Considering Buying a Mac

macOS & Mac Apps

Hey everyone,

I would like to get some input from you guys. I am seriously getting tired of coming across inaccessible Windows apps, and am considering buying a Mac. Are there some things I should be aware of, such as Voiceover bugs that might prevent a visually impaired user from using the computer? Also, do you think apps are more accessible on the Mac than on Windows?




Submitted by Pepper Fox on Wednesday, February 17, 2021

I've not had a chance to try Big Sur, but Voiceover on Catalina is a far cry from Voiceover for iOS. If you plan on using MS Office and/or Braille, stick to Windows. If you want to try your hand at content creation, Mac's the best bet. For basic web browsing, it depends on personal preference.

Submitted by Maldalain on Thursday, February 18, 2021

If you’re switching to the mac because of the inaccessibility of Windows appS, you may need to think of it again. Windows Provides alternatives to the apps that you may find inaccessible, while on the Mac you are restricted to what you have.

This doesn't make any sense at all. You probably have just as much choice on Mac as on Windows for apps, if not more when you consider that a lot of open source software is difficult, if not impossible, to get running on Windows without a lot of extra work. Maybe you meant there are more app choices in Microsoft's app store, but you aren't prevented from installing third party apps from outside Apple's app store either.

That said, Windows has a distinct advantage over macOS (as far as I know) in that Windows provides APIs that third party screen readers can use, which allows for more customisation of how the screen reader works with an app than is possible with VO.

Whether or not you ultimately decide to switch probably depends on what kinds of apps you use.

For myself, I decided to switch to Mac when Windows 7 support ran out, because Windows upgrades have always felt like getting a new computer to me, and because macOS naturally integrates iOS devices better than Windows does.

Submitted by Marc on Thursday, February 18, 2021

As mentioned above there are pros and cons to switching from Windows to Mac. Please, please search this site thoroughly because there are about a million posts on this same exact subject.

Submitted by techluver on Thursday, February 18, 2021

I switched from Windows to Mac. It was never supposed to be a long term solution (I bought an M1 MacBook Air base model for app development, and realized it was better than my older, more expensive windows computer so I sold it). I don't regret that decision at all. It has served me well through everything I have needed to do.

Submitted by Maldalain on Thursday, February 18, 2021

In reply to by Paul

Every media player I tried on WIndows has been accessible for me. I use dictionaries and there are loads of accessible ones on Windows, can you list me some on the Mac? Google Docx, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Microsoft Word, Notepad, SPSS etc are all accessible on Windows, on the Mac the least you can say they are trouble more than happy experience. Compare a single task on the Mac and count the steps or the fingers you need to use acrobatically to the Windows.

Submitted by John Diakogeorgiou on Sunday, February 21, 2021

I switched to the Mac a couple of /months ago. I use it for fun but also to run my business. Office works well on it. Also I use VLC media player. it is much more realiable than Windows. The disadvantages with VO are worth it. Just remember that it is not Windows.

Word and Outlook are okay, but everything else is downhill from there. Even tables in Word are a nightmare to navigate. As someone who has used both the Mac and Windows versions of Office, I can say that the Windows version is substantially better.

Submitted by Deon588 on Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Like with everything there's pros and cons.

I've been using Mac OS on and off since 2011 and only recently managed to get to a point where I am able to completely make the switch.

Like poster above said you need to memorize way more shortcut key combinations than in windows sometimes requiring four fingers for one action which is not ideal.

Mac OS is definitely more polished/user friendly than windows but Voiceover takes some getting used to and the browser experience isn't perfect (but very close).

Take a look at…

If you do decide to switch make sure to get a M1 mac as it's a big step up from my previous Mac experiences...

Submitted by Karina Velazquez on Tuesday, February 23, 2021

In reply to by Pepper Fox

As in another post, I also agree with Pepper Fox. Using office on the Mac is a nightmare. As Pepper says, Outlook is ok, not word for me, because every time I open a big file in word, I have to wait like 10 minutes to use it, and then after that the app constantly keeps freezing all the time.
For office users, I will never recommend to change to Mac.

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Tuesday, February 23, 2021

I used to be a full-time Windows user but I couldn't take how unreliable JAWS got anymore so I switched to MacOS last year. I find VoiceOver on MacOS a lot easier to customize than a screen reader like JAWS or NVDA, and a Mac usually won't crash if it is reasonably powerful. There is one caveat; as others have stated, word processing and presentation editing don't work too well on MacOS, and the gestures required to navigate can be cumbersome at times. Also, there are many blind-related applications that are Windows-exclusive (audio games, update utilities for Braille displays, etc), so make sure you can get by without them before changing your operating system. If you value ecosystem integration and are confident that you can get your work done on other devices in case something happens, I recommend getting a Mac (if you can, I also recommend trying to use one for the things you need to do before purchasing). Hope this helps.

Submitted by walkseasy on Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Apps from the App Store may or may not be accessible, but isn't that the case with all screen readers. Many people say they do not like the Mac. True it does need more fingers to perform tasks. I think old Windows users do not want to learn new things. Tasks become muscle memories, in a short time the BoiceOver commands become reflexive, and natural to use. I have been using Macs for ten years now, and find them satisfactory for all my computer needs.

Submitted by Justin Harris on Wednesday, February 24, 2021

I absolutely love my mac. I like that you can use the keyboard commander to set up tasks for things that might, like others have said, require a more complicated gesture. Plus being able to launch apps and such with just the press of a hotkey. I know this is also possible in Windows, but never learned how to do it.
As far as word processing, I used Pages through college, and that was before they had put much work in to it, but even then, I was able to get decent looking documents from it, and able to export to word, so it really works well.
As far as content creation, I have done audio editing on both Windows using both APH Studio Recorder and Goldwave, and on the mac using Amadeus Pro. The stuff I have done on the mac sounds way better. No question about it.
The problem is that many people are looking at this as either or, when there are those of us who use and love both. I run an online radio station. All of the tools I use for that are only Windows compatible. But unless you have one of the new M1 macs, Bootcamp is amazing, and you can do the things that work well for you on the mac side, and easily switch if you run in to something that gives you problems. I know there are some on this site who have been able to go through Bootcamp setup on their own, but at least to get set up, I needed sighted help. But once up and running, it works like a charm. Just remember which os you are using. I can't count the times I've gone to do something in Windows and wait, it doesn't behave as expected, and oh duh, I was using the Mac Voiceover command.
I definitely like the greater device integration. I really really want one of the M1 macs, but can't do that until they get bootcamp working. But the advantage there with the new macs is that they can also run IOS apps, which gives you a lot more options. But even a 2015 MacBook pro like mine, with an i5, 16 gb of ram, and an ssd performs incredibly well, and should continue to do so for a few more years.

Submitted by Marina Patten on Thursday, February 25, 2021

Hello everyone,

Thanks for your opinions, especially about Office products on the Mac.

How well does Google Docs and Google Sheets work on the Mac? On Windows, I generally use Google apps like Docs more often than I use Word.