News & Analysis

MacBook Users Beware of that Camera Cover You Bought

Apple has issued a terse warning to all MacBook users to not shut down their laptops with the same amount of force that they’re used to doing, especially so if they had recently acquired one of those sliding camera covers as a new accessory. Quite simply because, this could result in a cracked display that could burn a large hole in their pockets. 

Having read their advisory published on the Apple website, the question that surfaced first was ‘why would anyone do such a dumb thing?’ The answer is quite simple really… MacBook users have, for more than a generation, smacked their laptop shut unlike those using Windows, who had to first shut down the operating system. It’s this muscle memory that could result in costly repairs in case one replicated it with the camera covers. 

“If you close your Mac notebook with a camera cover installed, you might damage your display because the clearance between the display and keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances,” says the post by Apple. Such plastic camera covers are quite common today and shutting down the laptop with them on could prove quite expensive. 

But, that’s not all. Apple says that such covers over the built-in camera could also interfere with the ambient light sensor and prevent features like automatic brightness and True Tone from working. “As an alternative to a camera cover, use the camera indicator light to determine if your camera is active, and decide which apps can use your camera in System Preferences,” the post by Apple says. 

In case some of you haven’t still figured out what these camera covers are meant for, well they are supposed to keep the built-in camera under wraps during the work-from-home timeframe so that we don’t accidentally beam our private space to the world. The Internet is swarming with memes of careless folks keeping the camera running and accidentally showing off their derriere while moving about their bedrooms in lingerie wear, constantly conversing with their colleagues from work via their laptops.

Apple has a solution for this too. It says that instead of using covers, customers can trust the green LED light beside the camera. “The FaceTime HD camera built into your Mac computer is designed with your privacy in mind and uses a camera indicator light that glows green when the camera is active. So you will always know when the camera is on. The camera is engineered so that it can’t activate without the camera indicator light also turning on,” the document says. 

Of course, the company also acknowledges that some people may not have a choice (CXO Today isn’t convinced though) in the matter and might be required to use a camera cover given by their employers. In such cases, the cover should always be removed from the laptop before the smack down the cover. Looks like Apple has you covered either way! 

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