A web and mobile developers switch from Windows to OS X

I have been using Windows since win 95, I have some experience with Linux on servers, and a little bit on desktop.
I am switching over from a quite powerful stationary htpc computer with Intel i5 3570K, to a Mac…

This is the first time I am using a Mac as a daily driver.
After using a late 2013 MacBook Pro 13″ “retina” for about 30 days, this is my little review, coming from a web and mobile developers perspective.


  • Trackpad is quite good.
  • Connecting Android devices for development and testing is easier than on Windows
  • The keyboard is great to type on, and being backlit is a big plus.
  • Developing and deploying Android apps does not require a lot of different drivers, and just works out of the box
  • Real terminal tool, for us developers.
  • Generating SSH keys and connecting to servers via SSH is much much easier than having to “put up with” putty, pageant etc.
  • Compared to Windows pcs from different vendors, theres no extra bloatware (except for itunes, iphoto and imovie).
  • Time Machine was easy to set up encrypted backups. Although I hope I’ll never need it…
  • PCI-e drive is very fast, getting ~700 MB/s read and write of large files (have not testet small files yet, which is what counts for developers).
  • The machine itself feels like a solid construction due to the aluminuim body
  • Built-in screenshot tool with selection. Press  Command + Shift + 4  and select a portion of the screen. It is saved as an image to the desktop.

Do not like:

  • I am missing the delete button on the keyboard…  (have to use  CMD + Backspace …)
  • The power button is placed as a key on the keyboard. I have hit it by accident a few times.
  • Have to use CMD + R or Fn + F5  to reload websites, instead of just good old F5.
  • It will take some time to adjust to the slightly different keyboard layout, regarding @ ‘ angle brackets {} []  ctrl, fn, command and / | \  all being located on the 7 key, etc…
  • Keyboard key repeat speed is annoying, and have to be set with a command to get it fast enough for my liking.
  • Keyboard repeat key also has to be enabled by command:
    defaults write -g ApplePressAndHoldEnabled -bool false
  • “Scrolling inertia” on mouse and trackpad is irritating. I want to have it on for trackpad, but off when using external mouse….
  • When restarting the mac, Opera and Chrome does sometimes not remember the last open tabs….
  • Need more usb 3.0 ports. Have to get a usb 3.0 hub.
  • I also need a RJ45 ethernet connection adapter cable
  • The aluminuim body can feel very cold against your wrists sometimes.
  • After downloading a file in chrome, and closing the download notification bar at the bottom of the window, Chromes windows shrinks by that exact height. Quite annoying.
  • NTFS volumes can only be read, not written to. Had to format the external drive as exfat for it to be usable on OS X and windows.

WTFs and Crashes:

  • With year 2014 just around the corner, why is there no easy way to disable the internal screen while using an external one… Why!? I dont want the additional 5 million pixels on the laptop screen to render on the gpu, when Im using just the external screen. Yes, there are lots of hacks involving magnets, hot corners and other things…
  • Android file transfer requires a separate program. Theres no finder integration of any kind.
  • Opening files and folders is not done with “space”. or “enter/return key”. but CMD + down arrow. Why!?
  • Android emulator hardware acceleration with Intel HAXM made the whole Mac freeze. Had to restart.
  • Chrome crapped out on me once while watching YouTube.
  • After having put the system to sleep a couple of times (4 or 5), CMD + Tab stops working, so I can no longer switch between programs….
  • The Macbook later crashed while booting up. (Seemingly due to another Intel Haxm crash)
  • Photoshop CC has been crashing more than it did on windows…. with the result of me loosing a couple of minutes of work. irritating.
  • Application windows are sometimes not working properly when using CMD + tab.
    And some windows does not respond to being CMD+Tabbed away.
  • SourceTree (git app) has been crashing/freezing about 3 times.
  • Folder search does not work when spotlight indexing is disabled. (This works fine in windows, even if it takes somewhat longer time to do a search)
  • One time, while I was using the machine with external screen, mouse and keyboard.
    When I lifted the lid, all keys and the trackpad on the macine, did not respond at all!
    Nothing I clicked or touched, would respond! Not even the Screen brightness buttons!
    After putting the machine into sleep mode with the external mouse, and hours later waking it again, the problem was still there! Jeeze!
    I had to to a full reboot to fix the problem….
  • A few times, the whole Mac just freezes completeley on me. It becomes totally unresponsive, and I have to force it to reboot with the power button. beachballThe beachball of death!
  • Sometimes the OS X Dock moves from one screen to another while im working!
  • Sometimes the windows get stuck in the outer edge of the screen, and theres no other way getting them back, than to reboot....

What am I missing from Windows 8?

  • KeePass’ windows version is better than the latest KeePassX Alpha 4 for Mac
  • The performance tab of the windows Task Manager
  • I think Evernotes’ windows version is easier to use, with a better overview
  • Windows’ File copy dialog with pause button and queue
  • The PROPERLY external display settings, allowing me to turn on or off either displays!

What am I NOT missing from Windows 8?

  • Metro, or whatever it’s called now…
  • Dealing with antivirus and stuff

Other things

  • No, I will not use iCloud to sync my passwords and keys to Apple and NSA…

Some of the new Mac applications I have installed so far

Things I have set up

  • ‘sublime’ shortcut for opening files and folders in Sublime Text 3, from the Terminal
  • SSH keys and terminal aliases to more easily log into servers from the Terminal
    For example: open your ~/.profile file, and add this: alias login='ssh -p 22 username@<server-ip-adress>' Then, open a new terminal, and type login  to log in to your server.
    (You have to type your key password, or set up ssh keys to log in with)


  • OS X does not feel more solid than Windows 8.
  • Applications are crashing just as often as on Windows 8, some even triggering a reboot (Intel Haxm).
  • I guess both OS X and Windows have their own list of equally stupid or annoying things users have to deal with.
  • The laptop build quality seems quite good, compared to the 5 laptops (*) I’ve used before this.  At the same time, this is the most expensive laptop I’ve owned.

Laptops I have used previously: Samsung 530, Asus UX31, Acer, Toshiba, Dell, HP.

Do I like the new OS X setup? Yes.

  • It is a bit easier to do Android development, use command line tools such as git, ssh etc.
  • I now have the possibilty to create iOS apps through xcode, if I feel for it…
  • However, it takes some time to get used to all the new stuff, and the keyboard layout.

Will I purchase a Mac the next time I upgrade? Not sure yet, time will tell.

Do you have any tips, questions or something to add?  Do you have a solution to some of my annoyances?  Please leave a comment below!

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