This is a simple question which I believe affects UX.

In current times, is it correct to use PC as the collective term for Mac, PC, Laptops, etc? Will users be bothered by it? Or is it just an Apple gimmick to differentiate Mac from PC?

I.e. in tips and descriptions, should an app say "On your PC.." or is it correct / better to say "On your Mac or PC..". This is in the context of a description / tip in an iPad application.


It depends.

From a technical point of view, a Mac is a PC. From a marketing point of view and for the feeling of some users, a Mac is a Mac and a PC is a PC running Windows.

If somehow, you want to point out to the user he can use both a Windows PC or a Mac, then it makes sense to use "On your (windows) PC or Mac". In all other case, you could just use the word "computer".

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    And a "machine" runs *nix... – pritaeas Jul 17 '12 at 14:29
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    @pritaeas I thought that was a "box" – DQdlM Jul 17 '12 at 15:32

Personally I'd use the term "computer", and if there were any differences between Macs or PCs in terms of what the user needed to do, I'd highlight them. I'm sure a purist would argue that a smartphone is a computer, as is a washing machine, but "computer" is generally understood to be a desktop or laptop PC/Mac.

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