Content Creation: Chrome OS vs. macOS vs. Windows – Status quo

Introduction

I have been active as a content creator for about seven weeks now.

Image: Envato Elements
Image: Envato Elements

My declared goal is to do all related activities on Chrome OS on my Chromebook.

Even before I started, it was clear to me that there were still various limitations. For example, highly professional video editing software is missing.

For that reason, and because I’m creating content about switching from Windows and macOS to Chrome OS, I have a MacBook with me on my world trip. It’s a MacBook Air M1 also running a Windows 11 [Wikipedia] virtual machine [Wikipedia] using Parallels.

I’m still taking a few online courses in all areas of content creation to become more professional, but I’m also applying what I learn directly. I do create more and more content about travel, mobile working, and of course Chrome OS.

As you can already imagine, a lot of this takes place on Chrome OS, but also partly on macOS.

So, what’s my experience with it so far as a fan of Chrome OS? Here’s more on that! My status quo. 😉

Windows

I have included this section here only for completeness because there is not so much to report about Windows.

I use and will use Windows in the future only to create my “Switching from Windows” – content. A second aspect is the fact that I need a Windows installation is because I want to keep myself up to date to know how Windows evolves.

After nearly 21 years of experience using Windows, I don’t see anything that will take me back entirely at the moment. Windows 11 has partially adopted things from Chrome OS and macOS. See, for example, the centered icons on the taskbar. It’s not entirely clear to me who copied from whom first. But hey, if good things are adopted – why not?

I am now independent and can decide about my tools and devices. It’s great not to get annoyed about Windows daily as I did as an employee. 🙂

I don’t think I need to say any more about Windows here.

With that, you should be able to directly assess my experience with Windows and my attitude towards it. 😉

MacOS

Overview

Countless content creators on YouTube, such as bloggers and vloggers, praise macOS and the M1 to the skies. Everything top – and so!

I use macOS for a few weeks intensively over a more extended time and get more and more upset about certain things.

With many—partly paid—tools, tips & hacks, I got the system reasonably set up to no longer to want to throw the MacBook against the wall after 5 minutes in use. That was actually the case at the beginning. 😀

The worst-case imaginable so far: I lost photos, videos, and other files because the file management on macOS is just grotto bad, and something went wrong.

What’s the reason for my disfavor?

At first, I intended to go into more detail here, but then this post just gets too long. I’ll come back to it at one point or another.

So, just in a nutshell: If you could replace the Finder with Chrome OS’s Files app, I’d be a lot more productive and happy. Same with the file storage dialog. A big part of my job is also managing files. These are primarily new videos and photos for the blogs and videos, and these need to be examined, sorted, and backed up.

How do I do that at the moment? Not with the Finder anymore, but with Double Commander. I also use it on Chrome OS in Linux mode 😀 I had to install it on macOS via the terminal [Wikipedia] and the open-source package management Homebrew [Wikipedia], on which the Commander is based. I’m pretty happy that way.

How was that again? MacOS is easy to use? Nope. Terminal and all! 😉

An example: I rarely need multiple tabs, i. I require a tree structure on the left side, which stays open when I change to a directory on the right side. Here is an example view from Double Commander:

The Double Commander on macOS with a tree view | Image: chomeyourstartup.com
The Double Commander on macOS with a tree view | Image: chomeyourstartup.com

More open questions from me about macOS about the storage dialogs:

  • Why is the full path to the selected location not shown?
  • Why can’t I copy-and-paste a path as location?

Other annoying or uncomfortable things

To make the windows handling similar to Chrome OS and Windows, I installed Magnet. This way, I can drag and drop my windows to the edges of the screen as needed because that’s what I frequently do.

Other than that, macOS Monterey [Wikipedia] doesn’t always run flawlessly. As under Big Sur [Wikipedia], there are still some bugs. For example, the system slows down in continuous operation, and applications crash. Maybe I switched too early. Furthermore, a point upsets me, but no operating system is perfect here. Modern software is getting more and more complex.

The Chrome browser doesn’t run perfectly there either, unfortunately. That’s no comparison to running on my old and much slower Chromebook. The 2022 versions of Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, and Lightroom also have their quirks on macOS Monterey, and Photoshop crashes several times a day for me 🙁.

Long story short: I am anything but happy with macOS and would love to do everything on Chrome OS!

A positive thing on macOS

My backups to the cloud run actually well on macOS via Insync (Google Drive) and Dropbox, including file encryption via Cryptomator.

The Google Drive app has also had minor issues for me, so I continue to use Insync on macOS and Chrome OS in Linux mode. I have never had any problems with it so far.

I would also like to do this entirely on Chrome OS in the future. Technically, this is already possible today, and I just haven’t had the time to make the switch yet. As soon as I get to it, I’ll create a guide to it.

Chrome OS

Overview

Well, this is where it gets simple: I like the operating system just like that, without any significant adjustments. Google specifies a lot, and most of it fits directly. Simple, minimalistic, fast, and efficient.

What I’m still missing, no surprise if you’ve read this post up to here: professional tools from video and sometimes image editing. That’s pretty much it, though, and I almost only reach for the MacBook Air for video editing. Every so often, I still use the full version of Adobe Photoshop for some image manipulations, and that’s partly perfectionism that isn’t even necessary.

The following things already entirely run on Chrome OS for me: (selection)

  • Project planning with Asana (web)
  • Project content planning and management & startup knowledge base with Notion (web).
  • Time management with Toggle (web), so I don’t watch too much Netflix and stuff 😀
  • File organization with Chrome OS’s Files app, Google’s Files Android app, and Double Commander.
  • Designing logos, etc., with Canva (web).
  • Image management with Google Photos, Lightroom (web & Android), file structures.
    Image editing with Photoshop (Android), Photopea (web), Pixlr (web & Android), Gimp (Linux app), and a few more, among others.
  • Blogging with WordPress
  • Writing e-books (Google Docs)
  • Everything in connection with Google Drive respectively Google Workspace

I will briefly present my selected applications here. The selection may still change, as I am still evaluating and testing. Occasionally, it takes some time and long-term practical experience before it becomes clear whether an application is suitable.

Is everything great on Chrome OS?

Here, too, not everything is perfect by any means! Sometimes there are problems after new system updates, and that’s probably the case with all major manufacturers today. We users are beta testers 😉.

As mentioned in the macOS section above, I want to do my cloud backups on Chrome OS. However, for this to happen, the syncing of the Files app needs to become more reliable for large files and unstable internet connections.

Furthermore, an encryption option for external storage devices built into the system would be great. Cryptomator and Boxcryptor are already excellent via the file encryption path, but total encryption of disks that you don’t even notice will be even better. Maybe you also know VeraCrypt. Unfortunately, that, as far as I know, doesn’t yet work in Chrome OS’s Linux mode. However, it would be a pretty acceptable alternative to an integrated system solution, which I would imagine would be more convenient.

Furthermore, I prefer web apps to all Android and Linux apps. These are numerous, but not everything runs wonderfully stable. Moreover, the display of the apps is not always optimal on a larger or even second screen. That’s not the case across the board!

Many great Android and Linux apps have given me little to no problems. Android will probably be even better soon with version 12L for devices with large screens like Android tablets and Chromebooks in all variants (including tablets).

Since I travel around the world as a digital nomad, I don’t have decent access to the Internet everywhere. Then one is often, but not always, dependent on the Android or Linux variants of the above applications.

Why not always? Progressive Web Apps (PWA) [Wikipedia] are available today that you can use with or without an Internet connection. I can only highly recommend these to you if it doesn’t limit you in terms of functionality or some way. A clear example of a PWA is Google Docs. With it, you can continue to work even on a train on a route where you are cut off from the Internet. 🙂

Conclusion

In principle, everything is as it was.

After a few weeks, I didn’t throw my plans out the window and switch from Chrome OS to macOS or even back to Windows and rename all my channels.

I remain a loyal and satisfied fan of Chrome OS and Chromebooks! 😀

Outlook

I’ll be evaluating more tools and apps, for content creation, in the coming weeks and months and will share my experiences with you.

Image: Envato Elements
Image: Envato Elements

One specific example is WeVideo, a reasonably professional video editing software that comes as a web and Android apps. After all, if I want to upload new videos to YouTube, I need a good Internet connection for that anyway. Maybe I’d use it to edit my videos on Chrome OS and continue to use Premiere Pro for the ones about traveling with cinematic effects for now. We’ll see how that turns out.

But one thing I can already say today: if I only blogged and wrote e-books, I would have been happy with Chrome OS and a Chromebook long ago! Both are sufficient for this, and one is professional on the road.

So much for where I am today!

As a fan of Windows or macOS, do you have any objections or even tips for me?

Are you a Chrome OS expert and have had similar experiences?

You are welcome to leave a comment. 🙂

Marcel aka Ravolos

Hey! 😀 I started this blog in 2018. Fitting to the blog, I want to describe myself as a true “Google Sheep,” incredibly addicted to travel and open-minded. I've been traveling the world as a digital nomad since October 2021, creating digital content on Chrome OS, travel, and mobile work.

Marcel aka Ravolos has 15 posts and counting. See all posts by Marcel aka Ravolos

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