A few years ago, when I was a college student and was not working as a tech reporter, I never thought I would need a Mac, nor did I ever like Mac computers. But times have changed, and over time I developed the appetite for trying different operating systems, something I never thought would happen.
I won’t lie. My increased appetite was not the sole reason for buying a Mac. I was kind of getting bored with my Surface Laptop 2 and Windows, which led me to look elsewhere. So, I purchased the base model of the Mac Mini. I was hoping that after trying the macOS, I would fall in love with computers all over again. And after using it for about five months, I can say that my expectations have been fulfilled, but not the way I would’ve thought.
I label myself as a casual user, like most people. I use it to write articles for Neowin, watch movies, listen to music when bored, and browse the web. This is all pretty basic stuff, which is why I felt switching to macOS wouldn’t make much difference to me, but to my surprise, it did make a whole lot of difference.
After switching my Mac on, the first thing I did was play with the Dock for a bit because I love the Magnification effect on mouse hover so much. But little did I know, I would end up not liking it that much. Leaving aside how aesthetically appealing it is, it lacks one basic functionality: app thumbnail preview.
When you hover over the app icon in Taskbar, you get a tiny preview of each of the active windows, helping you decide which window you want to open. App thumbnail preview is much more than that. For example, when I listen to Spotify, I am so used to using the play, pause, forward, and backward buttons from that tiny thumbnail preview. It is so convenient that way versus how macOS does it. On a Mac, bringing those basic control options (that too in the form of a list view) will require you to right-click on the app icon, which should be the case when you want to do more than something as simplistic as changing the current song that is playing. However, the missing app thumbnail preview was never a deal breaker for me. I was more into wanting to explore how a Mac could improve my workflow and overall productivity.
Speaking of productivity, Copy and Paste functionality is something I use extensively daily. But I always underestimated how big of a positive role it played in my daily workflow until I started working on my Mac Mini. Apple made me appreciate how well my Surface Laptop 2, or any Windows 10 or 11-powered PC for that matter, manages copy and paste. The Clipboard history in Windows 10 and 11 is the place where you can find all your copied text, HTML, and images that are less than 4 MB in size. You can paste these copied items anywhere you want. Windows saves them in the Clipboard until you turn off your PC. In macOS Ventura or any previous version of the OS, you can only see the most recent text you have copied. Despite being exorbitantly priced, it is a shame that a Mac does not offer a decent first-party clipboard management tool.
When I was considering buying a Mac, I was skeptical about whether windows management could be any better than what we have in the form of “Snap Layouts” in Windows 11. I was optimistic that my Mac Mini would offer me some surprise. On the contrary, the overall windows management experience on macOS left me disappointed. My Mac Mini is connected to a 27-inch 4K LG monitor, and the purpose of buying the monitor was to get more screen real estate, which, in turn, would help in multitasking. macOS Ventura does not allow you to use more than two apps at the same time. I tried some third-party applications, but the experience was not even close to what Windows 11 offers.
Unlike copy-and-paste functionalities, I never underestimated how the free flow of information between devices can help users be more productive. Before buying the Mac Mini, my Galaxy S21 was connected to Surface Laptop 2 via Microsoft’s “Phone Link.” You do not need a Samsung phone for it; any Android phone can work together with Windows 11 or 10, provided your phone is running a supported version of Android. However, it’s better to have a premium Galaxy phone to get the most out of “Phone Link.”
While macOS and iPhone work great together, too, I strongly feel Apple should also make necessary compromises to let Microsoft bring the “Phone Link” experience to the Apple ecosystem. Just like how the world is embracing the idea of a common charger for all mobile devices, seamless sharing of information between devices should be platform agnostic.
I do not have nasty habits of cursing products because they can not perform certain functions the way I would like. There is an audience for everything. I am sure there are people who are equally or more dissatisfied after switching to Windows from Mac. For some people, macOS hits the right chord, but I am not part of that clique because the aforementioned features are absolutely a must for me. However, macOS did one thing for me: I now love Windows more than ever despite all its flaws!