Apple Exclusive?

Welcome @m_hackney !

Curious - what is your area of the world, generally?

This has been discussed recently here,


Thanks for the welcome. I’m in South Africa, so the exchange rate against the dollar makes electronics expensive in comparison to our earnings.

There are ways to get Mac OS to run on officially “unsupported” hardware, both older generation Macs and PCs. Some of these approaches conflict with Apple’s license terms, so probably this forum is not the place to discuss them, but search engines can help.

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Based on what I’ve heard, that’s workable, but very far from an ideal solution. Thanks, though.

Not having enough money to buy something you want is not an ideal situation, either.

I live in a country where the cost of an entry-level Mac used to be several times the average monthly wage. Hackintosh machines were then extensively used by the relatively small tech-literate community. Running macOS on non-Apple hardware was the prime topic of most tech-oriented forums at that time.

To be clear, I’m not supporting the Hackintosh approach. But there are merits to the argument that a less-than-ideal situation requires unconventional solutions.

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You might look into MacInCloud. It’s popular with PC-owners who want to use the app Vellum, and maybe it works out with DevonThink too.

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Welcome to the DEVONthink forums!

I’m a bit unclear about the direction of your question. Just for clarification, are you asking why Windows or Linux versions of DEVONthink are not available?

I can see via an “interweb” search some availability of refurbished Apple Mac’s available in South Africa. If purchased from a reputable vendor, might be a way forward for you.

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A mandatory reminder that it can be difficult to determine if an online (or even brick-and-mortar) vendor is “reputable”, especially in places where regulation and government oversight are lacking.

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Of course. But I had to say it, didn’t I?

In China there is kind of a consensus to not advise second-hand or refurbished electronic products to the ones you care about, precisely because there are so many vendors, both online and offline, that it’s impossible to tell which sell genuine machines and which do not. (Many vendors in fact do not.)

I know nothing about South Africa. I fully agree with you that a refurbished Mac may suit the OP. But…

… not where I live :grinning:

Diversity in the world.

Yes, that was my question. It’s a bit frustrating, as someone who can really only afford Windows machines, that so many of the programs for writers and researchers are either Mac-exclusive or are have Windows versions that are generally not as good as the Mac versions.

Actually, looking at this, I see that the local Apple stores here sell pre-owned products that Apple themselves have refurbished and certified. It might be worth keeping an eye out for refurbished gear there.


That sounds like a promising strategy – DT is relatively modest in its minimum system requirements, so something like a 2019 Intel mini running MacOS 10.15 Catalina would be perfectly sufficient. Here’s a useful recent post by @Bluefrog on this:


What about an “obsolete” Mac? I use a GitHub project named OpenCore Legacy Patcher to keep my 2015 MacBook Pro running the latest OS (I updated to 14.2 this evening). It’s not a fast machine, but it wouldn’t cost much to buy, either. OCLP is mature and polished.

I am not a Windows user. But is it really possible that there is no software for windows that can do more or less what DT can do?

It’s a question that’s come up before.
Whatever the windows side is using to do similar things to the Devon suite, it’s either not as wide ranging a use-case profile or it’s in the enterprise price category.

I think of DT as a Smart bucket, as opposed to maybe a multi tool.
You can carry solids, liquids, tools, flowers, sand in a bucket and you can carry, measure, combine, store all those things in a bucket.

I don’t think a bucket counts as a simple machine in a human development context but I would guess that even primitive job sites had rudimentary buckets.

Why do some developers only develop for macos and not cross platform?

Some developers may choose to develop apps exclusively for macOS due to various reasons, including:

  1. Target audience: Developing an app for a specific platform, such as macOS, allows developers to focus on a particular audience segment. This can be beneficial for businesses that cater to a niche market or have a strong presence on a specific platform[3].

  2. Ease of development: Developing apps for a single platform can simplify the development process, as developers don’t need to worry about cross-platform compatibility and can focus on creating a high-quality experience for the target platform[5].

  3. Performance: Apps developed specifically for macOS can potentially offer better performance and user experience on the macOS platform, as they are tailored to the specific requirements and features of macOS[5].

  4. Familiarity: Developers who are familiar with macOS and its development environment, such as Xcode, may prefer to continue working with a platform they are comfortable with[4].

However, it is essential to note that cross-platform app development frameworks and tools, such as Xojo[2] and React Native[3], have made it easier to develop apps for multiple platforms, including macOS, iOS, Android, and Windows. These frameworks allow developers to create reusable code and reduce development costs, making it more feasible to target multiple platforms[3].

[1] Configuring a multiplatform app | Apple Developer Documentation Configuring a multiplatform app | Apple Developer Documentation
[2] Xojo: Cross-platform App Development Tool
[3] Top 10 Best Cross Platform App Development Frameworks Top 10 Best Cross Platform App Development Frameworks
[4] cross platform development for mobile devices - Apple Discussions cross platform development for mobile dev… - Apple Community
[5] Use Xcode to develop a multiplatform app - WWDC22 - Videos - Apple Developer Use Xcode to develop a multiplatform app - WWDC22 - Videos - Apple Developer

The devs have their reasons. I can understand it. I use ObsidianMD on both MacOS and android. This was cross platform developed framework developed. It’s too slow to use on Android, taking 10 seconds to open.

That said, maybe if Devonthink was developed from scratch using a cross platform framework of some kind, then maybe that would be more modern and viable? When Devonthink first came out there was nothing like we have available today. Keeping up with apple was plenty work enough.

But of course that would be masses of work, to start again.

So, something to consider could be a totally new app developed, cross platform, with just the name licensed out or something like that and another developer making it / dual venture.
There is lots and lots of competition coming through into Devonthink right now because of AI. I’ve said it before: Devonthink needs to act quickly and decisively at this time to react to developments in AI, if it wants to survive

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For Windows there is Zoot from It used to be good for dealing with keeping and searching multiple large databases.I used it years and years ago when I had Windows machines and have had no experience with it since, so I don’t know what it is like now.

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