Shortcuts are horrible for Photoshop work
I expect this to be true for most of the design work as well. If you do some typing and some basic image editing, you are probably fine. But when you need to get some real work done, the layout of shortcuts is bad.
Windows has main shortcut button (Control) on the far left side and is pressed with small pinky finger. Mac has main shortcut (Cmd) as a third key from the left next to space. This means that Copy/Paste/Cut and all of the other shortcuts are done by pressing thumb on Cmd and index finger on shortcut key.
This created few issues. First, as thumb needs to be on Cmd at all time so it cannot be on Space. And having thumb on space allows fast panning around canvas in Photoshop. Second, whole hand is too far away from the Tab key, and it is hard to press Ctrl Tab to switch open documents.
Windows shortcut layout enables me to:
– Use my pinky finger on Control in order to activate shortcuts
– Use my index finger to press activated shortcuts while pinky presses Control
– Use my thumb to press space and pan the canvas around
– Quickly access Control+Tab to switch open documents
– Quickly access Alt+Tab to switch between programs as the whole hand is positioned a bit to the left on the keyboard
– Quickly press Win+D to show Desktop
I have tried working on Mac, and I have seen other designers work on Mac. It is inefficient. It takes too long to do stuff.
b) No concept of TRUE full-screen
Pressing the green circle on Mac will cause the window to go a bit bigger, maybe even to fill the screen as much as possible. But this is not full-screen. You can still drag the window around, it is not hard docked to the edges and it works erratic. Some programs do not even fill entire screen (Chrome just resizes vertically to fill the height of the monitor). Full-screen Photoshop and other working applications are not really full-screen. You can always see desktop icons pop out from the background creating clutter. In Windows, when you go full-screen, you really go full-screen. Software is hard locked onto borders, border chrome goes away, you cannot drag the window, nothing sticks out from the background, … It’s just you and the software, mano-a-mano.
c) Universal top located toolbar.
For some folks this is great – having universal toolbar at the top through which you control active software. But realistically looking, that’s bad. It gets bad when you see that even some puny little software (calculator, media player,…) has that full size toolbar at the top. Why? Why not have those options located contextually in the software and be over with it? It is just confusing and wrong and dislocated from the main window of the software. It mentally keeps me thinking that the software is broken into pieces. The main window of Calculator is in the middle of the screen, then there is a huge gap, and then on top is Calculators toolbar. Wrong. In Windows each software is neatly packed block no matter how small it is. And in that block is the software’s toolbar, not dislocated somewhere far away.
+1) Small stuff.
There is tons of other small stuff which I will not go into, but all of that stuff point out to one similar common denominator – Mac is done to be beautiful, not efficient. Simple things point that out, like the fact that you cannot completely kill Window Minimize animation. It has to be either that swooooosh effect, or shrinking effect. There is no third option “no animation whatsoever”. This beauty over efficiency goes even outside of the software bounds and into hardware. I will point out one thing – mouse. The mouse shipping even with Mac Pro is Wireless Magic Mouse. Yes, it is beautiful. Yes, it is magical. And no, you cannot work with it for a prolonged period of time. It’s too small, the “feet” are not slippery so it is hard to move it around the mousepad, it’s not as responsive as wired mouse, etc… Apple has yet to make a good EFFICIENT mouse. And this tells you what their stance on effectiveness is. Screw effectiveness, stuff looks good sitting on the desk.