Wondering if I need to buy a new computer operating system or if my Galaxy view will work?
Apple, windows, Android? Thanks in advance

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if you decide to purchase a computer - especially for design i recommend highly (if you are serious) mac - nothing will compare - that said you do not have to at all.
most designers will prob tell you that mac is preferred over any other system.

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You likely will need to host a drawing program which has good support for SVG files—such as Inkscape (free). AFAIK an Android tablet would not be the best choice for that. Not trying to start a Mac vs. Windows “religious war”, IMNSHO you can find perfectly adequate (and much cheaper) Windows PCs to host graphic design programs—and interface with your Glowforge. :sunglasses:


It is pretty touchy ground for a lot of users. It becomes less of an issue to people who have to use both systems and do not have a preference.
There was a day way back when chips were limited to low speeds and resource management walls.
It mattered then if the chip was number cruncher specific or data shifting.
It really mattered which if doing heavy graphics versus processing.
(little history note. There was a Digital Research GEM chip that was the best of both worlds, but it got drowned out in the larger chip wars between Apple and PC’s).

With chip infrastructure changes and speed increases, it does not matter anymore. Up to the end user and personal preference. Apple programs versus PC programs are not that large an issue these days either…

The myth that macs do graphics that intel cannot prevails though, even today when it does not matter which chip you are using anymore.
And BOTH groups hate a Unix box (which is a rabbit hole for another day).


i think mac vs windows at this point is just a matter of personal preference. a professional designer knows that the primary professional software (read: adobe creative suite nowadays) is exactly the same, the only difference being whether you hit control or command key. everything else in the creative suite works the same, beyond operating system stuff (like print dialogues).

so, as a professional designer, i say use what you’re comfortable with.

beyond that, decide what kind of software you need to run to create your designs and buy a computer that can do that (and maybe a tiny bit more to give you some longevity). without knowing what software you want to use, it’s hard to give a recommendation.

to run the GF, you need a browser window. so you can pretty much do it with any computer that can run a browser. preferably chrome (seems to be the one w/the least issues), but people use firefox/safari/edge/IE as well.


@brokendrum: True 'dat. I have multiple of Mac, Windows and Linux PCs. I use the Macs mostly for iOS app development. I love the fact that the OS X command line behaves like Unix/Linux. My Win7 laptop is my “go-to” place for graphics and CAD. I hate mice and touch pads—so I like Thinkpad keyboards and the little red button nestled between the G/H/B keys. My Mac Mini has such a keyboard! :sunglasses:


I have no problem rolling my eyes at the idea that you need to spend more for a Mac when you can do the exact same things on a PC. People should choose the OS that makes the most sense for the way they think as they simply respond differently.

That said, you have to figure out what you’re comfortable working on in terms of design. I’m more comfortable with a trackball, but occasionally use my iPad with Apple Pencil (I’m a PC gal, though, and the workflow on the iPad still irks me after years of using it). Interfacing with the GF is the easy part since it’s browser-based. There’s also an iPad app for the GF. Hopefully we’ll see an Android app soon!


I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing the touchpoint on the Thinkpads.


I have Macs and PCs, and Ipad/Iphone. No android.
I do all my design work on the Macs.

Random thoughts:
The adobe suite will run fine on either OS.
Inkscape will run on both, but it’s ugly on a mac.
Windows machines can be had for less $.
Windows has screwed me over way more often than MacOS has.
Keyboards and mice can be replaced on either, if you have a need/desire for a specific type of input.
Wacom tablets pair well with both.
A nice big desktop PC is very easy to keep upgrading with new parts if you are into that sort of thing.
A bottom-end windows laptop has a good chance of having been built with poor-quality or outdated components.
Anodized mac laptops can be etched with the GF, plastic windows laptops would be a gamble.
Windows laptops have the stupid windows button, although some let you easily deactivate it.
Tablet vector apps work fine, but are very limited in scope when compared to full versions.
I’ve kept all my old macs to use as backups or with various hardware/software combos that I don’t want to re-purchase. My old PCs have been recycled.

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While tablets of the many platforms are getting more capable apps, when it comes to design, I have found that having a solid computing platform makes a difference in my ability to do an array of design tasks efficiently and quickly. If you are wanting to do some intensive 3D design work eventually, a more robust platform would be advisable.

As far as just making your pre-made designs work on the Glowforge, their iOS app works pretty well for controlling the machine. A lot of it depends upon what design software you are going to settle on and what are the computing requirements for it. If you are really going to get into custom designs, you’ll also want something that gives you fairly granular control over bitmap images too, so not just a vector editing/producing program.

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My primary thing on the Mac vs PC debate was durability/build quality. I was literally going through a laptop a year when I was with PC stuff. The hinges broke, or this, or that.

I was in middle of a road trip in 2015 when the hinges decided to break on a 7-month old laptop. I dropped the cash on a mid-2015 MacBook Pro and haven’t looked back since. It runs as fast today as it did then (which was another gripe with PC stuff - it always slowed down so horribly bad after a while).

In the end, both programs will run any of the required programs pretty much just fine. They’ll do photo editing pretty much just fine. You’ll even be fine with occasional video-editing (though I’d look to a much higher-end system if you were wanting to do a lot of that).


Also, to the OP, it really depends on what you are going to be doing with the machine. I couldn’t imagine doing stuff on the iPad or other tablet, but a lot of people do. There are a number of app-type programs that will generate SVG content. A lot of people do really stellar drawing-type work on tablets. I’m not sure about more accurate types of work (like drawing paths to a certain length, etc.).

One of the convertible-type notebooks might work well for you, if the tablet is more your style.

there can definitely be a difference. and i think one of the problems people get caught up with is comparing pricing on a consumer level windows machine vs a macbook. the macbook is designed more like a business level windows machine. and it’s priced like it. my work business level windows machines put up with a lot more abuse. and i spend more money on my home machine for that very reason (among others). there’s certainly a level of “you get what you pay for.”


But the truth is that not everyone needs a business-level machine (by any definition). I think you still, generally speaking, get better specs on a Windows machine for the cost of a Mac, so I’d say they are still less expensive. I want to upgrade regularly, so I don’t need a machine that will last 10 years. Either way, though, if you don’t have a platform preference, you should pay for what you need (plus some extra headroom).

I’m a staunch Windows person, but I think Macs are better for a lot of people for a variety of reasons. I just don’t love the blind fandom in either direction. I think it’s silly that people continue to get into rabid arguments over products/brands when it largely comes down to personal preference and the way your brain is wired.

Never said everyone does. Just that build quality is part of what gives a mac a higher price and value. So it’s not a fair comparison to a windows machine to ignore that. And a business level machine with a higher build quality and similar specs will not be significantly cheaper (tho it will be cheaper) than the Mac. If the build quality is less of an issue for you, say you don’t travel much, then you can save money by prioritizing that lower.

Btw, I say all of this as a primary Windows user now, although I’ve used both platforms for both work and home in the past.

Yeah, I was just saying that when comparing PCs to Macs, you don’t have as many options on the Mac side. So it’s not like people are choosing high-end Macs and comparing them price-wise to low-end PCs. Typically when I tell people that a PC will be cheaper it’s because I know they don’t need something high end.

I don’t really worry about build quality too much, even for my travel machines. But I also don’t have a case on my phone. I like to live on the wild side.

i find that a lot of the cheaper machines have crappy screens or other low-end parts that usually make me regret them. but i’m also doing design work and occasionally playing games, so i require good screen quality, a good video card, and lots of RAM. it’s hard to get anything under $1k on a PC that does all of that well.

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nah. not unless you’re talking LAPTOP.
130 or so for the graphics card.
160 or so for 16gb ram
240 gb SSD for the boot/software drive 50 or so 30 for a case
50 for a powersupply AMD motherboard for less than 100 (last gen AM3+)
AMD FX8350 8 core processor ~$80

Toss in a 16:10 ratio monitor - 24" samsung for 200, and you get all the way up to 800$… I run that processor. I have 32gb of ram, but I run 2 virtual machines in the background, have 140 tabs open in palemoon, another 80 or so in chrome, 3 instances of inkscape…


i’ve been talking laptop all along. i’m a mobile person. having a desktop ties me down to one spot.

building your own computer is a whole other thing. i’ve done it many times. i have no desire to mess with that any more. i’ll make some upgrades/updates to a laptop (adding / upgrading drives/ram or even a networking module), now, but that’s about it.


I’ve built or upgraded over 300, not counting the number I repaired when I ran a geeksquad precinct at a best buy store… ran it for 2, worked in there for 3 more after… it’s the ONLY way I’ll ever get anything that’s NOT a laptop.