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Mac OS 101: What Is Mac OS?

Mac OS is a computer operating system Apple has designed. Learn all about Mac OS and exactly how it works with this Mac OS 101.

Mac OS is one of the most well-known operating systems in the world.

Apple, the company behind the OS, is a trillion-dollar company and sells a wide variety of software and hardware. Known for its intuitiveness and “just working,” it has made a name for itself for individuals who want a simplified OS that is different than its counterpart, Windows OS.

Mac OS supporters are insanely loyal, and there are a lot of benefits that come with working within the Apple ecosystem. But how was all this formed?

How did Mac OS become the technological epicenter it is today? Well, we are here to break it all down for you.

Keep reading to learn all about Mac OS and how it works.

 

Mac OS Origins

Apple launched Mac OS in 2001, and it was the tenth primary OS released by the company. Before Mac OS, Apple used a variety of different software names from the 1980s to the 1990s.

Mac OS was different, however. Apple wanted to develop software that would last. Originally, Mac OS wasn’t running on Macbooks or iMacs like it is today. Instead, it was running on iBooks, which was Apple’s portable computer at the time.

The development of Mac OS led to it being a real competitor against Windows. To this day, Mac OS is the second most used operating system behind Windows OS.

Unlike Windows, Mac OS is closed-source. You are unable to install Mac OS on any other machine besides Apple Macbooks. Unless, of course, you are running an illegitimate version (we don’t recommend doing that.)

With Mac OS, Apple found its foundation of robust software that could accompany the hardware. This success allowed them to branch off and create other software and hardware, such as the world-famous iPhone and iOS.

 

So, How Does Mac OS Work?

Apple enthusiasts and Mac OS claim that its simplicity leads to it “just working.”

As mentioned earlier, Mac OS is a closed-source operating system. Since Apple is closed-sourced, it means that the only company that can legally install Mac OS is Apple on their hardware. Because of this closed-source functionality, if you prefer Mac OS to other software, an Apple computer is your only option.

This closed system is intentional and offers benefits to the user. For example, Apple can integrate their other software into Mac OS. This is why your iPhone and Apple Watch pair so seamlessly.

Additionally, they can also focus on stellar hardware. A Macbook’s design is truly a marvel, and Apple can up its design game by sacrificing more performance substantial features.

Since Apple is in full control of its hardware and software, it allows the two to work more seamlessly together. This is unlike Windows, which runs on hundreds of various machines.

In its DNA, Mac OS is a Unix-based software. Developed in the 1970s, Unix created the multitasking, multiple-user software that streamlined the user experience. Unix is also proprietary, so for developers, it is closed-sourced.

With this foundation, Mac OS comes pre-installed on every Apple computer and allows your computer to work. No matter what you are doing, Mac OS is running in the background keeping your computer functional.

 

The Basics of Mac OS

Now that you know the history of Mac OS and its formation, it is now time to get into the very basics of actually using Mac OS.

On every Mac, you have your desktop. Mac’s desktops are minimalistic and provide some critical functionalities at the very top and bottom of your screen. This design has not changed much throughout the years and keeps even older Macs looking fresh.

At the very bottom of your screen, you will see your dock. This is where your application that is running is located. Additionally, you can also put certain apps on your dock for easy access. All in all, this is the central hub of your desktop and how you access your favorite apps.

At the top of your screen, you have things like “System Preferences” and “Finder” these are two critical components for a Mac. “System Preferences,” as the name suggests, allows you to change up your desktop’s organization and looks.

Mac OS is not super customizable, you can’t change colors to your exact preference or change up the code as you can in Windows, but you can still change up your Wallpaper, Light or Dark mode, and change how your dock is arranged.

Finder is your file management hub. Through Finder, you can see all of your files and documents. Finder is the brain of your Mac, as it keeps all of your data in one place.

 

Mac OS In Real Life Use

As time progresses, Mac OS continues to get refined.

Just recently, Apple announced the Mac OS latest version called “Big Sur.” With every new iteration of Mac OS, there are new features that can enhance the user’s experience. For example, with Mac OS Big Sur, you can customize the pre-installed Safari browser, use more emojis, and analyze your privacy.

In real-life use, Mac OS provides an intuitive and snappy performance for its user base. Mac enthusiasts can provide handy tricks that marry the hardware and software, like customizing the multi-touch trackpad functionalities or using Hot Corners to let your cursor point to certain corners of your display and perform features.

In recent years, the “Apple Ecosystem” brought unification between the iPhone, Apple Watch, and Macs. From its integration with your Apple ID, iCloud, and Apple Music, Apple has truly created an ecosystem that can offer the user a seamless technological experience.

 

Mac OS 101

Now that you know the basics of Mac OS, you can now feel more informed about this operating system and its origins, basic functionalities, and use cases.

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