- I use an iPhone instead of Android because Apple’s focus on iOS has paid tremendous dividends in terms of usability and new features.
- But Apple’s focus on iOS, including the new iPad Pro, seems to have come at the cost of the Mac computers, alienating loyalists.
- Much of Apple’s Mac hardware line hasn’t been refreshed in a while, and even if it had been, Microsoft is pulling ahead in operating system innovation, releasing all kinds of new styles of PC.
Now, I think I have an answer, and it’s pretty simple: Apple’s iOS is still the best, most useful, and most usable smartphone operating system in the world. Android phones may often ship with higher specs and cutting-edge new features, but they’re buried under manufacturer-specific bloat, and often, you’re not guaranteed OS updates.
It’s true that Macs and iPhones integrate in some amazing ways. But I ultimately found that it’s not worth shackling myself to an operating system that’s falling behind the curve. The problem is that Apple’s savvy investments in iOS seem to be leaving the Mac business as an afterthought – alienating Mac loyalists.
On the other hand, Microsoft famously missed the boat on smartphones, and officially closed the book on Windows 10 Mobile just recently. This has turned into somewhat of a blessing in disguise for the Windows PC: With no new platform to jump to, Microsoft basically has no choice but to improve Windows 10 across both PCs and tablets.
This refocusing on software has resulted in something of a Windows renaissance. Windows 10 has embraced touchscreens, styluses, and even virtual reality. It’s made Windows 10 more flexible, and more useful, than any MacBook I’ve ever owned.
And while Microsoft’s own Surface computers are still the best place to experience all the benefits of Windows 10, the Dells and HPs of the world have followed in Microsoft’s footsteps, and released nifty, imaginative new devices. Apple is known as the designer of the slickest devices in the world, but the Windows ecosystem is closing the gap.
I mean, there’s even a rumour that Microsoft will release a foldable tablet that looks like a notebook, running Windows 10. It’s the kind of weird swing-for-the-fences that makes Windows so exciting right now.
Meanwhile, the Mac has stagnated. No touchscreens, except for a “Touch Bar” on the high-end MacBook Pro that many have decried as a mere gimmick. The biggest change to the Mac’s operating system in the last few years was the integration of the Siri virtual assistant – which is still less helpful than Microsoft’s own Cortana.
If you want anything approaching a touchscreen computer from Apple, you have to go with an iPad Pro – but the iOS versions of apps like Photoshop or Final Cut pale in comparison to their Mac or PC equivalents.
Apple did release its powerful “iMac Pro” this month, and says it’s building a revamped version of its highest-end Mac Pro in 2018. But unless the latter machine brings a massive redesign, or some unforeseen change in focus, it feels like too little, too late.
I’m not saying I’d never use a Mac again. I used MacBooks for years, and found them to be darn fine computers. But if you’re interested in the future of computing, it’s happening in Windows 10 and in iOS, not in the Mac. Chances are pretty high that if I ever buy another Apple laptop again, it would be an iPad Pro, not a MacBook.