Home ‘I’m a Mac’ Apple actor returns to bash MacOS

‘I’m a Mac’ Apple actor returns to bash MacOS


  • Justin Long, the "I'm a Mac" guy, appeared in a Qualcomm ad criticizing MacOS for its excessive notifications and promoting Snapdragon-powered PCs.
  • The ad, presented at Qualcomm’s Computex keynote, humorously highlights how MacOS has become overly complicated and nagging over the past 20 years.
  • Long's appearance continues his trend of critiquing Apple, as seen in his 2021 Intel ads, emphasizing the freedom offered by alternative platforms.

Remember the “I’m a Mac” guy? The thumbs-in-jeans-pockets cool dude who pointed out how Macs and MacOS was easier to use by everyday people than the stuffy and overcomplicated Windows? Was that really 20 years ago?

Yes, it was, and as actor Justin Long says now, “Things change.” After 20 years, one would expect they would. At the end of Qualcomm’s Computex keynote presentation on June 3, Long appeared in an ironic advertisement where he is assailed by numerous reminders, notifications, and other bothersome messages from Apple’s notorious, nanny-like operating system. Mr. I’m-a-Mac instead pushes away all of the nagging and keys in a search for a Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered PC instead.

“What? Things change,” Long says. Indeed they do.

More than 20 years ago, Long appeared opposite actor John Hodgman (“I’m a PC”) to promote MacOS’s user-friendliness and simplicity of use. And indeed that was the case at the time, but a lot does change after more than two decades.

Though the pop-ups Long is blowing off speak to MacOS’ capabilities handling disk space, battery power, and other core functions of a CPU, the fact they’re all presented as yet another notification nag, which Mac users have to turn off, opt out, or spend a great deal of time managing regardless of CPU performance, is rather spot on. It positions Mac, MacOS, and Apple as the nanny, hall monitor, and playground scold that no one pays attention to.

As The Verge points out, Long has been on something of a rehabilitation tour. In 2021 he cut advertisements for Intel that joked about Apple MacBook features as the company moved away from Intel processors.

In any event, Qualcomm taking Apple’s everyman, to be bombarded like every Apple user with dozens of irrelevant and nettlesome notices, makes a great point about the bureaucratic feature creep of MacOS and the liberation that awaits in alternate platforms.

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Owen Good
Gaming Editor (US)

Owen Good is a 15-year veteran of video games writing, also covering pop culture and entertainment subjects for the likes of Kotaku and Polygon. He is a Gaming Editor for ReadWrite working from his home in North Carolina, the United States, joining this publication in April, 2024. Good is a 1995 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 2000 graduate of The Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, in New York. A second-generation newspaperman, Good's career before covering video games included daily newspaper stints in North Carolina; in upstate New York; in Washington, D.C., with the Associated Press; and…

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