By Dennis Long, 19 August, 2023 Forum Hardware and Accessories Hi, I'm a windows user. What are the advantage of switching to a mac? How big the learning curve? I use Jaws for windows if that matters. Is there a way to play windows games on the mac? Options Log in or register to post comments Comments Bit of a buggy mess. Very high learning cur. There are people that are gonna say it has advantages but right now it’s a little buggy and kind of problematic. If you’re a Windows user, for now, I would say stay with them. If you’re really set on using a Mac, spend a lot of time learning. Ask 1 million questions. Go to the Apple Store. This website can be a good place for information. It can also be a little frustrating due to the varying range of skill. If you’re really interested in editing, Mac can be somewhat problematic. But surfing the web, email, things can be a good experience. Aside from deeper apple… Aside from deeper apple integration, nothing springs to mind that would suggest a Mac. The build quality is very good of the hardware, there are a few pieces of Mac specific software, ulysses for writing or logic for music production that may sway you but, as far as it goes for being a blind computer user, I'd suggest sticking with windows. Gaming on Mac, though possible, and becoming more so with crossover 23 introducing direct X 12, is very hit and miss. if you want to know an accessible game can indeed be played, stick with windows. Adding extra hoops to jump through with wine or VMs does not guarantee success, though does guarantee a lot of effort. I'd move to windows if I could get NVDA or narrator working well with 3D printing software, but so far I'm hitting a dead end. one thing I might say, VOCR, a plugin for VoiceOver that is an OCR is pretty good. I've not been able to get the same level of control with NVDA's OCR offering. Everything just feels a little bit of a struggle using a Mac as a blind person and requires a lot of learned habits. Mac Advantages I started using Windows since 2004, in 2014 I switched to Mac, since 2014 to early 2023 I attempted to switch back to Windows but it has been always with decisive return to Mac. VoiceOver is far behind JAWS and NVDA, accessibility and usability is much better on Windows, but I tried many Windows premium laptops and have never been happy with the quality of keyboards, silent and cool operations (no heating up, fan, keyboard clicks, unibody construction that leave no way for creaks and rattles), durability, battery life, performance, audio quality (input and output), and this is in comparison with Macs. My Mac has very minimal lag with my AirPods Pro, Scrivener is my writing app, and the app on Windows side is absolute disaster, Spotlight on Mac is very capable and fast in comparison to Windows search, NVDA crashes frequently on Windows, and this is based on my experience not something people have said, and the only way you can get it to start is to launch it again from the desktop. I had an HP Spectre, a Dell XPS, An Asus Zenbook, and more, they are not even close to Mac with the things I mentioned above. You asked for advantages so I will not comment on the several occasions where I felt the urge to bash my Mac to the wall and give it a nice bake in the oven. Nothing can be without shortcomings, you see your priorities and what you use a portable computer for, and then you decide with what machine to proceed. I miss my mac. I could do… I miss my mac. I could do way better audio editting on it, and not even using something as complex as Logic. Amadeus Pro is absolutely amazing. The ability to install a lot of iOS apps on the mac is pretty cool. I didn't find safari to be nearly as buggy as many people on this forum have described. The integration with all my other Apple devices was great. I don't have needs for heavy word processing anymore, but I used Pages in College, back when I got my first mac in 2010, and that was before a lot of work was done for accessibility later on in Pages. I still made it through. I may have, but don't really recall, having any of the text editting issues others have described, in either Text Edit or Pages. Unfortunately, I didn't like the experience of running a vm on the m1 macbook air, and bootcamp is still a no go for now on m1 and m2 chips. I depend on a few Windows programs for my online radio station. Had to sell my last mac to pay other things, and regret doing it all the time. Windows works, but I really miss the Mac. I'll be honest Depending on your use case, Mac isn't that great. For example, I can't select text in a webpage to copy and paste (for example, learning objectives from a textbook). You also can't Control + G in Numbers spreadsheets, which is unbeliveably stupid. It's also prone to bugs which Apple may fix in a few years or not at all. Google suite works okay, while Microsoft Office suite doesn't work great. Really, the only advantages of Mac is integration with your other Apple stuff, GarageBand and Logic Pro. The braille auto-detection is nice too, but doesn't seem to work in Safari (at least from my experience). JAWS has that now, I believe. I also like how easy the Mail app is. There's also some nice little features - VO + Shift + L for image descriptions like on your iPhone, VO + Shift + Z to copy the last spoken phrase. You can virtual machine Windows to play games. But that sounds like a bit of a hassle (Maybe it's really easy, but I've never tried it). I'm also not sure how well games would work on Windows in a virtual machine environment. Honestly unless you’re… Honestly unless you’re making music there isn’t much of an advantage of the windows, but if there’s one thing I like about Apple over windows that windows has less blood work then windows, so macOS wins on that one, plus, the way you think with your Apple devices is perfect,. Also, I like NVDA, it’s quicker, more simple, more easier, and less stressful. Advantages of Macs Over Windows Interoperability Works seamlessly with other devices in the Apple ecosystem including your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, AirPods and HomePods. Maintenance and security I spend 0 time on disk defragmentation, antivirus, animal ware and other tasks to keep my Mac operational. Reliability Overall, the OS is way more stable than Windows. I use both platforms for work on a daily basis and I can say with certainty that I spend less time fussing with my work Mac than I do with my work Windows machines. On Windows, apps like Chrome, Edge, Teams and excel often freeze and stop responding. the only issue I face on a daily basis with a Mac is MS Outlook which is garbage bloatware anyway. Yes, VoiceOver is buggy, but it's deeply embedded into Mac OS. And if you can show me an OS that has 0 bugs in it, I'll show you a pancake that can stand on end. Bear in mind JAWS is 30 year-old technology which is ancient in computer software. Value for Money I've had Macs for 14 years and despite not running the latest OS, these are still very capable machines for even some demanding tasks like video editing, audio editing and working on very large spreadsheets. They are still worth quite a bit of money on the market—certainly more than a garden-variety PC of the same age. AppleVis You have all of us to help you. :) Guess, ideally you have both… Guess, ideally you have both... My ideal setup would be a MacBook Air m3, or if they ever bring it out, the MacBook 12 inch for writing, and an Asus G14 for gaming. I'll hold off on the latter until Forza motorsport is released, but would love to be able to play last of us... saying that, it might be cheaper to just get a PS5 and an Xbox... The pretty simple games for the blind are playable through a VM on Mac. Some advantages Excellent hardware, a reliable UNIX operating system, fast performance, plenty of applications available, good integration with other Apple devices. My experience I switched to Mac in 2021 and until now, I've never wasted a thought on switching back to Windows. I used Windows machines with JAWS from 2007 to early 2021, and JAWS gradually developed to slow and unreliable and not very convenient piece of software. Special applications developed for blind people work great, but all the new stuff does only work in a very inconsistent way. On Mac, all interfaces can be used with the same set of navigation commands. I'm a Quick Nav user, so for navigation around interfaces of applications, I have to press left or right arrow, when selecting something, up plus down arrow. Interacting with Down plus Right arrow, stopping interaction with down plus left arrow. I also like the concept of the hierachical structure, I can enter an area with interaction and leave when stopping interaction. Therefore, User interfaces are not messed up and you don't have to tab around all the time until you find the element you were looking for. You simply interact with what you really need and don't have to go over all other elements. On Windows with JAWS, for example, in settings (WIN-I), you can only read through the texts besides the buttons and other controls using the touch cursor in JAWS or object navigation in NVDA. I really don't know what soo many people find convenient about this, in my opinion, the Mac, in this case, is more consistent and the usability seems a lot better than on Windows with NVDA and / or JAWS. MacOS + WindowsOS = For the win! Disclaimer: Don't judge me... 😶 Some decent reasons as to which is better, PC or Mac. Heh, anyone remember them old tv 'mercials? Anyways, I have done the school thing and the work thing using both OS' and I also do some casual gaming. Personally I am not a fan of JAWS, but my reasons are my own. I do enjoy working with a portable copy of NVDA however. There is something "freeing" about moving from one PC machine to another and only needing to run NVDA from my thumb drive to be good to go. I have a similar thumb drive for VO's portable preferences feature, because it can be tiresome to have to adjust screen reader settings everytime I am placed in front of a different machine. Having said all this, my best advice would be to get yourself an Intel-based Mac, preferably an iMac or Mac Pro as they out perform a laptop any day of the week. Make sure you have plenty of harddrive space and partition it to run Bootcamp and a copy of Windows (Win10 or Win11 preferred) Get rid of JAWS (sorry) and familiarize yourself with NVDA. I am aware others have posted their dislike for it, but I promise it is far more gaming-friendly than JAWS. Bottomline, you will have a very stable OS with MacOS, for surfing the inter webs, communicating with friends/family, and excellent productivity support. And you will have your PC partition to play all your games on. In the end, the sad fact is that while Macs are "capable" of gaming, gaming is not quite as supported or endorsed as Windows is. /end 2 cents. , I love the integration on Mac. the voice-over is far more integrated on Mac, then screen readers on windows. I really don't understand why Microsoft is very behind when it comes to integration of the screen reader (even though it has started now). In my opinion, VoiceOver is not buggy in the sense of you cannot do certain things. as some body said, no softer is bug free so it is up to you witch one you want to use. I don't know if anybody have mention this, but the biggest perk on Mac over windows is more independency. I was able to set up my Mac out of the box without anybody's help, as per windows, you will need a cited person to turn on the computer and install a screen-reader so you can have the control. I've set up a windows… I've set up a windows machine without sighted assistance. It uses narrator, micro soft's answer to VoiceOver. Saying that, it was windows 11 so things may have improved. Point about security and updates on Mac being better is a very fair one. It's not always front end function that matters, how things don't act are often just as important as how things do act. Without seeming to highjack this thread, what are people's views on Microsoft office on the different platforms? Word is the industry standard and, through recent exploration, it's okay on Mac, not great, but wondered if it was much easier to use over on the windows side of the track? It's my understanding that a lot of people use windows for work and Mac for personal, though this may not be through choice and may be because windows machines, on the whole, are cheaper for business. Windows I've set up Windows machines without sighted help for many years... as far back as 2019. Narrator has come a long way. Google Apps I would love to be a full time Mac user but I need to use Google apps quite a bit. Gmail and calendar work really well. Docs and Sheets work less well. You can read more here https://www.applevis.com/blog/taming-beast-google-docs-macos Response to Oliver - Microsoft Office I personally don't like how Word and Excel work on macOS. I've had times where Word won't read a document and simply says 'blank'. I also don't seem to get feedback when typing in Word. Excel on MacOS is a freaking nightmare with large spreadsheets. It seems to split it in coordinates, not like a seamless sheet, and won't navigate the entire sheet. Microsoft Office products work much more quicker and seamless on Windows (kinda no surprise there). I don't find the ribbons too much to deal with, just as simple as pressing Alt + H for Home or Alt + N for Insert, etc. It's a much, much nicer experience on the Windows side. Crisis mode and Google Suites Having used Windows for more or less 16 years, and a Mac simultaneously for the last 10 years, I'd say Google Suites Apps is a really good point. In my very own experience, using Google Docs on Safari has got significantly worse for the last couples years or so. However to be fair, since starting with Brave, a privacy-mindful browser written on Chromium, my experience has improved a lot. Besides, browsing the web, at least with NVDA as in my case, is a much more comfortable experience. Safari is so so, but certainly not good as it is on Windows. The things that really bugs me is the infamous "Safari is not responding" message. The convoluted endlessly nesting levels on webpages, in my opinion, is not quite a good approach either. On Windows side, yes it is really good when things work well. But soon as things cease to work, it can become a nightmare very fast. However, that is just a little bitter pill to swallow for the excellent flexibility and variety of choice it provides. For the last six months or so, I stopped using Windows altogether. Despite incredible bursts of anger and frustration amidst the tension and pressure of my degree, the Mac has served me very well actually. Son As a Mac and Windows user, I would honestly prefer Windows most times. When it comes to emailing, live streaming, and Microsoft app usage, Windows is a king. However, when it comes to music, production texting and many more things, the Mac is a bit better, however, the thing that makes me not fully switched to Windows is Windows 11 is absolutely absolutely poor design of the start menu.