This is something I’ve been (irrationally) thinking about lately as my workflows and tools I use have changed.
It seems like as time goes on, the concept of being a Mac user has changed in my mind. Looking back, say, 10 years ago, it was obvious: I was a passionate Mac user. I loved the OS, I loved native apps, they made my work better and more enjoyable.
Now, I look at the tools and apps I get a lot of value out of – Obisidan, Kindle, Brave, Spotify, Todoist, Discord, Gmail, Slack, 1Password – and I don’t know that my workflows would change meaningfully at all if I had to switch to a Windows machine. Sure, I’d lose some utility apps (Hazel comes to mind), but surely there would be suitable alternatives on Windows.
As an amateur athlete, I even wonder some days whether abandoning the Apple Watch for something super performance oriented like Whoop would make sense.
Sometimes I yearn for the old days, and try to switch out my tools for the native solutions I enjoyed previously – Apple Music instead of Spotify, Things instead of Todoist, Bear or Craft instead of Obsidian, Mail or Spark instead of Gmail, Apple Books instead of Kindle. When I do this, I find myself in awe of how beautiful the apps are, but also jarred by how much limited they can be functionally.
I guess really, I’m pondering two questions. First, how do you evaluate the trade offs between native apps and cross-platform/web apps, and how do you decide which is the best tool for the given job? Second, in a world where lots seems to be trending towards cross-platform or Electron based experiences, what does it even mean to be a Mac user?