I started this list about four years ago when I first got in touch with OSX and the hype around it. The usual claim: its usability is amazing. But it’s not that difficult to spot serious usability issues. There are not that many—so it’s worth making a list (as opposed to other systems ;)), but it should show clearly: OSX has a great user experience (aka UX), which is the actual and understandable reason for the hype—but that must not be mixed up with usability.
As a coder and writer, I have my hands on the keyboard. Always. Touch typing. In general, OSX cannot be controlled with the keyboard only, thus you are forced to switch between keyboard and mouse or touchpad regularly.
delete key on the Apple laptop keyboard (only
Fn+backspace to simulate the delete key)
Cmd+<>, thus, it’s not possible to send them away with the keyboard once they lost the focus.
Cmd+Backspace the cursor gets reset to the topmost position in the list instead of moving to the previous or next item, thus making it very frustrating to clean-up a large, distributed set of items from a long list.
Thus, working with keyboard only (which is the most efficient way while coding) is almost impossible. 🙁
Despite that my MacBook is called “Pro” it’s lacking basic pro features.
Something positive just to lighten up the post a bit: the power adapter is designed perfectly, plus every adapter fits every Mac, thus forgetting yours at home is not such a big thing! That’s great, no doubt about it.
Cmd+W closes a window (e.g. a browser tab),
Cmd+Q quits the entire application… Guess what, the keys for
W are just exactly next to each other on every keyboard and therefore it’s easy to hit
Cmd+Q accidentally. Sadly it’s the same for Linux and similar for Microsoft Windows:
+ button in the upper left does not maximize the window horizontally (it gets widen to a width OSX “considers” reasonable) plus there is only a single resize grip on each window in the lower right. Thus, it requires precise moving and scaling of the window to get it fullscreen—instead of having just a button to click on—or double clicking the title bar of the window to maximize it as usually supported in other OSes.
One question remains: With respect to financial success, is UX more important than usability and utility? According to this list and the success of Apple—though it seems the peak has been passed—the answer is yes.
Also, this list is not meant to be badmouthing Apple in general, I still consider Apple’s “computing products”—including MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads—to be some of the best hardware-software combinations available today, though, I definitely prefer my CrunchBang for being super fast and slim, efficient, highly configurable, completely controllable via the keyboard, and open source! 🙂
p.s. I stopped using OSX at version “Snow Leopard” at the end of 2012 so I might miss the latest features.