The Mac vs. PC battle has raged for decades, and through it all, computer shoppers have been provided with two very strong options. Choosing one or the other often comes down to personal taste, work needs, price, etc. Perhaps the biggest strength of Apple is that it designs its own software and hardware, giving the company end-to-end control over performance. That fact alone has led many to dive headfirst into the Mac camp. Seamless operation is just one of the many reasons buying a Mac can be right for you. However, if you are not sure and want to try before you buy, there are ways to do that.
The Apple Store
Apple’s retail footprint has grown tremendously over the years and for very good reasons. The Apple store is an experience all its own, full of nearly every product Apple produces. However, the best reason to visit the Apple store is not to interact with the staff but to get to know the products they sell.
The MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and iMac are all on display. They are all fully operational, allowing you to surf the Web, check your email or just explore the system itself. There’s no time limit, so you can pull up a stool and explore to your heart’s content.
When the time comes that you do need help, Apple’s dedicated staff is standing by. Do you want to learn how to set up a printer? Just ask one of the staff members. Want to learn how to find new apps using the Mac App Store? Just ask.
And if you’ve made your selection and decided to take a new Apple computer home, there are free classes at every Apple store to help you get started. These introductory classes will help you learn how to navigate system preferences, set up your email and browse the web with Safari.
Much like the Apple store itself, Apple’s website is littered with guides and helpful tips. Your first destination should be its dedicated user guide page. It’s here that you’ll learn what’s possible with the newest operating system, Mojave (and soon Catalina). There are guides to help you understand how the whole family can share one computer, including music, books and email.
If you want to see what’s possible so you can customize your future Apple computer and make it your own, there’s a guide for that, too. Learning how to use features like Spotlight, Siri or notification center are all musts, and there’s a walkthrough for each. By now it should be clear that Apple’s website is a tremendous asset to understanding if macOS is right for you. If you think it’s something you want to learn about, there’s a great chance that Apple.com already has a dedicated page just for you.
If there’s one site that’s not Apple related but can help you learn how to use a Mac, it’s YouTube. The depth of resource videos available here is just enormous. There are thousands of instructional videos that will help you learn nearly every facet of owning a Mac.
If you can’t make it to a Best Buy or Apple Store to try the computers in person, YouTube is the next best thing. Videos like this 45-minute tutorial by YouTuber David Cox walks you through the operating system from start to finish. It will show you the basics of what’s possible on the Mac, including how to use the Apple menu, Finder basics and system preferences. Videos like these can rival just about anything you can learn on your own.
Install macOS in Virtual Machine
If you are technically inclined and like getting your hands dirty, then installing macOS in a virtual machine is the best way to try macOS without getting a Mac. One thing is that installing macOS on a virtual machine is not as simple as installing Linux and Windows, and you are bound to meet with drivers issues, but that will give you the chance to learn about the technical aspects of macOS before you get your own Mac.
Whether it’s visiting the Apple store or exploring YouTube, you’re going to learn a whole lot about macOS. Armed with that knowledge, your future buying decision will be so much easier. Sound off below on how you first learned about macOS?
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