It has become a kind of unspoken truth that programmers all around the world prefer Mac over Windows for any kind of programming or web development. It is of no wonder that, of course, personal preferences, in this case, are unavoidable.
But one thing remains constant. If you ask a room full of programmers which one they would prefer- Mac or Windows, 98% of the votes would go to Mac. So, why do programmers use Macs in the first place?
Programmers use Macs over Windows because of the Unix command line, cross-platform compatibility, access to open-source software, security, and quality of the Mac.
There are always pros and cons to everything in this world. Let’s see exactly why do programmers use Macs so much.
Why Do Programmers Use Macs?
Previously, many developers and programmers were asked this same question, “why do you use Mac?” They have shared many opinions on this topic, backing up their choice perfectly.
Before Apple came out with Mac, the first and only reliable choice for programming was Windows. However, since Apple entered the market with its plethora of advantages and benefits, the programmers switched to using Mac pretty fast.
Some of the reasons for this preference are stated below:
1. UNIX and LINUX Command Line
The UNIX system is vastly appreciated in the world of programming. UNIX provides all the necessary tools to complete complex programming tasks. The development-centric tools allow a programmer to run your programs immediately without any hassle.
Of course, they love the fact that all the tools they need are conveniently up and running whenever they need them. UNIX is also more secure, stable, and flexible compared to any other operating system.
macOS has run entirely on a UNIX-based operating system for the last 15 years.
Therefore, it has everything a programmer needs already. It supports commands from any language and has a well-stocked ecosystem with plenty of development-based programming software.
Loading external software or systems is no need to get the work done seamlessly.
LINUX is operable on both Mac and Windows. LINUX is a great operating system for developers and programmers alike. It is full of development software and very similar to UNIX.
Paired with the excellent service Mac, it can be the perfect device for any kind of programmer. Hence, even LINUX users tend to go for Mac to program.
2. Quality Security
UNIX-based Mac provides a lot more security than Windows. Hackers run amongst online software all the time using malware and viruses. This malware can easily affect a program and ruin months and even years of hard work for a programmer.
That would be a nightmare for any programmer. Because of UNIX, Macs are more secure against these types of software. They prevent any kind of malware from infiltrating the operating system, making a perfect and safe environment for programming.
3. Best Software Support
And to access all of these, macOS is a perfect choice. Mac’s UNIX-based operating system has incredible creative software support every step of the way. Only Mac can provide a programmer with these user-friendly, high quality and efficient applications.
Windows can provide a few of these applications too. But it is mostly dependent on Adobe CC, which is not enough for professional programmers.
Macbooks give you access to a huge collection of tools. It has developed tools like-
- Source control GUIs, e.g., for SVN, Cornerstone, and Versions
- For git, Tower, and SourceTree
- Quick-lookup documentation viewers, e.g., Dash
- GUI design helpers, e.g., xScope
- FIle comparison and merge tools, e.g., Kaleidoscope
- File transfer tools, e.g., Transmit
- Coding tools like VMware Fusion, Parallels Desktop
- Text editor tools such as Atom, BBEdit, SublimeText, SubEthaEdit, TextMate
The existence of these tools makes using Mac comfortable and trustworthy for any programmer. Working on Windows will not provide them with this advantage.
5. Cross-Platform Connectivity
While programming, there will be tools that are only available in Windows and tools only available in Mac OS.
Working on Windows does not give you a choice to switch between these operating systems. However, Mac has the advantage of switching between these and working to its fullest potential.
If you use Mac OS X, you can run all types of systems without trouble. But you can’t run OS X in a Windows system.
You’ll need to install a hacked version, and even then, there will be trouble running it. Mac OS X can virtually run both Windows and LINUX without any issues.
If you’re creating a program to run in iOS, it is impossible to run that programme in Windows. You will need a Mac to create and run programs for iOS. To even run in Safari, you’ll need a Mac because Windows will not support it.
6. Multiple Browsers Support
Macbook can access three of the best internet browsers unconditionally. So, testing out programs on these browsers is always right within your grasp. Programmers need WebKit to test out their programs on browsers.
The best WebKit performance is certified by Safari, which is only a Macbook privilege. Windows don’t have Safari. Safari can connect to the iOS simulator and run the program to test it out.
Pros And Cons Of Using Macbook As A Programmer
As a programmer, you must first weigh the pros and cons of using a Macbook. You can take a look here to get an idea of the pros and cons.
Pros of Macbook
- UNIX compatibility
- Battery life
- Access to necessary tools
- Smooth programming features
- The best software and browser support
- The quality build of the Macbook
- Best Security
Cons of Macbook
- Too expensive
- Repairs cost a lot of money.
- Unable to upgrade RAM/HDD configuration
- A limited number of ports
The cons of using a Macbook aren’t really much. As long as you can afford it, it is undoubtedly the best for programming.
You can also use your Macbook with a closed lid which is called the Clamshell mode. It is so much more convenient and simple for programming anywhere that can’t be found in any other place than a Mac.
You can Set Up MacBook Clamshell Mode automatically by closing the lid of Macbook Pro and M1 Max Macs. Older versions than these will require an extra tap on the external keyboard after closing the lid to Set Up MacBook Clamshell Mode.
How To Choose The Best MacBook For Programming
Now that we’ve established that Macbook will be unbeatable, if you are into programming, you might be wondering how to choose the best one out of all the models out there. While considering getting a new Macbook, you need to take a look into these things:
- CPU: Mac runs on i7 or even above processor, which is really fast. A good processor of this caliber will be perfect for programming.
- GPU: Each Macbook already has a high GPU installed, so there is no need to worry about that. High GPU is a must when you’re programming games.
- RAM: Macbooks have a RAM of 16 GB, so you’re good to go in this category too.
- Battery: Macbooks have a battery life of 11 hours to 20 hours which is more than enough for a workday if you are working in a tech company.
- Storage: Programming requires the storage of a minimum of 256 GB, whereas Macbook offers 3TB to TB storage.
Considering all the points above, the best Macbook for programming would be-
- MacBook Pro 16”
- MacBook Pro 13”
- MacBook Air
Any of these Macbooks will be the best you can get out there. If your budget covers any of these three, you need to immediately get one that suits you most. Undoubtedly, it will give you the best experience while programming.
Is Windows Bad For Programming?
Windows is not bad for programming. It just is a little less effective compared to Mac. Professional programmers or developers will not choose Windows to do their work.
The reason is that the command line is not as good as the UNIX command line. Plus, installing the choice of programming language is a bit harder on Windows due to the lack of Homebrew or APT.
However, Windows 11 is a pretty amazing choice for programming. Windows added new features in this operating system which solved many complaints about Windows previously made. So, using Windows 10 or 11 is not bad for programming.
So, why do programmers use Macs? When choosing a device like this, personal preference and comfort come into play the most. At the end of the day, programming is all about enjoying the experience and making the most out of the time you input.
Now, you should stick to what works best for you. Many programmers worldwide got to experience the wonderful privileges Macbook has to offer and went for it. That’s why Mac is so popular amongst programmers.