Software for the Mac

I personally am a Mac user, and have been for a few years now but one thing I notice is that lots of people will come and criticise my choice of computer based on lack of software support for the platform.

However while it is true that there are certain professional applications without Mac support to this day, such as AutoCAD* (a 3D design/engineering program) the truth is the situation is much less limited than people think.

Today, I wanted to download some photos from Flickr so I could show them to my family without an internet connection. So I picked up that there was a program called Downloadr to download them. Unfortunately this program is only available for Windows.

Although I have Windows installed on my MacBook (and I will probably get Windows 7 when it comes out later this year.) I prefer to use Mac OS X instead so I asked a question on MacRumors to see if I could find an equivalent Mac application. This didn’t come up with any promising answers so I set down to just use the Windows program. After getting it installed and creating a manual desktop shortcut and creating the folder in Program files (via 2 UAC prompts) for the program I loaded it up – unfortunately the program crashed straight away and so was essentially useless so I reported this to the developer and got on with my day.

Then later that evening I went back to the website to see whether the developer had had time to follow up my report (I admit I’m being impatient here :p) and found that they hadn’t but they had linked to a piece of software called Flickery which I clicked on to see what it was – and guess what. Its a Mac application.

Now actually this is only the third time that I have had a problem finding software for the Mac since I switched to the Mac back in 2004. The first time was for watching channel 4 TV shows on the computer, though actually now that has got a Mac version these days.

The second time was actually a little more important as the version of Microsoft Office for Mac is a bit weak on the Mac compared to the Windows version as it doesn’t come with all the bits like Access that the Windows version has.

The moral of the story is that while Macs may be expensive, you probably aren’t going to be short of software unless you are a high-end professional user or you need lots of advanced features out of Microsoft Office – one of the weaker Mac applications.

* = Though actually AutoCAD are talking about making a version for the Mac again at the moment. I hear there is some high-end mapping software that is Windows only, but I’m not sure what exactly that is.

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