Let’s face it, there are some pretty useful “exclusive” macOS features that haven’t made their way into Windows yet. Thankfully you can use third-party apps and get a somewhat similar experience. We’ve listed these apps below along with quick guides on how to get started with using them.
Go back in time
Time Machine has been quite a popular feature in macOS. In case your system starts acting up and one day it doesn’t boot up, Time Machine allows you to retrieve your system. It creates system restore points at specified intervals regularly. These restore points are images created to include the state of your operating system during that particular date, while saving all your files and settings. We don’t have an equivalent tool for Windows, although the next Fall Creator’s Update for Windows 10 might add this feature. Your best bet for an alternative would be either Genie Timeline or CrashPlan. Out of the two, the first one is similar to Time Machine but it isn’t free whereas the second one is free.
While browsing through files on your system, macOS users can preview them without actually opening them. Pressing spacebar after selecting the file opens a window which gives you a quick preview of the files. The same feature can be brought to Windows with the help of Seer. You can not only preview audio, video, and PDF files, but you can also preview Microsoft Office files, AutoCAD, code, and HTML files. These aren’t available by default but as plugins that can be downloaded from within the software.
There’s a tool built into the macOS that lets you easily take screenshots. On Windows, you either have to hit “Print Screen” then paste it in Paint and save the image or you have to use a Snipping Tool. Although the Snipping Tool makes life easy on Windows, Lightshot goes further and makes it even easier. After its installation, the application gets assigned to your “Print Screen” key and whenever you hit the key, it asks you to select the area and you have your screenshot. You can also annotate and highlight the screenshot, and then save it to your drive.
Searching for files or launching an application on macOS, both these tasks are made simple with Spotlight. A similar tool on Windows was absent and alternatives such as Alfred and Launchy were used. Although Cortana brought in universal search, Wox consists of extra features that makes it more powerful.
There must have been times where you came across a desktop website on your phone and wanted to open it up on your Macbook. Apple made sharing of text, photos, and videos easier with their Universal Clipboard feature under Continuity. Essentially, anything you copy on your iPhone, you will be able to paste it in any other Apple device. The only requirement being that it needs to be the same iCloud account. This can be achieved across all your devices, regardless of the platform using an application called Pushbullet. This application consists of a chat menu where you can authenticate all your devices and share text, photos, and videos to any connected device. All it needs is the application to be installed on those devices with the same account logged in.
This article was first published in the August 2017 issue of Digit magazine. To read Digit’s articles first, subscribe here or download the Digit app for Android and iOS. You could also buy Digit’s previous issues here.