Coming from the dark side (Windows user, first time Mac buyer)...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by devynquinn, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. devynquinn macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2014
    So, I have made the decision to get a MB Air because I needed something small, light and portable, with a decent battery life for my new job. The laptop I was using is basically a brick with almost zero battery life. Toting it and keeping it near an outlet was is a drag. The Mac arrived a few days ago, and it's like a spaceship landing. I'm treating the thing with kid gloves, mostly because I have read earlier threads that the machine does not appreciate being manhandled in any way. I'm almost scared to breathe around it!

    Anyway, I am a long-time Windows user. Love PC's, have no problems, even with 8.1. I have to admit switching to a Mac OS is like walking through Wonderland. Everything is similar, but oddly different. I am slowly working my way through learning the environment. I won't say it is awful, but it seems take a few more steps to get to the destinations I need to get to, LOL.

    Now, I have a question: I understand the OS is updating soon, to Yosemite. Should I stay with the one that came on the machine awhile, or should I go ahead and upgrade when the new OS is released? I am already receiving error messages that some programs won't work unless I upgrade (like iCloud integration).

    If a few long time Mac users would chime in, I would be grateful.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Thx in advance!

    Dev :D
  2. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    I see no reason to upgrade the OS when Yosemite become available. In addition to my MBA, I have a Mac Pro (with 6 HDDs and two SSDs) Right now I'm alternating between Mavericks and the latest version of the Yosemite Public Beta. With each release Yosemite is getting better and more stable.

    As far as the MBA being fragile, I don't believe it's any more fragile than any other electronic device. When I handle my 11" I handle it like I would any other laptop or my phone.

    Congratulations on finally coming over to Macintosh and Welcome.

  3. capathy21 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    Welcome! I switched to Mac not too long ago and I could never go back. Did you get the 11 or 13 inch Air? It's up to you on the OS but I am running Yosemite Beta 3 and to me it is much better looking than Mavericks.
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Apple rarely gives users a reason NOT to upgrade.

    It's not like a Microsoft "upgrade" where a lot of things are different and a small number of things are a little better.

    Occasionally there are bugs with the initial versions of major OS X updates but they get sorted out fairly quickly. You might want to wait until the X.0.1 release if you're conservative.
  5. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    There should be no reason not to install to Yosemite. However, you can wait one week or two after the release so you can check if there are any news of users complaining about some unexpected flaw. If you feel safe, then go ahead and upgrade your system.
  6. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    I use 10.10 and (almost) all software I use works perfectly fine.

    The only one that broke was smcFanControl and FanControl. Yosemite changed something with the fan numbers or whatever, and broke all fan control software. Macs Fan Control and Temperature Gauge Pro have already updated to 10.10 though. But I don't need fan control software anyway :p

    Everything else (Chrome, Firefox, Java, X11, etc) works fine.
    Yosemite didn't change much inside like Mavericks did. Mavericks broke a lot of old things like Unity 2 games.
  7. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Really? Usually is the other way around. Current apps take time to adjust to the new OS.

    Only delicate thing about the Air: Don't drop it with the corners pointing down, it will dent and crumble in.

    Am personally in the school of, Don't upgrade until there is a feature I must have. Did it in Windows, doing it in OSX, even my iPhone is on IOS6, I hate the new IOS stark look. Stick with what works for me and like.
  8. joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    I'm a die-hard Microsoft fan gone Apple.
    Good choice :)

    If you're a Windows user, of course, you will find a lot of things similar because that's the nature of modern desktop operating systems; having windowing, drag-n-drop, folders, etc.

    A few suggestions I would make to ease you into the transition, and general tips:

    • Gestures

      You should take advantage of the trackpad as heavily as possible. It really will enhance your experience. Check the trackpad settings control panel for all the possible gestures.

      Also, change clicks from press to tap. that way, you just have to tap the trackpad like you would in Windows. Also, you may want to change the scroll direction. Sadly, mouse and trackpad scroll direction have to be the same. So pick one and stick with it.
    • Finder Tricks + Preview

      Using 'Tags' to organize your files is a handy feature I use. It's similar to Windows' library feature in that it ignores physical location, but groups files together. You just have more control over what to include. (Individual file vs entire folders). Example tags: Code, Sheet Music, Wallpapers, School, Work

      You can change the tags in Finder Preferences > tags.

      Another handy feature is Preview. Simply press 'Spacebar' while selecting a file and you'll see a preview. This comes in handy when you don't want to launch a program, but you want to see the file contents. And it works great. I usually use this to preview documents, webpages, and sheet music.

      Renaming files: Hit 'Enter' on a folder/file. Took me a while to figure this out.
    • Installing 3rd party apps
      System Preferences > Security > General. Click the lock, and then allow apps from anywhere. It will make your mac less secure, but you won't have to approve an app to open through System Preferences each time you want to run a 3rd party app.
    • Essential Apps

      Not sure what your work entails, but I recommend:
      • Mailbox (BETA) - You'll have to wait for a betakey.
      • OneNote - Note-taking software
      • Skype
      • Brackets - Code-editor from Adobe
      • Muzzy - iTunes quick controls, shows music playing
      • Dropbox

    • Mission Control + Launchpad + Expose

      Taking advantage of Mission control makes the experience really good.
      Mission Control allows you to set up multiple desktop spaces, and switch between fullscreen apps.

      Pinch 4 fingers together to open launch pad. So anything you don't want on the dock, there it is.

      Swipe 3 fingers up to open mission control. You'll see all open windows for quick window switching, and at the top you'll see all desktops and fullscreen apps. If you move your mouse to the top right, you'll see a plus. That creates a new space. Then you can have multiple spaces; one for work, one for play, etc.

      Then you can 3-finger swipe left/right to your work space when your boss comes around, and swipe back to your play space. Oh and between fullscreen apps as well.
    • Stoplights

      Unlike windows, the window controls are located on the top-left of a Window.

      Red - close window (Does not quit app; you must manually quit via dock)
      Yellow - Minimize
      Green - best fit window contents; not simply maximize like windows.

      You should take advantage of Fullscreen; just click the expansion arrows on the top-right. To get out, just move your mouse to the top and un-expand the window.

    Lastly, as a side note, you should use Safari over other browsers. Unless you have a reason to use another browser, don't. Safari gets best performance and battery on a Mac, generally. Also, check out extensions like ad-block and ones to disable flash on webpages. It blew my mind that they were actually useful. I'm used to junky toolbars on Windows. These are full utilities.

    I'm assuming you some of this already, but for anyone reading this, here's my tips. Enjoy! Congratulations on your purchase.
  9. AllergyDoc macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2013
    Utah, USA
    Ditto on learning the trackpad. It makes certain tasks so much easier and intuitive.
  10. octothorpe8 macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2014
    I've owned quite a few Mac laptops going back about 15 years, and I think the Air is about the least fragile yet. Less creaking, fewer loose parts, a general feeling of solidity. No spinning hard drive, no optical drive to break. And the parts all just seem to fit together perfectly, and when it's closed, I have no problem tossing it down onto my bed or couch.
  11. b3av3r macrumors regular


    Dec 9, 2012
    Yes :):):):):)

    Now any time I touch a PC laptop I try to go back in the web browser before realizing I am wasting my time. I never would have thought the trackpad could make things run so much smoother, but now I can move between building presentations, doing research, web browser, and email/imessages in a flash without missing a beat or searching for the screen I need.

    As far as the OS update, I always wait a week or two to read the real world user reviews/praises/complaints/bugs before updating. However, I do this with anything that brand new or a major overhaul of something current.
  12. Beachguy macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2011
  13. devynquinn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2014
    Thanks for your answers, guys. I appreciate each one. To answer an earlier question, I got the MBA with core i7, 8 gig ram, 128 SSD. Since I have over 1 TB storage on my One Drive account, I didn't see a reason to pony up for a larger drive. I only keep music on the MBA, and the rest is synched to One Drive so I can access it to my work desktops. My one problem now is getting the MAc to work on my Windows Network. So far it doesn't want to play nice. Working on that.


    A dedicated iJunkie, but first time Mac owner.
  14. tillsbury macrumors 65816

    Dec 24, 2007
    Another tip is to search the net for keyboard shortcuts. There are hundreds of shortcuts throughout OSX that are not clearly shown. They are the solution to all the things you used to be able to do quickly on Windows but can't work out why you can't do easily on a Mac.
  15. devynquinn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2014
    I have learned a few that are getting me around, but it is looking like the Mac will be back on its way to Apple Monday morning. I simply do not love this thing the way I thought I would, and the battery life I am getting is an abysmal 5-6 hours. This is light internet browsing and email. No Netflix, no heavy gaming or apps, not even music 'cos I use my phone for that. I am getting nowhere close to 8 hours, much less 12.
  16. JoelBC macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    Two things...

    1. Something is not right, you should be getting much more that 5 to 6 hours...I know that I do even when running VM.

    2. You need more time...the best thing I did when I changed is to stop trying to do things the same way I did in Windows but rather to do things the way OS X does, this helped immeasurably...

    Hope that helps,

  17. joshlalonde macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2014
    If all you need is light usage, then get an iPad?

    Did you get the 11" or 13"? I have a 13" and I get closed more than 12 hours of usage normally.
  18. Slimmyhendrix macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2014
    I have to day that after fish hours of continuous use my battery bar said 84% on my 2013 mba I just bought.

    I agree everything is different and it is taking a lot of brain crunching to adapt to a new interface but, like all other apple device I have used, it just works pretty seamlessly
  19. SusanK macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2012
    The Mac should get a lot more battery time than that. Definitely let Apple have a look.
  20. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    You need to run the app called Activity Monitor that comes standard with the machine. It's like Task Manager for the Mac. It will tell you what has been using your CPU and wasting your battery power.

    "Light internet browsing" may not actually be so light if you are visiting pages with poorly-written Flash-based advertising. That stuff can use an enormous amount of power in the background without you realizing it. This is not specific to the Mac--PC laptops have the same "problem."

    Also, doing email might not be so lightweight either. If you recently set up your email accounts the the computer had to download/sync all your mail and it takes a while to index all of that so you can search it. After a while, using email should take very little power. How many times did you experience 5-6 hour battery life, or is it just the one time? Or are you saying 5-6 because that's the estimate that the battery menu gives you in the top corner? (Because that estimate varies dramatically based on what you've been doing with the computer for the past minute or two.)

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