Today we’ll be reviewing quite an unusual app. Unlike most software that we review, this application is made for people who don’t have much contact with Mac apps – or even Macs at all. It’s a simple video tutorial app that can show you how to use a Mac in just a few hours through short informative and interactive videos.
Called Learn The Switch To Mac, it’s available on the App Store for just $1 at the time of writing. Are you a recent Mac switcher? Are you having problems getting around in your new computer? This app will show you the way. Keep on reading to find out more about it.
Learn the Switch to Mac usually goes for $24.99, but as a special introductory price to the Mac App Store, they’re giving it away for just $0.99. Since the app is pretty much based on videos, it will take a while to download (weighing in at around the 400MB mark!).
Once you buy it through the App Store and get it installed, you’ll be presented with a virtual Mac desktop where you can select any video. Choose a topic you’d like to learn about, and the app will show you a short (most are around 3 minutes) instructional video about it.
Once you’re done with the video, you will be shown a virtual Mac desktop where you can try out what you learned from the presentation.
Choosing a Video
When browsing the virtual desktop, you can click on any icon from the dock to see a list of topics related to that app. When you choose a topic, you’ll be presented with a video about it, narrated by your instructor “Saied”.
In the video, you’ll still see the virtual desktop and everything that happens in it will be clearly explained. When the video is done, you have to do by yourself what Saied did in the video, with the help of a few goals displayed on a note in the corner.
If you do accomplish these different tasks, the topic that you were in will be given a gold star, which means that you have “mastered” that topic. You clever thing, you.
The topics themselves are pretty basic and cover everything you should know to learn your way around OS X. Some of them may seem obvious for advanced users – like the Finder and the Dock – but a few others may be useful even for long time users. These include useful keyboard shortcuts, and an in-depth explanation of how Time Machine works.
Other topics include iCal, Address Book, the Downloads stack, iChat, Mail, Dashboard, Spotlight, Exposé, Spaces, Settings, and the Apple Menu. It could be more complete, but it has enough to teach a new user his way around a Mac. It would be nice if the videos expanded into some more in-depth utilities such as Network or Disk Utility.
Useful for Existing Users?
I’ve been a Mac user for about a year now, and I still expected to find out a bit more about my Mac with this app. Well, unfortunately I didn’t. Most of the material taught here is meant for entirely new users; there isn’t much for an existing user to learn here.
I did find out that you can create widgets in Safari, but I never knew it mainly because I rarely use Safari. Everything else is just basic techniques that you use every day on your Mac.
That said, it’s perfect for new users who have had no contact with the Mac OS before. Instead of taking one of those workshops at the Apple Store, you can just get this app for a dollar and learn your way around your Mac at your pace, in your own time.
This app is a steal at the current price of $1. If you are a new user, and you have no knowledge about Mac OS X, then you need this app right now. It will make switching from Windows very easy, as it uses Windows as an example in a few occasions.
The way it teaches you is interactive and fun, it never feels boring, and it is very concise. That said, if you are an experienced Mac user looking to learn something new from this app, it will be useless to you, as the topics that are covered in this app are very basic.
Are you a new user? Have you tried this app? Let us know what you think!