Apple Mac myths busted – why a Mac is right for you
In this guide we dispel some of the main myths that have developed around Macs over the years, and explain how armed with an iMac, Mac Mini or MacBook you can carry out many of the tasks you would on a Windows PC
1. "Macs are only for creative types, aren't they?"
Apple iMac desktops and MacBook laptops may be the computer of choice for creative types - from graphic design and music production to video editing and illustration. But they're just as adept at the everyday computing tasks you'd carry out on your PC, such as:
- Spreadsheets and essays: Apple Macs come with applications for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. iWork is compatible with Microsoft Office, so you can open Word and Excel files on your Mac.
- Browsing the web: Safari is a great web browser. It's fast to load webpages, and has a special power-saving mode that sees tabs that are open but not being used consume less power.
Sharing the things you love is simple. Safari has a built in button for sharing webpages to Facebook and Twitter and following the shared links of social friends.
2. "I can't run Windows programs on a Mac"
You can get Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook on your Mac.
Microsoft designed a version of Office for Apple computers some time ago - and there's a Mac-compatible version of Office 365, the most recent version. Just pick up a copy of Microsoft Office for Mac.
You can even install and run the Windows operating system on your Mac - if compatible. Install Windows 8.1 on a Mac
What about creative programs? Photo-editing and graphic design software from Adobe - Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere - is generally found on Macs rather than Windows PCs.
3. "Macs aren't family computers"
Apple laptops and computers are loved by hipsters, celebs and creatives. But they are also a great option for a family computer.
- Security: Safari has numerous privacy features, including blocking all cookies by default and protecting you from dangerous sites
- Work and homework: Whether you have Office 365 or use the built-in iWork software, the kids can do their homework and you can work from home
- Entertainment: Want to watch movies via streaming services? The 21-inch iMac has a better-than-HD resolution and widescreen display. For music, iTunes is built-in
- Photos: You can organise folders, create albums, edit shots and even share them via Facebook, Twitter and email.
- Stay organised: Plot out your weeks and months, and sync everything with your iPhone so when you make a change on one device it shows up on the other.
4. "It will be more difficult to use than Windows"
You may have spent forever on a Windows machine, and be worried about getting your head around using a Mac.
But Macs are known for their intuitive controls - from saving documents and loading apps to deleting programs. Apple designs both its computers and its software so using them together feels fluid, natural.
Programs and apps are easy to find and load from the Dock along the bottom of the screen. You can customise the Dock to have only what you want.
As you are typing in iWork, it automatically saves. For uninstalling a program, you simply delete it from the applications folder - there's no need for further software.
- 5. "Apple's own software is limited"
There's loads of cool software that runs only on Macs. From Apple's own word processing and spreadsheet programs, to the rock-solid Safari web browser and apps for your calendars, notes and messages. There are some great Apple-only programs for creatives too:
- GarageBand: Got a musician in the family? They can plug in their guitar and record their songs with GarageBand
- Logic Pro X: Turns your Mac into a professional recording studio and is the logical step up from GarageBand - with increasingly advanced features like synths, drum kits and sound loops
- 6. "A Mac won't hook up with any of my other devices"
Apple Macs are designed to work seamlessly with Apple tablets and smartphones.
When you buy a phone or tablet that runs a particular operating system you're buying into what's called an ecosystem. And Apple has the original ecosystem.
Use a Mac laptop or desktop alongside an iPhone or iPad and you will be able to share contacts and calendars across the devices - make a change on your tablet when out and it'll show up on your laptop. Your photos and videos are accessible from your iPhone or iPad, as is your music through iTunes.
7. "The shortcuts will be too confusing"
Though it may take a little time for Windows users to get used to the Mac shortcuts, they're just as simple. The Command key works like the Ctrl key on your PC. Here are a few handy keyboard shortcuts, to give you an idea:
- CMD B - Bold
- CMD C - Copy
- CMD Q - Quit program
- CMD S - Save
8. "There's no right-click"
Generations of Windows users have grown up right-clicking their way out of trouble. Right-clicking the mouse when you're on an item brings up a list of options for what you can do with it.
But Macs have a similar feature. If you're using a MacBook simply click on a file, folder, icon and then with two fingers, tap on the track pad. If you're using an iMac you can set up your mouse to right-click, or use the Ctrl button and the mouse.