Thinking about purchasing a mac, any recommendations

macOS & Mac Apps

Hi Guys,
I currently own an HP laptop with windows 8.1, however, I have decided to go with a mac since it's totally accessible right out of the box and it's built right in. Do you guys have any recommendations? I'm looking for something like the sise of the netbook I used to own before I've switched to the laptop. not too big, just something light and easy to carry around. any recommendations would be grate. also, has anyone tested the twitterific app with voiceover on the mac? if yes, is it totally accessible, and can you get notifications just like the app for IOS? thanks for your help!



Submitted by Siobhan on Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hi. First off, welcome to the Mac. :) I'm not saying Windows is the bee all end all, but personally I'll go get a windows laptop soon. Anyway you want a mac, your choices are 11in 13in 15in or I think 17in for a laptop. Personally the 13in works fine for me. Netbooks, if you remember have keys clustered together so you'll probaly want the 11 inch model. That's the Macbook air, and the problem with it is the storage. It's flash so Ithink the most you can get for hard drive size is 128mb in other words, it's more expensive. Your best bet is Macbook pro. same as the air, a bit thicker, but has bluetooth a card reader and depending on if you want the latest model, it may have a slot load dvd drive. If it does not, and you want to get one that's another eighty dollars. Good luck and no, btw, the twitteriffic app is not accessible to my knowledge on the Mac yet. I use yukorufukru or however you spell the damn name :)

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Tuesday, July 8, 2014

well I think it'll work if I look at it more. sure the MacBook pro 11 inch will work just fine, since you don't get that much viruses unlike windows. what about the twitter app. is it accessible?

Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hi Juan,
If you want portability, then go with the 11 inch Macbook air. You get awesome battery life, and you can do basically anything you could do on the windows side of things. It's just how you implement techniques. If you are struggling with certain things, just let us know here on applevis. However, one negative side to the air is the space. As far as I know, you can go to a 256 GB, or maybe a 512GB internal flash drive, but IDK. I don't own an air laptop, I own a Macbook pro. Also, Siobhan, I think they stopped producing the 17 inch Macbook pro, probably due to the larger size, or maybe it was something else? I don't have a clue. I have a 15 inch mid 2012 Macbook pro with a 500GB internal mechanical Hd. I Won't go on, but the main reason I got the bigger screen sized pro is it's processor. I could get a quad core intel I7 with 8 gigs of internal ram, and haven't had issues at al. These machines will last a few years! Good luck in your Mac purchasing things.

Hi. Yes, night owl is acessible. It's a paid app, Ithink, five bucks? I think the spelling is, y u k u rufokuru or something like that. Sorry Japanese is not my first language. :P Seriously Dive face first in, I did. you'll enjoy it.

Submitted by mehgcap on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi all, I'm working on an article on this very topic, but I wanted to correct a few points.

  • The Air comes in eleven-inch or thirteen-inch. The larger model includes more battery life and an SD card slot.
  • the Pro comes in thirteen-inch or fifteen-inch and has a Retina display, possibly helpful if you are a low-vision user.
  • No, the seventeen-inch model of the Pro is no longer being produced, but you can still find them as refurb machines.
  • No Mac nowadays comes with a DVD drive. Again, though, you can still find older units that have these drives, but I'd personally go for a new Mac and get an external disk drive if I really needed one.
  • All Macs include the latest bluetooth and wifi standards, plus Thunderbolt and USB ports. Some offer even more ports than that, but those are the minimum all Macs share.
  • The eleven-inch and thirteen-inch Airs are identical in terms of hardware options. They can both have a 1.7GhZ processor, 8gb of ram, and 512gb of flash storage with the maximum configuration. Both start with a 1.4GhZ processor, 4gb of ram, and 128gb of flash storage.
  • the two Macbook Pro options are also identical in terms of hardware: 2.8GhZ processor, 16gb ram, and 1tb flash storage if you max them out. Both start with a 2.4GhZ processor, 4gb of ram, and 128gb of flash storage.
  • According to the Apple Store app, where I get my information, you can still order a non-Retina Macbook Pro. It comes with a mechanical hard drive and smaller battery, and I'd personally not bother with it, but that's me.
  • The eleven-inch Air and the thirteen-inch Pro both have nine-hour batteries. The thirteen-inch Air has a 12-hour battery, and the fifteen-inch Pro has an eight-hour battery.
  • Note that all processors are dual core Intel Core I5 or I7 units with turbo boosts higher than the clock speeds at which they normally run.

As to Twitter, YoruFukurou is the app that most everyone I know uses, as it is the only accessible Twitter client out there to my knowledge. It is free, and can be had from the App Store.

Submitted by Siobhan on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hi. I hope i got your name right, if I didn't, go ahead and throw something at, ow! nice aim. :) Anyway I didn't suggest the person get a retina display model as when i replaced this one, even though it was out i siad, no thanks. I understand about you wanting the latest model, but it also depends on the price point this gentleman has to use. Thanks so much for corecting my facts :)

Submitted by mehgcap on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

When it comes to Macs, part of what you get with the latest model is internals. For instance, the latest Airs have way better battery life, the newest generation of Intel Core processors, 102.11 AC wifi, and so on. Macs are more of an investment than other computers, so if at all possible, get the latest one to help future-proof yourself. Of course, price is a huge factor, and if you can't afford the latest and greatest, that's perfectly fine. Even an older Mac will still serve you well, especially an official refurbished unit. If you can swing it, though, the newest Macs usually have a few extra goodies to offer.

One other thing I forgot to say: Apple might update their product lines this fall when they announce the iPhone6. If possible,wait until after the newest models are out. That way you can either get one of those, or get what is now the current model for a lower price.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

hi everyone, Thanks for your help. is their a way I could possibly try a mac before I bye? I tried to see if their is a mac trial program, but their seams to be no mac trial program. if their is any other way I could try a mac before I purchase it, or, if any blindness state affiliation such as DBS Devision Services for the blind would be willing to help me in the purchase of a mac, that would be totally amazing. thanks again.

Submitted by mehgcap on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

To try a Mac, you can always head over to a retail store that sells them and has live demos. In my area of the United States, Best Buy is a popular choice, and of course there are the official Apple retail stores if you have one close by. This isn't the same as taking one home for a week, but it is better than nothing, and after you read the guides and listen to the podcasts on this website, you should have a pretty good start on testing things out.

The article I mentioned earlier, detailing all the different Mac models, is here. I hope it helps explain things more.

Submitted by Siobhan on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hi. I don't know about the vision service provider you mentioned, but it's worth asking them hey, I'd like this, would you help? Also consider opening the finance accoun with Apple itself. I think you pay fifty bucks a month, I thinkthe interest is reasonable. and you can also build your credit. As the last poster said, you really can't bring a Mac home for a week. He's right, go to a store and ask to touch a Mac, and ask a lot of questions until you feel secure you want it. Also to save yourself taxes, I'd order online. except official Apple charges taxes because they have retail stores. It's not a big thing but i like saving money :)

Submitted by Kent on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

If you are not set on a portable machine, I would suggest that you look at the Mac Mini. For around $600 you can get into the Mac world. I use mine for mail, the web, contacts, and light text editing. It works really well for me. If you then decided that you are a Mac fan, you can spend the $1,600+ for a better machine. The thing about a Mac is that it takes twice the keystrokes to do what you can do with a windows machine. Saying that, the Mac is very easy to customize and you can whittle down the default keystrokes to a smaller number within the Voiceover utilities. I love my Mac. I hope this helps.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I might just go with the mac mini if I don't find an option. their are a lot of options out their, and my laptop is still good. I might just go with the mac mini since I don't have a desktop anymore. I used to own a windows 7 desktop, but I gave it to my mother. but again, their are plenty of options.

Submitted by mehgcap on Thursday, July 10, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

This is all personal choice, of course, but I just want to put it out there. I did the Mini first, thinking it'd be a good entry-level machine. Once I started using the Mac full time, I began to regret my choice; I couldn't carry my Mini with me (whether downstairs on on hours-long trips), I had to have a monitor and other peripherals taking up room on my deskā€¦ The usual desktop versus laptop arguments, essentially, but it was frustrating because my entire digital world was on that Mini, and it was stuck in one place.

I know you said you have a Windows laptop, but once you really get into the Mac (assuming you do), it is much easier to live in one world or the other. You might have a blogging app like Mars Edit, storing all your past blogs and drafts, on the Mini, with no easy way to pick up that work on Windows. Or you might have a bunch of website tabs open in Safari on your Mac, and no easy way to get those pages open on Windows. Plus, Macs are great if you have an iOS device, syncing calendars, reminders, Safari tabs, bookmarks, stored passwords and credit card details, text expanders, and more. This integration will only get tighter with the upcoming release of iOS8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

I guess my point is, if you think you'll end up living in Mac Land, and you can afford it, I'd choose the machine that will be more useful in the long run. For me, and maybe for you, that is a Macbook over a desktop. Bottom line: money permitting, look beyond the cheapest option and do what will help most in the next few years. I don't know your situation, of course, and I am by no means trying to tell you what to do. I'm just saying, give it careful thought and don't fall into the trap that I did if you think a Mac laptop might work out better down the line.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Thursday, July 10, 2014

OK guys, I have come to the conclusion. I have decided to go with the MacBook air! I red the 11 inch is $899, whereas the 13 inch mottle caust $999. that's a lot, but I will go with the 11 inch mottle. I just haf to keep on saving, then I will get it by the end of ths year! in fact, for my birthday, I will ask my friends and family for money twards the purchase of a MacBook. and I have a thum drive with all of my music files backed up, so that when I receive my MacBook, I can backip my music strate to iTunes. my question is, are their any accessible twitter clients?

Submitted by mehgcap on Thursday, July 10, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Yes, YoruFukurou is the best Twitter client for the Mac that is accessible. It isn't perfect, but it handles most things very well and offers some unique features, such as muting via regular expression.

Good choice with the Air. Remember that the thirteen-inch offers three hours more battery life (up to 12 hours compared to 9), and an SD card slot. Also remember that both entry-level models, the ones at the prices you named, come with only 128GB of total storage and 4GB of ram. They are both fine machines, and will probably serve you well for years to come, but consider your computing and storage needs before the final purchase. Congratulations in advance on your Mac!

Submitted by Chelsea on Thursday, July 10, 2014


I have now owned my MacBook Air for around two and a half years. I got the 2011 model, and at that time, maxed the storage and RAM to what is now the current model: 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD. I wrote a post some time ago on here about how I came to that decision. (MegCap, how do you link to posts and add href tags--is that all you're doing?) Anyway, I am still extremely pleased with this computer. USB 3 would be nice, but I'm not complaining. If you've never had an SSD before, you will never want to go back to spinning hard drives--they are just that fast. I would recommend slightly upping the SSD; two and some years later and I am starting to run out of space. The RAM is soldered in, so if you want more, get it at purchase. I had Windows laptops for a number of years and could always tell when there wasn't enough RAM; my computer has not slowed down from the day I got it. Due to SSD? Maybe, but overall, I have a very spiffy machine and wouldn't trade my Mac computing experience for anything.

Submitted by mehgcap on Thursday, July 10, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Good point there; the new MacBooks cannot be user-upgraded, for the most part. If you get 4GB of ram now, but decide in a year that you need 8GB, you are out of luck. Macs are small, light, and thin, but the tradeoff is that they have all their parts permanently installed. If you think you might need more ram, or a larger drive, or a better processor, get it when you get your Mac, because you can't upgrade just a component or two later on.

Flash is indeed faster. My Air is a 2012 model with 4GB of ram and a 1.4GhZ dual core Core I5. Yet, it runs much faster than my Mini, which has 8GB of ram, a better processor, and a mechanical hard drive. The flash storage makes a huge difference!

As to links, I use Markdown syntax on all my posts. It's cleaner and easier than HTML tags.

Submitted by Chris on Friday, July 11, 2014


As others have said on here, I recommend the macbook Air 11 or 13 inch.
I've had the 2013 13 inch air since Christmas of 2013, and I love it.
I can't go back to a windows machine now.
On a slightly random note, what is text expander syncing in iCloud?

Submitted by mehgcap on Friday, July 11, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Text expansion refers to iOS or OS X auto-expanding words. For example, if you type "omw", it automatically gets replaced with "on my way!". I use this to enter my email address; if I type "xeml", it is replaced with my email address. I chose those four letters because I'd never accidentally type them, x is a rarely used letter anyway, and "eml" reminds me of email, so it's easy to remember.

With iCloud, these sync. I can add a text expansion shortcut to my Mac, and my iPhone will use it, or vice versa. Any device configured to use your iCloud account gets the notice. For phrases you use a lot, it can be a real time-saver, especially on iOS, and it's easier to create these shortcuts on the Mac. Even though it's easier to make them on one platform yet more handy to have them on the other, iCloud makes it possible to have the best of both worlds.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Saturday, July 12, 2014

I'm totally getting a MacBook 13 inch since it has an sd card slot and longer battery life. and as far as the text expansion goes, how can I set that up on my iPhone?

Submitted by mehgcap on Saturday, July 12, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

To set up text expansion on the iPhone, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Add shortcut.

Yes, if it were up to me, the 13-inch Air would be my choice. It offers the best battery life, a good screen if you have sighted people that sometimes need to look at things, full-sized function and arrow keys, and the SD slot. Even if you don't need to plug in SD cards all the time, you can use that slot for something like the Nifty Mini Drive, which holds a mini SD card flush with your Mac. This essentially provides you with always-connected external storage you never even notice is plugged in and that won't get hung up on anything because it doesn't stick out of the computer at all..

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Sunday, July 13, 2014

thanks for informing me on that. it's expensive, but it's worth the saving. I wonder, however, are their any discounts on a macbook air and does the apple store offer that option? sometimes their's sales going on especially during the holiday season, and they offer a discount off of the MacBook air. so is their even an option?

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Monday, July 14, 2014

thanks for that. I will keep on saving.

Submitted by Usman on Monday, July 14, 2014

Also, Apple will do student discounts for back to school. All you need is your student ID or I believe time table and you will qualify.