One of the most important things that keeps me glued to Apple’s hardware and software ecosystem is the fact that, the vast majority of the time, things just work.
Yep. In fact, I was recently reminded of this too.
I had a client this week who bought her first Mac after years of using a Windows PC. I told her what I tell a lot of people who are making the switch. On Windows, you get used to things being as unintuitive and hard as possible. You run into something you want to do or some setting you would like to change and your first instinct becomes looking for it through some obscure, poorly-labeled, dialog, filled with tabs that change position when you click on them, that is only accessible through a right click. One of the things you have to do, when switching to Mac, is to force yourself to think differently in such situations. You should stop, take a step back, and ask, “In an ideal world, where would this setting be? How would this work? What would it be called?”. On a Mac, nine times out of ten, it is exactly where you think it should be. Things work exactly the way you think they should.
I have given this advice countless times over the twenty years of my consulting business. And, from those I have given it to, almost everyone has told me it was the thing that made the transition to Mac the easiest. That they never cease being amazed by the “magic” of things just working.
I think those of us who have long used Macs forget how special that is.
I agree with the sentiment, but disagree with minimalmac’s example. He states that “finding something in Windows is hidden in obscure, poorly-labeled, dialog, willed with tabs that change position when you click on them…” This is true about Windows. However, OS X has tons of things that are hidden all over the place. It’s one of my biggest gripes with the OS.
Just look at menus for example. In Finder, if you hold the Option button down when pulling down Go menu (for example). You get a new item in the menu (Library). There is no documentation on this effect and it changes way more than the Go menu in way more than just the Finder.
Some might say that these Option items are hidden for a reason. I say Bull-pucky! In the Finder File menu, the normal item is Get Info, if the Option key is held down, it’s Show Inspector. Why hide the Show Inspector option? Why not have both items side by side in the File menu?
There are many other things than hidden menu items that are undocumented. Look at all the Terminal command only settings that are documented by enthusiasts… One I often use is a way to Lock the Dock down so that icons can’t accidentally be removed. Why is this not an option that a user can set? Instead, someone has to search the Internet for the command line needed to lock the Dock down. Then, if they want to unlock the Dock so that they can remove an icon, they have to locate that command line command and execute it in Terminal to restore the Dock to normal.
So, with all Windows’ flaws, to say that options are obscured and hidden in Windows and not in the Mac is just not being truthful!