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How happy are you guys with OS X these days?


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#1 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 01:43 PM

Wondering how happy IMG'ers are with OS X these days from an OS perspective (not a hardware perspective)?


Personally, I am quite content with the state of OS X these days, with a few minor annoyances. Overall the OS feels stable, fast, and has great application support (many of my 'stranger' work apps have Mac ports these days, which was not the case a few years ago).

My main annoyances:
  • When I first got the machine I had to run a terminal command in order to unlock the ability to run apps from 'Everywhere' - this should never require a terminal command, as the ability to do this was already buried in system preferences
  • Office for Mac is terrible compared to Office for Windows (this one isn't Apple's fault). In Windows, the Office apps open faster, have more features, have a better UI, and are more responsive.
  • Still need a few 3rd party apps to make the OS do some pretty basic things. (BetterSnapTool to get Windows like windows-snapping. USBoverdrive to get mice to perform as wanted with normal scroll wheel acceleration and no mouse acceleration.)
  • Better backwards compatibility. I just want each major OS update to not break software that is only a few years old.
  • Finder is still inferior to Windows Explorer in terms of features
Main things I think it does better than Windows:
  • High DPI. using a retina screen in OS X has been a great experience for years now. It is not the case in Windows. Microsoft still has to improve in making sure the majority of 3rd party software works well with high DPI displays. (Microsoft's apps themselves are great, but High DPI scaling doesn't work great with many 3rd party apps in Windows).
  • File structure. I don't like how Windows tends to show you shortcuts instead of the actual file much of the time, specifically for application files. Although OS X is getting more similar to Windows in this regard
  • Security. OS X enables FileVault (disk encryption) by default and has dropped support for out of date technologies like PPTP VPN.

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#2 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 02:20 PM

Unhappy enough to run Windows full time for like two years now.

Stability: OS X 10.10 has been awful on my Mac Pro, 10.11 not much better in this regard, didn't even try 10.12. Now maybe these stability issues (frequent kernel panics, freezes, Wi-Fi issues) would be solved by a fresh install of the OS, but this shouldn't be necessary in the first place.

Graphics drivers/OpenGL performance: very poor. +50 to +100% performance gain under Windows on the same hardware (GTX 680) is just ludicrous.

#3 macdude22

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 04:00 PM

I am totally ok with removing the GUI interface to completely disable Gatekeeper. I would not be ok with removing the ability completely, but I am not sure what environment you are in that you would want to completely disable Gatekeeper. I'm barely ok with giving users the ability to bypass Gatekeeper.

Office 2016 is amazing and getting more amazinger by the day. Paul Bowden's APEX team has performed nothing less than a miracle in revamping the Macintosh versions. They are intune with their customers, and very Macintosh oriented. That said Excel is still single threaded so Excel 2016 in a VM under Windows can potentially be faster than running Excel natively. This is probably fine for most, but I have met some Windows Excel wizards in in the financial industry that would be limited by both the performance and missing keyboard shortcuts. There are some workarounds.

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Natural Scrolling 4 life (I use a trackpad). USBOverdrive is real nice for my joystick tho.

Backward Compatibility. I nearly went postal when 10.11 broke Command & Conquer like a month after it's release. Things breaking from release to release has been bad lately, with a lot of pressure from yearly major releases. After how half baked 10.12 is (and how many enterprise cases I have open) I pray to $deity that Apple bumps future major releases like 10.13 back to an 18 month cycle minimum. With huge changes like APFS coming down the pipe I'd be ok with longer than 18 month.

Finder is amazing you are totally rong. I absolutely don't use a finder replacement (PathFinder) because everything and anything you could need is built right into Finder. Crazy to think otherwise. *hides PathFinder*

Windows Active Hours are terrible and I hate them and they should burn in a fire. IF anything should not be buried in terminals and regedit it's disabling Active Hours. :)
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#4 mattw

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 04:56 PM

I tend to cycle between thinking "it's never been better" and real frustration when I find a bug or annoyance....

I've always been an early adopter so have had to work around things over the years and Apple do tend to have a habit now and then of throwing out all the code and starting again which means less features in the short term, but hopefully a brighter future down the line. For example iPhoto to Photos, RAVE to OpenGL to Metal...

I find I use the Finder less and less and most things can be managed better elsewhere within specific apps - maybe that is because of using iOS daily as well.

Sierra itself has been very stable so far (touch wood) but I have some applications that are less stable - recently for example iTunes which has been not responding on waking from sleep - maybe 12.5.5 will help... also I'm one of no doubt very few Mac owners who play movies and TV shows on my Mac from iTunes with 5.1 surround sound and the OS still doesn't handle switching back and forth with stereo well. Sometimes after playing surround the output level drops and can't be fixed until a restart and it doesn't handle it well when a FaceTime call comes in at the same time, it pauses playback normally but there is normally no sound until you kill the call and call back.
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#5 Frigidman™

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 05:09 PM

Considering I still use an prefer 10.6.8 ... that may be enough of an answer.

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#6 Cougar

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 05:40 PM

Sierra has been solid for me (although the Touch Bar has some bugs). I just have a series of small nitpicks, whereas whenever I use Windows, it's like, "seriously?? It works like this??"

I don't find newer versions any buggier than "the good old days," and its major problems, like graphics performance, have forever been problems. Though Apple continues to do perplexing things once in a while like kill battery time remaining (all hail iStat Menus.)

Really looking forward to the new file system in 10.13 this year.

View Postmacdude22, on 24 January 2017 - 04:00 PM, said:

Office 2016 is amazing and getting more amazinger by the day. Paul Bowden's APEX team has performed nothing less than a miracle in revamping the Macintosh versions. They are intune with their customers, and very Macintosh oriented. That said Excel is still single threaded so Excel 2016 in a VM under Windows can potentially be faster than running Excel natively. This is probably fine for most, but I have met some Windows Excel wizards in in the financial industry that would be limited by both the performance and missing keyboard shortcuts. There are some workarounds.


I'm still using Word 2011. I work in Word's comments a lot, and I find the lack of 2011's bubbles makes a lot of comments harder to parse. You also can't create a nice compact toolbar anymore. 2016 also engaged my fans to an unreasonable degree. I will probably try it again when Touchbar support comes out to see if it's any better.

#7 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 01:35 AM

I am unsure as to where I stand at the moment. The OS itself I am quite happy with, apart from Finder/networking, but the software that is bundled has taken huge steps backwards the last couple of years. Hardware I won't even mention since I am not allowed to, but in that aspect I am not positive either.

OSX/macOS: Very stable for me and has always been so. Somewhat fast, but only on an SSD. On a HDD it is such a pain to use. Spotlight takes 10 seconds to come up with hits on my work iMac which has an HDD, while it takes less than a second on my SSD equipped iMac at home. Finder and networking needs some serious work, as they are both acting as if they were constructed in the late 90's from a stability and speed POV. But otherwise Finder is fine for me functionality wise. I would like some more colors and 3D (Not skeumorphism though) in the GUI again. And I do feel some annoyance that iOS is the clear focus now, and macOS has taken a backseat with very slow progress.

iCloud: By now iCloud seems to be quite stable for me, finally. A tad slow syncing photos between units, but other than that, quite happy.

iTunes 12: Whoever designed that UI should be shot. Give me colors and an easy GUI back, iTunes 9/10 style and I'll be happy. iPhone/iPad syncing is also completely fraked.

Safari 10: A huge pile of Jar Jar binks! It is crashing, moves stuff between tabs (!), locks up all the time, has rendering errors, and my cursor keeps going invisible. Funny, I was very happy with Safari 9 and previous releases.

Mac App store: Needs a huge overhaul from a search perspective. Finding new stuff is practically impossible unless you know what you are looking for.

Photos: Quite happy with this piece of software. Only 2 needs are a world map with marks from all the photos I've taken that has GPS coordinated embedded, and iCloud syncing of smart folders.

Pages: Image embedding and WYSIWYG editing is complete crap now with the new release. Unfortunate, because that was one of the best things that the old Pages had over Word. Quite happy with the GUI otherwise. Not happy with the removal of most Applescript support.

Mail: Acting weird as it always have, but at least I don't appear to be loosing any emails.
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#8 the Battle Cat

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 10:13 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 25 January 2017 - 01:35 AM, said:

A huge pile of Jar Jar binks!

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#9 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 02:10 PM

I have mixed feelings about it. As it is now, I am almost always in Windows. The apps I use are installed and work in both places with very little appreciable difference for me. Windows 10 is the best Windows Microsoft has ever shipped by a good measure. OneDrive is superior to iCloud in the control and reliability it offers in my experience although in fairness, one can get most of (not all) the benefits in macOS by installing it there. I'd agree with macdude22 that the team that works on Office for Mac has done an outstanding job of shipping high quality apps that feel right in macOS and work really well. In fact, I like Outlook on Mac better because it offers a unified inbox that the Windows version has never offered for some odd reason. It's a minor thing but I do miss it in Windows. I'd also agree that Windows 10 is significantly faster to bring up a usable desktop on a traditional spinning hard disk which is nice since that is what is inside this iMac. Last but not least the greatest negative I've experienced with macOS is the move to annual releases that break stuff. I hate that. I really, really hate that.
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#10 macdude22

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 03:02 PM

10.10 and later are optimized for low latency storage, pure and simple. Sierra continued that trend. The last macOS that really is usable on spinning rust is 10.9, fusion drive not withstanding. APFS will not be kind to spinning rust.
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#11 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 03:07 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 25 January 2017 - 03:02 PM, said:

10.10 and later are optimized for low latency storage, pure and simple. Sierra continued that trend. The last macOS that really is usable on spinning rust is 10.9, fusion drive not withstanding. APFS will not be kind to spinning rust.

Looks like Apple silently upgraded the base 5K iMac to a 7200rpm drive. My boss bought the base model for work last year and the 5400rpm HDD is a crime against humanity. Such a beautiful machine that was knee capped by having to wait 5+ seconds in order to do anything by the extremely popsnizzlety 5400rpm drive. I still cannot believe that Apple was ok with shipping that. Base drive in every iMac should be a fusion drive at minimum.
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#12 macdude22

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 03:17 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 25 January 2017 - 03:07 PM, said:

Base drive in every iMac should be a fusion drive at minimum.

it's not like that paltry 24GB base fusion drive can cost them very much anyway (yet oh so helpful in the day to day performance arena).
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#13 Frost

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 04:21 PM

I'm pretty happy with Sierra from a performance perspective. It's addressed 95% of my issues I had previously. That being said, Yosemite and El Capitan were a big enough clusterfrak on my end that I ran Mavericks until Sierra was released. I still prefer Mavericks from a UI attractiveness standpoint, but that's subjective and cosmetic, not functionality-related.

My only two big gripes are Apple INSISTS that I use their tabbed finder windows to the point that even though I have the "classic" view set as the default, every. single. new. folder. I make I have memorized Cmd-Shift-T in order to change the view on. I mean come the frak on.

Gripe #2 is Disk Utility is still a dumbed down piece of popsnizzle aimed at total dunderheads. The Mavericks Disk Utility desperately needs to make a return. I don't see why I should have to buy expensive third party software or memorize UNIX terminal commands to access functionality that took a click or three before.
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#14 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 11:14 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 25 January 2017 - 03:02 PM, said:

10.10 and later are optimized for low latency storage, pure and simple. Sierra continued that trend. The last macOS that really is usable on spinning rust is 10.9, fusion drive not withstanding. APFS will not be kind to spinning rust.

It's too bad that when upgrading the file system, which is fine, they don't completely discontinue any hardware in their computers that will perform poorly with it. I see no reason to sell any computer today with anything less than a small SSD or Fusion/equivalent at the minimum if the operating system demands this hardware to function properly. I also think Apple should have advised users of spinning drives at the time of the first operating system update that would hurt performance and give explicit measures of difference based on testing to guide users in making an educated choice about the tradeoff unless there was nothing to think about there in which case they should have designated anything with a spinning hard disk as not compatible with the operating system release and going forward.

I know, what a freaking dreamer I am.

Maybe you can enlighten me here macdude22 but I have a bad feeling about the new file system that will be universal across all Apple hardware and first drops with iOS 10.3, so pretty soon now. I imagine Sierra won't be far behind. On the one hand, I appreciate what they are doing there. On the other hand I worry this means another round of stuff being broken, becoming obsolete, etc. At this point, I've already given up on macOS but I hope I don't find myself needing to give up on iOS in the same fashion.

Changes in tech for the better are a welcome thing but there has to be a middle ground where users are not frequently getting screwed by them too in my opinion. Sometimes I think Apple's customer base as a whole is okay enough with tossing money down the toilet on software regularly to accept their way of doing things. I am not okay with that to the point I want to learn about Android and see if they are doing things any better in this regard. Presently, I know zero about Android aside of experience with Amazon's customized version on an early generation Amazon Fire which was my first tablet before the iPad.

I'm not made of money and I am not willing to see software I like become useless as often as I have in the Apple world. That is my greatest single gripe with the company. When it "just works" I love the stuff, all of it. The problem has been how often I've seen that to be a temporary state of affairs. I know Microsoft is by no means perfect either but I can play games released for Windows in the late 90s on the most current version of Windows without a problem you know? Architecture changes aside, how much stuff from the early Intel era Macs would even run on a Mac today? I am guessing precious little. I am not okay with that. Maybe if I had more disposable and I do mean disposable income I wouldn't care.
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#15 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 01:19 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 25 January 2017 - 11:14 PM, said:

I am not okay with that to the point I want to learn about Android and see if they are doing things any better in this regard. Presently, I know zero about Android aside of experience with Amazon's customized version on an early generation Amazon Fire which was my first tablet before the iPad.

This is quite off topic so it would deserve a special thread and I won't digress too much, but if you go the Android way I recommend to avoid heavily modified versions like the abhorrent Samsung interface. The best experience IMHO is stock Android, with the Google Nexus and Pixel devices; plus you always get system updates first and for a long time. HTC and Sony have good products too. My wife uses a Lenovo tablet, whose interface is okay if really nothing special at all (and quite inspired by the iPad). Can't comment on other brands (LG, Motorola, Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE, OnePlus, ASUS...) as I've not used them.

#16 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 02:12 AM

View PostCamper-Hunter, on 26 January 2017 - 01:19 AM, said:

This is quite off topic so it would deserve a special thread and I won't digress too much, but if you go the Android way I recommend to avoid heavily modified versions like the abhorrent Samsung interface. The best experience IMHO is stock Android, with the Google Nexus and Pixel devices; plus you always get system updates first and for a long time. HTC and Sony have good products too. My wife uses a Lenovo tablet, whose interface is okay if really nothing special at all (and quite inspired by the iPad). Can't comment on other brands (LG, Motorola, Huawei, Xiaomi, ZTE, OnePlus, ASUS...) as I've not used them.

Thanks. I'll probably post about it when the time comes around.
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#17 macdude22

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 07:53 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 25 January 2017 - 11:14 PM, said:

Maybe you can enlighten me here macdude22 but I have a bad feeling about the new file system that will be universal across all Apple hardware and first drops with iOS 10.3, so pretty soon now. I imagine Sierra won't be far behind. On the one hand, I appreciate what they are doing there. On the other hand I worry this means another round of stuff being broken, becoming obsolete, etc. At this point, I've already given up on macOS but I hope I don't find myself needing to give up on iOS in the same fashion.

APFS has been a long time coming (and long needed), I could only wish it would come out in Sierra :)

macOS is a somewhat different, bigger, more complex beast than iOS. It makes sense to use iOS as the test bed for full APFS support (though to be honest I thought we'd see it maybe on tvOS first). I don't think we'll see anything past the current APFS beta in 10.12, but this is certainly indicative that it will be the default in 10.13. I have tested APFS in small doses at work, you can bet your a$$ I'll be pounding any in place migration process and filing radars for problems.
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#18 macdude22

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 08:05 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 25 January 2017 - 11:14 PM, said:

I'm not made of money and I am not willing to see software I like become useless as often as I have in the Apple world. That is my greatest single gripe with the company. When it "just works" I love the stuff, all of it. The problem has been how often I've seen that to be a temporary state of affairs. I know Microsoft is by no means perfect either but I can play games released for Windows in the late 90s on the most current version of Windows without a problem you know? Architecture changes aside, how much stuff from the early Intel era Macs would even run on a Mac today? I am guessing precious little. I am not okay with that. Maybe if I had more disposable and I do mean disposable income I wouldn't care.

I don't think you will be happy with Android in this regard. It is the rare that a device gets more than 1 major update. With iOS you can be confident of a decent 3 year life span but many Android devices, even high end android devices often get tossed to the digital dumpster within a year.
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#19 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 10:11 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 26 January 2017 - 08:05 AM, said:

I don't think you will be happy with Android in this regard. It is the rare that a device gets more than 1 major update. With iOS you can be confident of a decent 3 year life span but many Android devices, even high end android devices often get tossed to the digital dumpster within a year.

Even the Google Pixel only gets 2 years of software updates and 3 years of security updates. That is the official word straight from Google. iOS devices definitely see much better long term support and legacy support (pretty much the opposite of the Mac).

The iOS platform is fantastic and very mature. I've used many Android devices over the years, but I just feel like iOS does things better. The primary reason to go to Android is if you find one of its unique features very compelling (ability to run emulators for example). Personally I do not give a single frak about any of the unique features/customization of Android, so I'm sticking with iOS for the time being (plus iMessage is great for communicating with the majority of my contacts). One big advantage of iOS is apps. Many apps come first and/or are better on iOS, mostly due to iOS being where the majority of the money is for developers as well as iOS being a closed platform with only a handful of hardware configurations.

From a hardware perspective, iOS devices have always been top notch. The iPhone 7 and iPad Pro are both as good, or better from a hardware standpoint then the android devices in their class.
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#20 macdude22

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 10:17 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 26 January 2017 - 10:11 AM, said:

Even the Google Pixel only gets 2 years of software updates, and 3 years of security updates. That is the official word straight from Google. iOS devices definitely see much better long term support and legacy support (pretty much the opposite of the Mac).

errrrm yes and no. As far as OS support goes, you can still install Sierra on all 2010 machines, and some 2009. Runs great on my wifes 2010 MBP (256GB SSD 5GB RAM). As far as application support between OSs I've had plenty of apps break in upgrades from iOS 7-8-9-10 and the developer never bothers to go back and fix.

We are just accustomed to such long tails on our Macs and, in relative terms, short lifecycle on our phones. I basically replace my iPhone every 3 years, and my iPad ehhh whenever I feel like it needs it. Went from iPad 2 -> iPad 4th gen -> iPad Air 2.
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