What Software Do You Get With a MacBook?

By Sophie Southern

MacBooks come with enough software that you can basically take them out of the box and start playing around with photos, video and music, browse the Internet and chat with friends online. Although you receive an OS X install disc with your MacBook, you don’t need to install OS X. You can turn on your MacBook right after you buy it; the install disc is used for troubleshooting and restoring the system. Apple sells several applications that do not come default on the MacBook, such as the iWork software bundle and Aperture.


Apple includes standard applications like Mail, iTunes, iChat, Safari, Calendar, Address Book and Photo Booth on MacBooks. Mail is the default email application, Address Book is for organizing your contacts and Safari is Apple’s default Web browser. Photo Booth lets you take fun photos with your MacBook’s built-in iSight webcam. iTunes is Apple’s digital music jukebox software, which lets you listen to, organize and manage music. iTunes also lets you sync your MacBook with Apple devices like the iPod or iPhone.


MacBooks come with Apple’s iLife software bundle, which consists of iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. iPhoto lets you import photos from CDs, folders and digital cameras; organize them into events and albums; edit for exposure, color, saturation and contrast; and even apply filters and effects. iMovie lets you edit videos and create home movies, with options to add music, transitions and effects. GarageBand lets you record and edit music and includes instruments and sound effects.


MacBooks come with some useful and practical yet much-less-talked-about applications such as Grab and Image Capture. Grab lets you take screen shots or selections of anything visible on your MacBook and save them to TIFF, JPG or PNG format. Image Capture lets you access external devices and import content to your MacBook, such as transferring photos and videos from your phone or digital camera. You can also use Image Capture to access a scanner. Preview lets you view images, perform minor edits like cropping and size adjustment, export files as PDFs and more.

Unsung Heroes

Automator is one of the least publicly-praised Mac OS X applications, which is strange because it has so many practical uses. Automator basically lets you create your own applications that perform repeated actions. That may not seem big, but it’s actually very useful for repeated and habitual tasks like resizing or optimizing photos, renaming files and copying URLs. Automator even lets you create group mailers and combine or watermark PDF files. MacBooks also come with Front Row, which is an application that lets you view any and all media movie-theatre style, such as photos, TV shows, movies and music.