The FBI reportedly only uses Mac laptops for their top secret operations. Why? Because they are considered far more secure, even prior to the addition of any specific security applications. Although amongst the general public and in administrative office spaces, some people love them and some people love to hate them, Mac's generally also enjoy pride of place on the desks of web designers. A glance around any web design office will show you that most professional companies use Macs for all of their design and web development needs. Security aside, there are many other factors that make Macs a preferable platform for web design.
Web design involves a variety of specific tasks, as well as multitasking. A web designer's regular work with high quality graphics, photographs, graphic design programs and photographic editing programs means that they are often required to have multiple windows open at any one time and multiple programs running at once. Web designers are obliged to work with a large quantity of large files such as flash files, high resolution graphics, animations and video. Because web design work often takes a long time to complete, loss of files in the event of a crash can be a complete disaster. Experience has shown that Mac is far better prepared to tackle these demands of web design than Windows.
So what is it about Macs that makes them so friendly to web design?
- Macs have inbuilt virus protection, meaning that they rarely crash or require rebooting which, as explained above, is a great advantage in web design. In the event that Macs do encounter a problem, they tend to be far easier to reboot and troubleshoot than Windows computers that tend to take a long time to start up once they are restarted. The current generation of Macs reboot in around 25 seconds.
- When an error occurs in a Mac system, it is generally quite easy to determine what has gone wrong in the system because of the readily available applications in the Applications and Utilities folders that allow users to decipher the cause of the error. While Windows computers offer similar applications they are not as easily locatable in the system, making them difficult for users to find in times or urgency or distress as may be the case when problems arise.
- One of the most important advantages Macs provide over Windows for web design is their far better display options. Application windows on Macs only take up the space that they actually require, enabling the user to view and use other applications on the desktop and in the background of the screen. This is particularly important in web design where the 'drag and drop' procedure is often used. The desktop of Macs can be used as a holding place for graphic files and other items that are to be dropped into a piece of work so having the desktop visible is an advantage for the multitasking element of design.
- Other display features that make Macs more preferable for web design include their advanced font management capacity. While Windows computers tend to experience difficulty with more than 500 to1000 fonts, Macs can manage an almost limitless amount. Macs also provide a greater level of support for PDF files in their operating system, which can give them the edge over Windows when it comes to graphic design.
- Finally, for web design, one of the key advantages Macs have is that they run Photoshop faster and more efficiently. This is because Photoshop was originally developed for Macs and later ported to Windows. Not only Photoshop, but other programs used in web design operate more quickly on Macs due to the manner in which Mac OS X handles memory. Mac OS X is much more streamlined and efficient than Windows for operating Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator and Fireworks which are some of the most commonly used design programs.