The Web is Eating My Mac Alive

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Jason Snell: My social media is in an Mac app, or it’s nowhere

Likewise, my use of private social apps like Slack and Discord is magnified by their availability on my Mac as discrete apps rather than bookmarks in Safari. I can launch them or quit them or hide them on their own, and they’re there in my Dock when I want them. If there was no Slack app, and I had to use the web to check my Slack communities, it would be the Facebook situation again. I’d pop in occasionally but not regularly, just as has been the case with Mastodon and me.

I know I'm a computer nerd because hearing how Jason thinks about social media on his Mac is fascinating to me, largely because it's very different from how I think about this same thing. I love using apps on my iPhone and iPad, but in recent year the web has been eating my Mac alive.

Don't get me wrong, I still use plenty of apps day to day, but I do a shocking amount of work in a browser window these days. Project management, communication with clients, graphic design, video interviews, writing, and more all happen in my browser. Native apps like Things, CleanShot, ScreenFlow, and Final Cut Pro are of course in the mix, but zooming out, the trend is very much in favor of the web.

In the interminable "is the iPad a real computer" debate that never seems to end, people like to put a stake in the ground like "the iPad isn't a real computer until I can do all my work on it." If we apply that same logic to native app vs the web on a Mac, well, I can do 100% of my day job in a browser, but I could only do about 70% of it in native apps. This argument is quite flawed in my opinion, but it's a thing that makes me go, "huh…"

I'll add at the end that I think the operating system still plays a big role in how I enjoy my computer, so it's not like I could just switch to Windows and be just as happy. I guess this is just a long-winded way of saying I hope we see more innovation on the Mac software side soon because I really want to exclaim, "oh damn, this is one hell of a Mac assed Mac app!"