What have we learned so far in our series, Ask the Softonic Editors? Well, we’re addicted to our mobile devices, big fans of Wunderlist and Instagram, and still haven’t really gotten over the demise of Google Reader. This week, I’ve decided to force us all to concentrate on desktop by asking what apps are better if you use them on PC or Mac. I know we’ve got photographers and DJs among our numbers, and I was interested to know if there was any other areas where the portability and accessibility of a mobile app just wasn’t a major selling point.
Niamh Lynch, editor
This one is easy – writing. When I’m not working in Softonic, I write and translate at home, and if I’m not on my trusty Macbook, I just can’t get comfortable for any length of time. There are some really nice-looking writing apps out there, like Montage and Celtx, but they seem aimed at writers of fiction or screenplays, not one-off articles and translations. Since I need to get work to clients, I work in Google Drive. I can access it from anywhere, and writing in the browser gives me easy access to my translation tools and references. Obviously, you can get Google Drive for mobile, and I do use it, but the important thing is the keyboard and mouse, and that’s best on a desktop.
Jon Riggall, news editor
I DJ with Traktor, which has a very good iPad version, but it’s not quite as good as the full version (nor do iPads have enough storage for all my music). I also prefer using Photoshop on a laptop or desktop – the most important thing is screen size. An HD monitor is still easier to work with than a tablet-sized retina display, for example, and there are still times when a mouse gives you just that much more accuracy that’s lost as soon as you stick your finger on a screen. Although both of these apps have tablet/mobile versions, the full desktop versions are more complete, and offer more control.
James Thornton, editor
I’ve not used a PC at home for several years, as all my entertainment, and communication needs are catered to by my phone/tablet/PS4/Chromecast. The only thing that occasionally drags me back to my dusty old Dell is to use office apps. But as Microsoft Office 365 for Mobile continues to improve, even word processing and accounting is now comfortable on a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard. My advice: burn your computer and be free!
Lewis Leong, news editor
Our phones handle most of our day-to-day tasks but there’s still many uses for using a desktop computer. Video editing, playing games, and even writing are more enjoyable using my PC with multiple monitors. Multitasking with a mobile device is difficult and writing the news every day would be impossible without a computer. Photo editing is also much better on a PC, since photo editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop is much more advanced than the versions available on mobile.
Chris Park, editor
There’s only one type of app that I only use on my PC and that’s photo editing apps. I use a mix of Adobe Photoshop and Paint.net to manipulate photos when posting to my website, and that’s just not as easily done through a mobile device. Even though there are apps that can edit photos, they’re too clumsy to complete the tasks I need accurately and quickly.
Suzie Blaszkiewicz, editor
As unoriginal as it sounds, I actually prefer to use Facebook on desktop. I mainly use Facebook on my phone via the separate messenger app, but if I want to check my Newsfeed or Timeline, I find it a lot easier and quicker on desktop than on mobile, especially with an older iPhone model. I’ll use the mobile app to check notifications, but I don’t spend much time on Facebook’s mobile app scrolling through the Newsfeed or checking in on what my friends are up to– I save that for the desktop version.
Nick Mead, editor
Any app that involves watching video, I always choose to use on PC over a mobile. I really don’t like watching videos on a small screen, and I generally find playback on mobile devices using 3G painful. This obviously means that I rarely use the YouTube app for Android, but I wouldn’t even dream of using SopCast on a mobile device, for example. I also rarely edit documents on a mobile device. I much prefer Word and a trusty plastic keyboard.
And there you have it. Interesting! Although I was expecting the photo editing answers, I didn’t realize that mobile favorite Facebook would enter into the mix. Lewis’s comment about multitasking is a relevant one. Even though for many of us, mobile devices are the epitomy of multitasking (check Twitter while listening to music on the subway – don’t mind if I do), when it comes to actual task-based mutitasking, the PC often wins out, offering winning physical speed and accuracy over portability and fancy features.
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- How to: DJ with a laptop
- Microsoft Office for iPad: the highs and lows
- Photoshop goes 3D: the great new version of CC