App Development Machine

What computer should you buy? If you are going to be an app developer, you should buy a Mac. Apps are small programs not only running on smartphones. There are web apps too. ‘App’ is a smartly developed word which is an abbreviation of ‘Application’. The small portion of letters symbolizes that it is a relatively small application. If you want to develop apps for iPhone or Mac OS there is no other way than to buy a Mac Computer. But with a Mac you can also develop for Android, since Android Studio or outdated Eclipse are in Java. So with a Mac you can create Apps for much over 90% of mobile native platforms. If you really want to develop the big applications that run on the desktop, buy a windows computer. I want to develop apps and bought a Macbook Pro with the new retina display. This display is revolutionary and turns the monitor market completely. Retina displays are so crisp that whenever you look at it for the first time, you are trapped. And whenever you look at a screen with lower resolution from this time on you start to see blurry fonts. Especially if you look at an external screen that you successfully managed to connect to your Mac (via Display Port, not HDMI). Fonts which look crisp on a small notebook monitor with retina resolution look very blurry on an external monitor of much bigger size and much lower resolution. The potential of a retina Mac is just mistreated by an external screen that has much much less DPI (dots per inch). The solution is to buy an equally high resoluted external display, which means 4k or WQHD. I decided for the WQHD monitor Dell U2515H. It is under the most affordable displays. And now I miss to set the DPI under Mac OS. You can do that in Linux and in Windows, resizing the whole UI according to your needs. Not being able to modify UI structure in Mac OS is a very poor fact for Apple which claims to have the most user friendly operating systems. I have read many many complaints first about the unbearable blurry fonts on a very normal resoluted display connected to a retina mac and second about the missing possibility to adapt DPI to your personal preference. Now nearly each good programm you run on the Mac will give you the possibility to modify the font size. But you can’t change system fonts. So, after I do everything I can to adapt the font size to the resolution there are resistent fonts that remain unchanged. Overall I am satisfied, since I have the original notebook display that can help handling resistent fonts. If I look at my external screen as a gift, I see 97% very crisp fonts and additional 3% very crisp and very small menues which can be represented on my native screen as well. No reason to grumble!

One way to change the look of fonts is to influence the rate of anti aliasing or AppleFontSmoothing, how Apple calls it:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -integer x

where x is a number between 0 and 4. 0 is the least smoothing, and 4 the most. Another way is to play with TinkerTool. But don’t expect wonders. In earlier versions of Mac OS it might have been able to change system fonts, in Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) it can’t