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Why Macs became trendy among Web Developers?

  • # December 21, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Macs were popular with Graphic Designers for quite some time now. I don’t know why, maybe because certain graphic design apps used to work better on Macs, or maybe because Graphic designers value aesthetics of hardware more than most people.

    But recently Macs became popular among Web Developers as well and I wonder why this is the case.

    The answer can’t be a simple “Because Macs are better”, because if they were generally better then their market share wouldn’t be just 8%.

    So where is this trend coming from?

    Is it because many Web Designers came from the Graphic design world and brought this trend over?

    Is it because of the popularity of the iPhone / iPad which forced many Developers to buy Macs in order to develop for iOS devices?

    Does it have anything to do with the fact that the Operating System is based on Unix (but in that case why not Linux instead?)

    What do you think… and what OS are you using?

    # December 21, 2012 at 6:12 am

    As an avid Windows user who went OS X about a year ago, I think it is as simple as saying that they are generally better.

    The answer can’t be a simple “Because Macs are better”, because if they were generally better then their market share wouldn’t be just 8%.

    I think that statement fails to take other things into account, like the fact that Macs are much more expensive than your standard computer.

    # December 21, 2012 at 6:41 am

    > I think that statement fails to take other things into account, like the fact that Macs are much more expensive than your standard computer.

    Does this mean that the Web Developers demographic are people who are richer than people in most other industries?

    # December 21, 2012 at 7:02 am

    I remember Macs being popular among designers back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, before the web became mainstream, however, when the web did become mainstream (around 1994-ish), I would argue to say that most web developers/designers were working on Windows PC’s. My theory on why Mac’s seem to be more popular these days for web designers is this: It seems like a lot of “design” schools and/or universities teach on Macs for one, so all of the new whippersnappers coming out of design school learned on them. Another reason is that other designer-types, like you mentioned, migrated over to the web from other design media. A small part of it probably has to do with aesthetics of the hardware/software as well. The popularity of iPhone and iPad probably have something to do with the recent interest in Apple products too, but for as long as I can remember (and I’m pretty old), Macs have always been the “preferred” computer for designers. Finally, I have witnessed first hand, the people who buy Macs just because they think they’re better, but can’t tell you one reason why. In all honesty, I think a lot of it is just because Apple is an “in” brand lately, but as long as you have a text editor, you can design web pages on just about anything.

    # December 21, 2012 at 7:37 am

    I bought my first Mac at the start of the year after using WIndows for development for years.

    It was the best choice I ever made, now I’ve got an iMac & a Macbook Air for all my development needs.

    The available software is better, the hardware is more reliable, the OS is more reliable and more customisable.

    My efficiency has more than doubled due to the available programs and just the ease of use. If people want to call me a hipster for using Mac’s, that’s fine, I guess I am a hipster that’s faster than they are.

    # December 21, 2012 at 7:40 am

    @Zoom I can’t comment on that as I haven’t done any research; I’m just presenting ideas.

    # December 21, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I didn’t mean this to be another Mac VS Windows thread. What I am curious is how this trend started.

    For example why you two switched to a Mac about a year ago? Why you didn’t switch to what you believe is better, faster etc, many years ago?

    # December 21, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Because I saved up and finally had the money to invest in a £2.5K, 27 inch iMac. My original Windows machine was less than half the price, but you get what you pay for.

    # December 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my PC for working on new designs.

    However if I had the money, I’d buy a Mac.

    The OS on Mac is so much more intuitive than Windows 7/8. Windows are making good progress and I am currently running Windows 8 now, and I do love it. But I would prefer to work on a Mac.

    I think I’d instantly feel more productive when it comes to my work when working, I don’t know why, but I just feel I would =)

    # December 21, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Also, Mac’s feel more inspirational, the design of the OS, the form of the hardware help you focus and inspire your own designing and developing. The feel of using a Mac is so much awesomer than with Windows.

    # December 21, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I work on a Mac everyday at work and on a PC (hand built) at home. I also have a Macbook Pro which I rarely use anymore. Ultimately, I feel the choice boils down to personal preference.

    With that said, I don’t really think you can make the argument that Mac hardware is better or that OS X is more customizable than Windows.

    Macs used to be infinitely more customizable than they currently are, as over the years Apple has moved towards “dumbing down tech” for the masses, while Microsoft has done just the opposite. Without question, if you want to get the most out of Windows, you better be a techie and be prepared to do some research. But you have unpredicted power over your operating system, ten fold over that of the current state of OS X. Another important point is that my PC at home has top of the line hardware which I can upgrade whenever I like: something you sure as hell can’t do with a Mac.

    I’m not sure where the claim of “Macs have better reliability” comes from either, as my PC has never had a hardware failure (2.8 GHz Intel i7, 12GB DDR3 RAM, EVGA GTX 580, 120GB SSD primary drive) and can run for weeks on end without necessitating a restart.

    As to why Macs became trendy, I think a large portion of the Mac love stems from Apple’s mobile market share. The average consumer loves simplicity: they want products that work immediately out of the box. They also like products that seamlessly work together. So having a family of products like iPads, iPhones, iMacs, and Powerbooks that all look, feel, and operate the same is a smart marketing tactic. Also, Major graphic & web schools are chock full of Apple products, so designers are kind of led down the Cupertino road during education (I know I was).

    # December 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I always here the argument that you “can’t customise macs and that they’re closed systems now”. Is nobody aware that you can basically do anything you want if you’re prepared to use the terminal or get 3rd party apps?

    # December 21, 2012 at 11:48 am

    > Also, Mac’s feel more inspirational, the design of the OS, the form of the hardware help you focus and inspire your own designing and developing. The feel of using a Mac is so much awesomer than with Windows.

    Wow, @andy_unleash. That was freaky ;)

    # December 21, 2012 at 11:48 am

    You are only speaking about the software customization world, Andy. Can you add hardware to your iMac? Nope! That is a hindrance my friend, not a benefit.

    And yes, from my post you should have been able to glean that I’m a techie and know how to use Terminal. It does not change anything I said.

    It’s like the Android/iPhone argument: would you rather be an administrator of your device of just a user?

    So far, you guys have not pinpointed any actual benefit besides “it feels better”.

    # December 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I can’t speak for everyone out there, but from personal experience as both a Mac and Windows user, over the last 20 years. Windows was my go-to OS for the majority of my career in IT and print, mostly because it was (and still is) the standard in most offices (outside of media agencies). I thought OSX 10.0 was terribly buggy and crashed more, yes MORE, than my Windows XP PC did at the time.

    Fast-forward to my first Macbook where I was introduced to a more stable and accessible OSX, and I fell in love with the software/hardware. I think all Macs are solid hardware products, but I still can’t validate the high price tag for my Desktop at home. I still use both operating systems in my workflow (Macbook for web, PC for Graphics and Video) and haven’t had any trouble on either side (although I can’t speak for Windows 8).

    To quote my mentor:

    Question: Do you use a red hammer, or a blue hammer to hammer a nail?

    Answer: Who cares? Just hit the damn nail!

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