Why Mac OS?

I'm a Windows user, always been and probably not going to switch anytime soon. I'm very happy with it and my dev workflow, yet I have not seen many devs that use Windows. So what is it that makes you spend a lot of money to get access to Mac OS?

Edit: With "dev", I mean us - so mainly web devs.

Edit 2: Thanks for all the answers! I replied to a lot of them. Please don't think I'm a Windows fanboy or so - I am not. I just want to know what sets Mac OS apart to make people pay a LOT of money for that.

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MacBook hardware and the popularity of the platform for app developers are the big ones.

Out of curiosity, what do folks think the best Linux distro for development/developer happiness. I may do Linux for a second machine but I'd love suggestions.

I recommend using a similar distro to what your web servers are running. If you're using a Debian-based distro go with Ubuntu, if its Red Hat/CentOS go with Fedora. In doing this, more of what you know is transferable from desktop to server and vice versa.

Any distro that you like should work fine! I personally like Arch, mainly because of the Aur (arch user repository) and the fact that you have to install yourself (it kinda teaches you how to use Linux). What I do think is great for productivity is a tiling window manager (I use i3wm with "gaps"). It makes you focus on your one screen more and not get distracted by all the small non-full-screen windows. Getting your windows to run side by side is so easy and so useful. I recommend having two displays if you want to run a tiling wm however.

Second this. I also like KDE desktop if you're looking for a full-blown graphical desktop env. i3 is still the lightest and most customizable IMO though

Same, I used KDE before i3wm. It feels very polished.

I'd also like to say for anyone interested, it's pretty easy and well-documented to dual-boot Mac OS and Arch Linux on a Macbook using rEFInd boot manager. (any Linux is possible but Arch has the best support IME for macbook hardware)

I've been using Arch+MacBook for about 8 months now and love it.

i wish i could replace osx window management with xmonad

i can easily say any ubuntu( any distro based on it), reason is simple as a developer i need a machine that is ready to go, i don't need to learn a bunch of new stuff to start using it, many app developer choose .DEB as the packaging of choice for their build of linux, ubuntu lts( the lts releases( Long term support, support for 6year), android for example and many software chose ubuntu as a distro when their building, for a developer the main important thing is an os that is ready to go and easily maintained, RedHat based distro may also provide the same thing but their release cycle is not always easy to grasp.

if i may, i really recommend you to use ubuntu based distro( mint, linux lite or ...)

in the end there is no best distro, every one has pros and cons,
for a developer, the importance is an easy to learn and ready to go distro with a large community behind and a large list of app that already built for it, UBUNTU can easily provide that.

Since working as webdev makes you use a terminal all the time, Linux/macOs beats Windows.

Choosing macOs over Ubuntu IMO is just for the sugar.

I was on Ubuntu on my old work computer, a Dell XPS 13". The main reason was because Dell had drivers for most things on Ubuntu. My co-worker went and put on Mint. He said he had no issues with it on the XPS.

The only downside was some software only worked on Windows/Mac, e.g. WebEx which are client insisted on using. In that case, I left my machine dual boot, which I think was wise. As well, I had Virtual Box for running a Windows VM for testing.

Having said that, the addition of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), makes the Windows platform more appealing than it used to be. And if you look at machines like MS Surface Pro, it could be a compelling reason to stay on Windows/move back to Windows. But... I still love my Mac;)

Windows Subsystem for Linux can do a lot of things, but it is not quite the same as a real linux machine. I would make sure it works for you and your purposes before you commit to using it.

Though a default answer, it has to be an LTS version Ubuntu. Since it is one of the most popular distributions for both hobbyists and server architectures alike, there is lot of support/documentation on getting the environment set up correctly.

If Ubuntus not your thing, or you're looking for something a bit more 'enterprise' there is always Red Hat.

Depending on hardware, using an LTS version might be a bad idea. If you're buying a new machine you'll likely want a newer kernel.

I use Fedora for my development machine and it works very well for me.

After cruising the GNU/Linux landscape for more than a couple of decades I've hit home with Gentoo.
Customizability and development environment are unparallel (no need for extra *-dev package installs, all you need to build against any package in your system is already included in your ebuilds).
On the downside you'll mostly hear for lengthy install times and "wasting" time on compiling things.
My last install was merely four hours for a server-desktop-multimedia ready system with a rolling distro (you only need to install it once in your hardware's life time).
For comparison the same install with openSUSE would take half that time and I would need to repeat the process at least once again in my hardware's life time.
Subsequent updates and compiles are scripted to the background and "reniced" so that desktop user applications will suffer no impact in performance.

To be fair, there is popularity for the iPhone app market. But here on Dev.to, most people are probably web devs. Why do they prefer Mac OS?

What I mean by popular apps I mean editors, productivity tools, or anything else you might use in your day to day. Mac is often the first destination for support these days. I'd guess that's fading but still is the case from what I can see.

I haven't noticed any relevant difference between distros i've used so far (in that specific sense); as long as you're gonna use it for a "fun" second machine, just choose the distro that suits you best

(And ofc that suits your computer best! Test it before installing.)

I ran Ubuntu in a VM and I totally love it. Now do most of my non-Apple development on it.

Hey Ben, I'd go either for Arch/Manjaro or some debloated Ubuntu flavor :)

I use Manjaro with i3 as the WM. I actually downloaded Manjaro GNOME version and deliberately removed GNOME afterward.

I grew up in a Mac household. That's probably the biggest contributing factor. I've used Macs all my life, and I like them.

For practicality though, a couple of things come to mind:

1) Unix subsystem. Having a real Bash shell, and POSIX compliance is really useful, especially when I was getting started in Web Development. I could run a local webserver using the same software as the server was.

2) Being able to walk away from the Unix Subsystem. The hardest reality I've had to face when running various Linux systems was doing something wrong and totally hosing a system. This is much more difficult on a Mac, and most of the critical components are things you don't really have access to anyway.

Those things said, every time I begin thinking about a new machine, I wonder if this is my last Mac. I don't really like the direction Apple has gone with their machines, favoring design and aesthetic over functionality. I do like that they tend to push the limits of manufacturing and introduce new technologies. It often feels to me like they're slowly phasing the Mac out.

I use both Mac and Linux extensively. In terms of dev machines the Linux ones are superior (assuming server work, or supported client platform). I recall doing work on Windows, and my opinion of Mac is that it's better, but only if you compare to Windows.

I find OSX to not be developer, nor power-user friendly. Sure, it's gotten a lot better, but there is still so much stuck behind odd UIs, and options that are simply missing. It's lacking significantly in customization, and has a hard time working with a variety of different hardware.

The MacBook's are overpriced and underpowered for a lot of development. There is also no room for upgrade (bought a new one just to increase disk space). The reliability and stability people seem to claim have been lost on me. Mine overheats, the fan goes crazy, and I sometimes get visual glitches (two different machines). I really don't think these things are built for power-use at all.

I use a Mac for iPhone development (and use my Linux as a terminal since I prefer the editors and console programs there).

It's interesting to see how different all the opinions in this discussion are.


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After 20ys of windows, 2h of MacOS won me over (similar experience I had after I drove 1h with an automatic gearbox).

As a dev I did over 5y on Windows, 1y on Linux and 2y on a Mac, I recommend Mac being the best combination between Windows and Linux, you have the bash power and popularity of tools/frameworks and a better UX then Windows. You spend little to no time with the dev setup and for me it just worked.

For me specifically also allowed me to use Unity3D and Web Dev on the same machine.I also spent a lot of time working inside VMs and around them, and I ran into all possible existent problems.

I cannot afford a Mac for personal use, but at work, I ask for one, I'm more productive and efficient using one.

Really great display (IPS, great color accuracy), really great battery, really great built quality, POSIX compliant. GREAT third party exclusive apps, a lot more flexible than windows (unix in the end). Apple script, reliable, low resource usage, low priced if you consider how long they stay a viable computer, good resale value, stellar warranty, silent, fast, and much more.

Really great display (IPS, great color accuracy), really great battery, really great built quality, POSIX compliant.

That's all nice and stuff, but that's about the physical device, not the OS...

GREAT third party exclusive apps

The only thing that comes to my mind is Sketch. Also, most apps are available on either Mac OS, Linux and Windows.

Same here for Windows: The only tool I‘d know which is only available for Windows is MS Visual Studio. However there are a lot of tools I‘d miss on Windows.

One of the main reason why I‘m stuck to macOS is that most great dev apps I‘m using are macOS only. I‘d never want to miss them. I guess the difference is, that as a macOS user only know your mac apps, while as a Windows user only knows his apps. (Re-)finding all great apps might be the hardest part in switching OSes.

Visual Studio is available for MacOS, visit their website :)

Thank you for the hint. But I'm already aware of that. Actually I'm following Visual Studio for macOS since it's first Beta release. However, Visual Studio for macOS isn't the "real" Visual Studio, more like a "light" version with a lots of (advanced) features missing. It's actually just Xamarin Studio rebranded as Visual Studio and doesn't share the core Visual Studio (for Windows).

ahh, sorry 😐 I was mistaking Visual Studio IDE with the one you are looking for

Oh, actually I'm talking about the IDE too. My issue is just that Microsoft chose to name their IDE for macOS "Visual Studio" too, even if it's an entirely separate product with different code base and feature set.

This is so true. I do some dev work on Visual Studio IDE for Windows and it took me just a few hours to uninstall the Mac version. It’s basically Xamarin Studio in disguise and a completely different (read useless) one at that.

You can only get MacOS legally with the hardware, so they're tightly coupled.

And how can you know that the only app there is is sketch if you don't even use macOS.

there's a lot of third party applications that do not have valid alternatives.

Tbh, we all are giving you valid points but you're still fixed on saying it's not worth it, if you're gonna dismiss all of our really valid points then why are you asking the question in the first place, we're not gonna validate your choice if that's what you're expecting.

These are all valid points, I'm not dismissing them! This is not a competition for who has the best OS, I just want to know if Mac OS would make sense in my workflow.

That's all nice and stuff, but that's about the physical device, not the OS...
Well that is basically what you pay for when you buy a Mac: a pretty Linux in a well made box.
All the pros given for Mac would be the same for Linux. Just that Mac has more support because of it's popularity (so that would be another plus).

A major benefit of using Mac OS is because it is UNIX based. Practically, this means a large repository of developer packages (through the built in package manager) and some awesome command line utilities.

If you're interested, I would suggest downloading the Ubuntu Subsystem for Windows and trying it out there.

I gave Ubuntu a trial period on my computer by dual booting it alongside Windows. My "Wow!" moment came when I had to install Node.js on my computer. On Windows, I had to download an installer from the Node website and even then it didn't work perfectly. (I had to add the directory to my PATH manually.) On Ubuntu, it was as simple as installing nvm (Node Version Manager) and running nvm install in my terminal. It just worked.

So that's why I can see people using Mac or some Linux Distro over Windows. As a developer, you appreciate the added flexibility of changing anything and everything.

changing anything and everything.

But isn't Apple known for its very closed systems?

Yeah they are! Mac OS is definitely one of the more closed-off UNIX operating systems so you cannot change as much. (You still get the benefits of a large package ecosystem through homebrew.)

However, it still offers a significant amount of flexibility in terms of your workflow. One of the most used concepts I use is called a bash alias. (I'm sure Windows has something equivalent, but it was much for approachable for me in UNIX.)

I can alias the word commit to execute git commit -m so I don't have to type so much. You have even greater level of customization with Bash Functions, which is something I've written about.

Mac/Linux/Windows user here.

Just to pass the knowledge, windows have chocolatey.org/ as a package manager option! Works just like homebrew as in many times works fine and sometimes just don't.

Just as a note, nvm exists for Windows too. But it's a different project, and relies on symbolic links (so beware when switching versions, as it has a global effect). Other than that, it works pretty fine.

Mac gets out of your way. It lets you work the way you want.

The price is usually good for what you get, and usually you don’t have to change your machine often.

If you’re happy with your workflow I’d suggest sticking to it.

Mac gets out of your way. It lets you work the way you want.

I'd say Windows and Linux lets you work the way you want as well. What does Mac OS better there?

The price is usually good for what you get, and usually you don’t have to change your machine often.

I don't think $2000 to $5000 is a good price for what you get, and I don't know many Apple users who don't get the latest MacBook straight after release.

I don’t have a rational explanation for this. It’s usually a small thing that delights you like hiding an app, the use of ⌘ key with a thumb instead of Ctrl with pinkie. I have nothing on my screen right now, no toolbars, no dock, but I feel where everything is and I can get to it with a shortcut. The app window doesn’t have any clutter because the menu goes in one place at the top. If you’re unfamiliar with the app you could browse its menu, as you learn the app more, you go to the menu less and you don’t even see it, but you know it’s there when you need it. I think the word I’m looking for is “natural”. With Windows I found myself always switching context for each app, on a Mac apps are consistent.

As of the price, don’t think that MacBook Air isn’t capable machine. It’s easy to think that it costs more when you compare the price, but cheaper PC hardware usually cheaper for a reason.

Mac gets out of your way.
Except when it does get in your way. Like how my Macbook isn't letting my Ember server run on it's default Live reload port because my touch bar, for some unknown reason, occupies a port it has no business occupying. github.com/ember-cli/ember-cli/iss...

It lets you work the way you want.
That is true, if the way you want to work matches the way Apple wants you to work.

“A customer can have a car painted any color he wants as long as it’s black” - Henry Ford

I was doing my last research back in 2015. Mac book pro is basically the best value for it's price. The quality of and form-factor is the best I've seen in the same price category. OSx is seems polished and smooth. Before switching I was using Fedora/Ubuntu for several years.

Mac book pro is basically the best value for it's price

I disagree. I doubt that the steep price tag of the MacBook Pro is considerable as value, and while build quality and form-factor are pretty nice, there are probably a ton of devices providing better value, if you're oriented after that.

OSx is seems polished and smooth

That's the only reason for why Mac OS is chosen so many times?

Just out of curiosity what are the top 3 laptops better than mac book pro?

Do you mean generally or value wise?

I'd say the Dell XPS (15" or 13", what you prefer). It starts at about a $1000 and goes up to $2000, I believe. But even the base model gives you very good performance and a premium feel. Of course there are a lot of other options, but Dell is known for good Linux support, and it seems like many are after that.

Or if you want a more funky device, you could check out some from Razer and Microsoft. Lenovo seems to get their act together lately as well, but their devices don't really have the premium touch that the others do.

Check out Dave2D on YouTube, he has great reviews for all of those.

I was owning one of Dell laptop's priced over $1000 back in 2012. It turns into garbage after 18 month, battery was dead, cracks on the plastic, constant issue with overheating, etc. My current Mac from 2015 does not have any those issues.

You can use Windows for the purpose that use intensive graphics rendering. Linux is mainly used by devolpers which provides you with better security where you take complete control over the system. Thus nothing can run anonymously in the background.

What if you have both the above mentioned features? I guess it's Mac.

Why do especially devs need more security though? I've never had a Mac as my primary computer, but I guess Linux and Windows give you far more control over your system than Mac OS does. And even then I don't see the point for developers again. This might be important for devs who create apps or even operating systems that need heavy compilation, but here on Dev.to, I doubt many people are just that...

I can see you keep stressing the point that many people on this platform are web dev. I don’t seem to get where that assumption is coming from

That most articles posted on this site are about Web dev.

I use a Linux-based distro at home because it's free and allows me to do everything I want and provides an environment similar to what most of servers have nowadays. At work I was given a Mac and I can probably guess why some companies and developers choose it: 1) standard and robust hardware, good battery 2) stable enough OS with stylish UI 3) best integration with iPhone and other Apple devices 4) plenty of good software available. All these factors might lead to lower costs of maintenance and longer lifetime of the device compensates for initial costs.

But other than the iPhone & Apple integration (which I'd actually consider a negative point for businesses - who wants their employees chatting all the time via iMessage), I'd say Windows devices can offer all of this as well - or even better! There are probably a million devices with longer lasting batteries and Windows still has the biggest software pool available - most softwares nowadays are available on all platforms anyway!

To develop for Apple devices it's good to have them. And then you don't want too much fragmentation in the systems used across the company. When I worked for pure webdev shops I was always given a Linux-distro because Windows is proprietary and expensive. Although for certain Photoshop-related stuff either Windows or Mac OS were used occasionally. Perhaps nowadays one can use the web version of Photoshop.

(I'm a front-end developer)

For over a year I've been using both Mac and Win 7 for work, one for side projects and one for my day job. Before that I've used Mac for dev work exclusively for two/three years.

When I switched to Mac ~ four year ago I did it because Mac price ~ Windows box + JAWS price and I wanted to try Mac for a long time.

Currently I'm planning to switch back to Windows because Microsoft made huge improvements when it comes to accessibility and Ubuntu LTS can be installed in Windows. Sketch can export designs in HTML, InVision will release its new design tool for both. Unless I'll work with a designer who uses Mac only graphics editor I won't have a reason to stay on Mac.

Ok, from my personal point of view I'd say its mainly due to UNIX, having a reliable piece of hardware and having all sorts of proprietary software available (which we don't, on Linux).

Well, I use Linux as my primary OS in both my work and personal laptop and I never had a Mac, but for me what attracts me more, besides overall design is the huge amount of great quality of Apps. Ex: Evernote, Google Drive, Bear, Alfred, Dash, Snippets Lab, Text Expander and lots of great menubar apps, just to name a few that dont have a quality alternative in Linux and even in Windows. And all of then seems so polished and well integrated in the OS. There is a really big and vibrant developer community around Mac. Its a pity that Linux, being an Open Source OS doesn't attract so many developers to build more quality apps like MacOS. How come there is no decent Alfred alternative with the huge amount of plugins / workflows that Alfred has for example?

When I started development, I had a Windows PC and almost all my Python tutorials seemed to use Linux because for some reason, most servers are Linux based. So out of frustration and sometimes not being able to continue some of these videos because of some not-available packages in my windows, I did some research and landed on MacOS where I get the power of UNIX and the Bash shell and a GUI which is basically like a combination of Windows and Linux. Never looked back.

I've been a MacBook Air user for about 6 and a half years. Before that, I had a black MacBook for several years. I've enjoyed using my MBA. It handles most of what I need it to do pretty well. The only exception is photo editing in Lightroom which seems to have become a little too challenging for it in recently years.

I've been thinking about what my next machine will be when this one joins Steve Jobs in the great iCloud afterlife. I don't think I'll go with another Apple laptop when that time comes.

Instead, I'd like to go with one of the laptops on offer by System76. I'm happy to switch to Linux and I can do almost everything I do now on a Linux machine.

When I compared a pretty high spec System76 laptop with comparable Apple, Dell, and Lenovo hardware, the System76 option offers so much more in terms of performance, configuration options and, importantly, your ability to upgrade the laptop going forward.

The only real downside seems to be that System76 laptops (they are reconfigured laptops sourced from a Taiwanese manufacturer - can't remember the name offhand) don't have the same build quality as Apple, Lenovo, and Dell.

The build quality doesn't seem to be bad, it just doesn't seem to be as good. Still, if it means I can build just about any system I want for a very reasonable price (by comparison), it's a good option.

As far as distros go, I just installed Solus with the Budgie desktop on my son's desktop and it's a good looking distro! Whether you go with Solus, Ubuntu, Mint, or some other distro, I don't see why you couldn't work really effectively as a developer on Linux.

Apple hardware is top notch, service is amazing, and interlinking between devices is magic.

But as a developer, I use macOS because its very simple to setup my dev environment. It's BSD under the hood, so it can mimic a production linux server very simply.

I can build something here and with no problems deploy to linux prod..

On the hardware, I've had many macs over the years, and not one of them has ever had a problem. Where as any of the PC laptops i've had, broke after a year or so.. usually just a day or so outside of warranty.

Now mind you I've recently been looking at windows10 with the linux substrate... I think perhaps in not too much more time, we might see more devs go to windows10 once the substrate gets a bit more stable.

Mac is basically a pretty Linux in a box made out of premium materials.
I think you could sum up most comments into three, non-excluding groups: The ones that praise the polish of Mac OS (that it looks pretty and consistent), the ones that praise it's hardware (battery duration, screen quality, build that lasts years), and the ones that just basically describe a Linux distro (that it has bash).

If you work with PHP, Java, .Net then Windows is just enough and perfect for you.
If you work with Ember, Angular, Node, Ruby, Python and similar then you'll find their Windows implementations lacking and requiring Bash. In that case ANY Linux distro works for you. And you can spend all you want into hardware and just replace Windows with Linux, or have them run side by side.
If you want to show your colleagues and family members how well paid your Dev job is then the hardware you buy is a Mac.

That last thing is exactly what I did this Christmas. Now I look all profesional using this overpriced Linux box. :D

I am using a Linux based operating system, Solus. While I appreciate Windows and macOS, if I would be given the choice between an open source community and operating system and Windows and macOS, I think the choice becomes somewhat obvious.

I am using a Purism 13 laptop, which I also wrote a review about. In my opinion it is the closest in form of a physical laptop to a MacBook. And Solus is just awesome.


Librem 13 Review: medium.com/@christiankaindl/review...

Solus: solus-project.com/

I have been using Mac since 2006, Windows and Linux before that.

My parents computers have been Windows through and through (lately Windows 7 and then Windows 10, skipped Windows 8).

My macOS has way less problems. It might depend on me being a power user BUT I'm not the only one in the family with a Mac and I'm quite sure macOS is simply easier to deal with day in, day out.

It comes with a lot of pre-installed things which are not bloated, you don't have to deal with manufactures (a Dell-Windows computer is not the same thing as an Asus-Windows computer and so on) and it's less prone to viruses.

I have to say that Windows 10 (though the UI is still a little weird) it's miles ahead Windows 7 and, if I weren't a developer, I would probably survive using it but the last time my parents had a problem with their Dell desktop (though it was a Windows issue) my father said: next time we're going to buy a Mac, why didn't we? (note: they chose a Dell desktop ONLY because they are cheaper, they don't have or need any Windows only software)

I wouldn't go back using Linux for the desktop, neither for me neither for my parents, not willingly anyhow.

Hardware-wise I don't know. Apple is doing weird things with the hardware: the new macbook pros are a tad expensive and the touch bar seems really odd coming from Apple. I drool looking at the iMac Pro but you need to re-negotiate a mortgage to buy it :-D

I'm a little put off at the prospect that my mid-2012 Macbook Pro might break one day. I gave it a second life when I installed 16 GB of RAM and a SSD

I'm quite sure you can find good hardware with Dell and other manufacturers but I don't know much about that and I'm also not interested anymore in "modding" or building my own PC or "hackintosh" for that matter.

My ideal setup is another Macbook Pro lasting 5+ years (like the one I have now) and an external monitor.

I personally run both windows and mac. I mainly program though on my MacBook Air.
For me, though I would say what brought me to spend the money on the mac would have been the tools that are specifically available only to mac. I also just really like the interface as well as the ability to test compatibility on two different systems. Now on the other side of things, I will say that my pc is mainly used as my powerhouse for other things like video editing recording gaming etc. So if I had one main reason for getting a mac it would have to be the selection of specific tools that are available to you to develop with for mac.

I'm a Linux guy who runs Windows under duress, (Mainly for games and so I can helpdesk my coworkers), and I don't consider that I'm paid enough to buy Mac myself, but would gladly try it on my employer's dime.

But I recently found an issue with the WebKit implementation of HTML5 Audio that broke a toy I released to the wild. It was an absolute JS killer for Safari and iOS devices, and I had to hunt and ask for help to find a Linux browser where I could replicate the error.

So, if I worked on MacOS and tested on Safari and Chrome or Firefox, I would know for sure that my stuff would work for most people. That makes it a practical decision in my book.

Disclaimer: I'm not an Apple fanboy and this is purely my personal experience. Bit long!!

If we just talk about web development, I agree that the most of the tools are available for all platforms and it doesn't really matter which platform we use for development. However we don't just write code all the time and use only the apps intended for development. We interact with the OS.

The compelling factor of MacOS is that the simplicity of use for performing any action for any regular user. For an example, Installing/Uninstalling an app is as simple as copying/deleting a file in 'Applications' folder.

There are some features of MacOS that sets it apart. For example, MacOS Time machine works great. There was one time when I ran a command as 'root' and filled my hard disk with 0s and 1s. (It was purely my mistake and it could happen on any OS.) I was able to go back in time to a older back up using time machine. The reason why I stressed on go back in time was, as I restored from back up, login to the machine, it opened all the applications(including the all the pages/tabs that I opened in safari) that I was running at the time the back up was made. IMHO that was freakingly awesome.

With that said, you need to consider the hardware if you talk about MacOS as it only runs on Apple devices.

I had been a long time windows user on PC. I have had laptops (Dell Inspiron, Lenovo Thinkpad) as well. The major challenges that I have seen people using Windows laptops were battery and performance degradation over period of time. You either have to upgrade/replace hardware as time goes or learn to live with it.

When I came to US for my masters program, I was able to buy a MacBook Pro(13 inch Retina Screen, Late 2013 Model, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD which costed me 1150$ in 2014 December) with the pay from lab assistantship. As a student, I might have spent 2 or 3 times of a Windows laptop with similar config, but after three years of usage I am actually glad that I made that decision. IMO, its value for the price I paid. Since then, that Macbook has been my primary development machine during my graduate program for projects, hackathons and research work as such. It's been three years since, but I have yet to see visible performance degrade. It boots up pretty quickly and ready to work in seconds. Battery lasts for 6-7 hours for regular development work (primarily running Android Studio/Webstorm, VSCode, Terminal, Safari, Spotify Music). And I'm happy about my Macbook and I don't see any reason to change it any time.

I agree that there are people who wouldn't wait a second to switch their current one with the newest Macbook that's available for any price. But at the same time, I have seen large community of developers met in conferences, hackathons and meetups, who have been using same MacBooks for number of years and happy about it. I do agree here that paying extra money to get the touch bar doesn't make sense.

Based on my personal experience and people who I interacted from conferences, meet-ups I have seen more number of Windows users complaining about their machine than MacBooks.

I was using DOS, then Windows from 3.1 to XP and I still own a Windows dekstop PC. However, I bought a MacBook Pro mid 2009 and it is just the best computer I have ever owned. I've repaced the HDD by a SSD and it's still blazingly fast. The OS is just a charm. I'm using a Lenovo/Windows 10 laptop as my dev machine at work and Windows is making some progress, but it still feel clunky at some times. Nevertheless, I'm still trying very hard to get a Mac as my work computer... ;)

I've just had an argument regarding the "high price" of a MacBook. Although I actually don't care because I personally got enough value for the price and everyone is free to choose whatever fits best BUT I was interested in the hard facts.

I've just googled the specs of a latest MacBook Pro and search for some comparable laptop based on quality, material (aluminum), display (retina), design and all the other specs. I ended up with some Lenovo T series that had basically a the same price tag.

AND, you should not forget that you can still sell your 8 year old at a very good price which should be considered when talking about the value.

Ofcourse you can get the same CPU & RAM for a lot less money, but its not only that.

But, right now I wouldn't buy any Macbook because of a lot of serious flaws that have been introduced over the last 8 years.

So long story short: For me, the combination of a beautiful high quality computer with a smooth, also beautiful and flexible Unix-based PC is just awesome.

Everyone else should just make their own decisions based on whats most important the them. Is it specs, price, quality, design, OS and then choose.

I've been a dedicated Apple hater for years now, but I'm starting to change my mind recently.

Macs have a unique advantage in that they're both UNIX based AND quite popular even with non-techies.

Mac is the only machine that has decent games and you can still write code on them.

On my home machine I dual-boot Linux and Windows to do the exact same thing.

Also another advantage to owning a Mac is the display, and this is simply something that only Apple has gotten completely right.

As someone who stares at computer screens all day, I think I deserve to see nice colors and well rendered-fonts, something you don't see in Windows or even in Linux without some serious tweaking.

There's of course a learning curve associated with getting a Mac, and they're also quite steep but I'd definitely buy a MacBook Pro if I could afford one.

I agree with the other comments about the pros of mac/macos, as well as the critics to Apple direction and the doubts about where to bet in the future.
A killer feature nobody mentioned about macos: TimeMachine. It’s the best backup system I’ve ever seen. Easy, transparent and not invasive. Recovering old files (because that is when you know a backup solution is great or sucks) or an entire system is quick and easy. IMHO this is one of the best and unique killer feature of macos.

I think it's a overall good option for developers, you have access to a wide range of common applications (like Windows) and, at the same time, an environment similar to a server because of MacOS Unix system.

I prefer Linux for development, but the lack of support of general use apps bothers me for some tasks. Windows have (way) better value for the money, but until recently with Linux subsystem, it's not so friendly for a "non-Microsoft" dev without a proper command line.

For the next laptop, I think Windows will be an option with the direction Microsoft is taking for a more compatible Windows. 1-2 years ago, I have no doubt in paying the "extra value" for a Mac.

My experience:
I am a developer, I used MS operative systems all my life, from MSDOS to Windows 7. Linux from 1999, and MacOSX since 2009 (an iMac I bought).
As computer per se, the iMac will be 9 years old this year, it is working like the first day, never had the need of format and reinstall the OS, I never had this with Windows (which I had to reinstall once a year, I also have to recognise that Windows has improved).
As operative system, I prefer Linux, but with OSX you have more access to commercial software, like Windows, but with a Unix/BSD core...
Just give it s try, if you don't want to spend much money you can always purchase a mini.

I know there are similar tools for other OSes, but Alfred, is an indispensable tool on Mac. I use it all the time. I never use the Dock anymore or Spotlight. Plus it's fun to make Alfred workflows, e.g. github.com/nickytonline/alfred-wor... ;)

For those interested, this is pretty much what I have installed on my Mac. Maybe a little out of date... osx.iamdeveloper.com. Maybe I should convert this gist to an article like I did for my VS Code setup, vscode.iamdeveloper.com ;)

MacOS with the help of adobe products has dominated the (design, desk top publishing DTP) market to such a degree that seems unescapable.
However as a developer if you need a MacOS is most likely for design purposes ie web page designer.

I agree with a lot of what other people are saying here; Macs do make great Dev machines, but I don't think they would be experiencing nearly the popularity they are if Apple hadn't started supplying Macs to schools > 10 years ago. Like at home we had a Windows machine 15 years ago, but at school we had Macs. We used Macs in computer classes. If we were writing essays in class, a laptop cart of MacBooks was brought around. So when it came time to buy my first laptop, I was much more accustomed to Macs than Windows. I have to give massive credit to Apple's brilliant marketing scheme for some of their current popularity.

I transitioned from Windows to Linux a while ago and would never have turned back. Linux gives you power that Windows does not, but lacks the polished desktop environment of Windows (although elementary OS got pretty close to being perfect).

I've now recently switched from Linux to Mac and it feels to me like a polished Linux with incredible user experience and a lot more support for many applications. The hardware is fantastic as well and, of course, you get the head-turner factor in the coffee shops :)

Mostly because it has the best of both worlds (Linux and Windows)

Mostly the hardware, the look and feel of the OS (smooth fonts on Retina screens soothe me), but mostly the keyboard shortcuts, muscle memory is hard to forget.

But keyboard shortcuts are not an argument for a specific OS in the first place, right?

3 things: UNIX. User-friendly. Looks Good!

Classic DEV Post from May 18

I asked my first StackOverflow question

I asked my first question on StackOverflow today and within minutes, I got answers to my question.

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