Here are three excellent Windows features we really want to see in macOS

MacBook running macOS Sonoma
(Image credit: Future)

macOS, Apple's operating system for its Mac computers, has gathered a dedicated user base thanks to factors like its intuitive design, sleek aesthetic, quick performance, and smooth integration with other Apple devices and services.

All of that factors into what is still considered a premium user experience by many, but that doesn't mean that the operating system doesn't leave things to be desired. That's not unique to macOS, of course, but there are areas where the operating system could improve, and Apple doesn't even have to look that far for inspiration - it can take a couple of pages right out of Microsoft's Windows book. 

Here, we discuss three features and capabilities that can be found in Windows, Microsoft's desktop operating system, that we'd love to see in a future version of macOS: window snapping, a clipboard history, and (a pretty big one) continued improvement of Apple's support for gaming, where Microsoft clearly remains a good way ahead. 

Windows Snap Layouts

(Image credit: A-P Kuutila)

Window snapping for better organization

Window snapping is a feature that many Windows users have come to rely on as it allows you to quickly arrange and manage open windows on the desktop. Microsoft’s OS provides you with predefined grid layouts that 'snap' windows into position, and there are multiple snap layouts you can make use of. These include: 

  • Side-by-side, making it easier to compare the contents of two windows
  • Quarter-view, separating your screen into four quadrants that you can populate
  • Custom layouts, in which you can customize how you divide up the screen 

There's also Snap Assist which enables you to drag a window to the edge of the screen and see a preview of where it will snap to, and Snap Groups, which group content together based on multiple windows that are open from the same app. This makes it easier to quickly organize windows without having to manually resize them. 

A screenshot of Clipboard History with text contents and expanded actions

(Image credit: Microsoft)

A silent hero to help you remember: Clipboard History

Clipboard History is a big hit with Windows users, as it allows you to access the last 25 items you've copied (regardless of whether you've pasted or saved them elsewhere). It saves all text, HTML, and images that you've copied most recently, with new entries towards the top, and older entries being deleted as time goes on. Additionally, Clipboard History resets each time you start your PC, unless you pin an entry - then it stays pinned at the top of the list,  so it can be accessed at any time.

You do have to enable Clipboard History, and once you have, you can pull it up using the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + V. It's available for Windows 10 and Windows 11, and once it's enabled, you can interact with the items in the list, and select any item to paste it into an open application. You can also manually delete items you don't want in your Clipboard History. 

macOS does have its own clipboard memory, although it's more limited than that of Windows. You can view the most recently copied text, or file name of a recently copied file, but that’s pretty much as far as macOS's clipboard memory functionality goes. 

There are third-party apps and workarounds for better functionality, but it would be nice to see macOS do this natively. 

A child with headphones gaming on a MacBook

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Jeramey Lende)

Making Macs better gaming machines

There is a Game Mode on Macs that's designed to make gaming smoother and it adjusts your Mac's performance to deliver the best gaming experience it can, but there's more that can be done by Apple to help catch up with the superior gaming experience to be had on Windows.

Lots of game developers won't even make a version for Mac (or make one much later) because it's a lot of work to adapt to Mac hardware, so a common complaint is the smaller selection of available games compared to Windows. Now, we have M3 and even M4 Apple silicon (in iPads, and doubtless coming to Macs before too long), and this could encourage both Apple and game producers to bring about a better gaming experience for Mac users. 

Apple's been taking steps in terms of both software and hardware that could make it easier for game developers to port their games to Mac, and I hope Apple more fully embraces this direction. Plus with the M4 chip incoming for Macs, as mentioned, we should see even better performance in terms of emulation for games that can be run this way.

The company recently debuted the Vision Pro to massive hype and many people were impressed with its performance. If Apple develops the Vision Pro's gaming capabilities (which would strike me as a missed opportunity if it didn't happen), perhaps this will further Apple's expertise in making devices for gaming, which it could then apply to other Apple devices like Macs. 

macOS Sonoma

(Image credit: Future)

Driving macOS momentum

There are solid reasons why Apple devices and macOS have loyal followings, but there's room for improvement that could greatly enhance the macOS user experience (something Apple prides itself on).

Gaming has become as much a mainstay form of entertainment as anything else, and I’m hoping Apple will double down here to make further improvements to usher in a better Mac gaming experience - which seems perfectly doable.

Apple has made impressive strides both in terms of software and hardware, but it can do more to encourage users of other operating systems like Windows to adopt macOS and further drive its momentum. 

Computing Writer

Kristina is a UK-based Computing Writer, and is interested in all things computing, software, tech, mathematics and science. Previously, she has written articles about popular culture, economics, and miscellaneous other topics.

She has a personal interest in the history of mathematics, science, and technology; in particular, she closely follows AI and philosophically-motivated discussions.