Eight Great Built-in OS X Features That Aren’t in Windows

OS X spoils it’s users a little. You get used to built-in features that are taken for granted. It’s not until you sit down at a Windows machine that you realize what these functions are. Sure, there are tons of workarounds in Windows for these features called utilities. It’s nice to know that you don’t have to install anything for the following eight features and can just get down to business with OS X.

iLife and it’s suite of applications isn’t a part of this list. It may be on your MacBook when you buy one, but it’s not technically a part of OS X. That and it’d be way too obvious.

These features are:
– Included with or a part of OS X.
– Unavailable under Windows without a third party application.

1. Creating Disk Images and Burning them:

A lesser known feature of OS X is that you can create disk images (.DMGs and .ISOs) within Disk Utility. Also, if you’ve downloaded a disk image you can burn them in Disk Utility as well.

2. Print to PDF:

One of my favorite features of OS X is the built in Print to PDF function. I use it all the time to store my documents electronically. It’s also great for re-authoring large PDFs into smaller chunks.

3. Reading PDFs:

I can see where printing to PDFs may have been passed over but if you want to read a PDF in Windows, you need a third party app. Simple to overcome but annoying nonetheless. I haven’t had a need for Acrobat Reader in years.

4. Time Machine:

To be fair, Windows does have a backup solution but unless you are using the high-end Business or Ultimate editions of Vista, it’s no Time Machine. Other versions of Vista have backup solutions that are crippled or nonexistent. Time Machine will backup your system regularly and automatically and allow you to restore your complete system should anything happen to your drive.

5. BonJour:

Apple scored a home run with BonJour. Basically, it allows your Mac to locate other resources on a network without you knowing a thing about networking. Printers, Chatting, iTunes Music, iPhoto libraries, and even third party applications can tap into BonJour to quickly locate fellow machines.

6. Printer Drivers:

OS X includes gigabytes of current printer drivers with the Install DVD. Not just for one or two models either, many models are supported right out of the box. Most of the time you won’t even need your printer’s CD. Apple also keeps these drivers up to date and as new manufacturers create new models (with new drivers), they are sent to you via Software Update.

7. Cropping and Resizing images:

Need to do a little bit of image/photo editing? Now, you don’t need Photoshop, just open it up in Preview and you can select, crop, rotate, resize and alter the color data.

8. 64-Bit Capable:

64-Bit computing wasn’t a huge deal until about last year when systems either came with or could be easily upgraded to 4GB of Ram. Without getting technical, the older 32-Bit OS’s has a limit of how much Ram they could use and 4GB is the maximum limit. 64-Bit OS’s can handle up to 16 Exabytes. While Microsoft does offer 64-Bit Vista and XP, it doesn’t come with your computer unless you specifically request it.

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