The MacBook Pro comes with a software bundle that includes OS X Lion, their newest operating system, and a suite of software for organizing, socializing, creating and editing media, and browsing the web.
Use this information to find out which MacBook Pro you have, and where it fits in the history of MacBook Pro. Your Mac provides several tools to help you identify it. The simplest is About This Mac, available by choosing About This Mac from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your screen.
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Since Apple released its new Lion operating system earlier this year, all of the new MacBook Pros come with it. Lion has received mixed reviews. Critics complain that the software didn't make enough improvements over its predecessor, Snow Leopard, and some even compare it to Windows Vista, Microsoft's notoriously buggy OS. While others are saying that Lion doesn't offer as many big improvements as Apple's normally includes with upgraded operating systems, Lion is still worth the upgrade [source: Siracusa].
All new MacBook Pros come with Mail and iCal to help keep your emails and schedule organized. Mail is built-in email software -- sort of similar to Microsoft Outlook -- that lets you download and organize emails. Apple's iCal is a calendar program where you can keep track of appointments. Users that have other Apple devices, like the iPad and iPhone can synch iCal with the phone or the tablet to keep appointment information handy on the go. You can also synch iCal with Google calendar, if you prefer using that to keep track of events.
The MacBook Pro also comes with the iLife suite of software, so media buffs can create music in GarageBand, do some simple video editing in iMovie, and organize and edit photos using iPhoto. With iTunes you can organize your music library and download music and podcasts easily.
The new MacBook Pro also includes FaceTime, a video chat software, that works with the built-in FaceTime HD Camera (more on the camera on the next page). You can use FaceTime to video chat with friends, family, and co-workers, provided they are also on a MacBook, iPhone, or iPad. Some users complain that this is a drawback to the software, since it limits who you can chat with [source: Perez].
Of course, other software is available for sale. For instance, iWork, Mac's suite of office software, is available. MacBook Pro's Time Machine, which helps back up your computer automatically, is also available. You can also use Time Machine with the Apple Time Capsule, which is a router with a hard drive built into it. Either way, Time Machine saves your old files and remembers what your computer's setup was in the past. That means that if something starts to act buggy, you can restore your machine to the settings it had before it started acting up [source: Apple].
Up next, we'll take a look at the accessories Apple offers to deck out the new MacBook Pros.
In brief: When you turn on your MacBook Pro, does it look like your desktop is about to put on a vaudeville show? It could be caused by a display cable that is too short. Apple will now fix that problem for free on eligible laptops.
Apple launched a repair program for those who have fallen victim to the “flexgate” display problem. The free repairs only apply to 2016 MacBook Pros with or without the Touch Bar. The program only covers laptops for four years after they were purchased, so those who bought their 2016 Pro when they first launched in October 2016, have a little over a year to make a claim.
The issue was first noticed back in January. One MacBook Pro user started a petition reporting that his display's backlight was acting up. The symptoms included a “stage light” effect at the bottom of the screen or the display completely shutting off if the lid was opened more than halfway.
It turns out the cause of the issue is a cable that connects the display to the base of the laptop. The cable is a bit too short, and over time the stretching caused by opening and closing the MacBook creates a faulty connection.
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An iFixit breakdown of a 2018 MacBook showed that Apple quietly fixed the problem in newer models by using a longer cable. Of course, this did nothing to address the issue that 2016 users are having, so Apple initiated the repair program.
It insists that the defect is only present in “a very small percentage of 13-inch MacBook Pro displays.” However, similar symptoms have also been reported occurring in 2016 and 2017 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros. If complaints continue, expect Cupertino to expand the repair program.
Affected users can drop off their defective unit at the closest Apple authorized service provider or Apple Store. Alternatively, they can contact Apple Support to set up a mail-in repair.