Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch Review

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For those not familiar with Macs, once you log into the Mac OS, the MacBook Pro (by default) places a group of icons located on the bottom of the screen.


The Dock

This is called the Dock and it includes shortcuts to a number of applications. Similar to Windows' Taskbar, you can control where and how the Dock appears and what applications you want to include in it.


Included applications.

Similar to Windows' Start menu, you can also access all of the system's pre-installed applications from the Applications icon in the Dock.


iPhoto

All new Macs ship with Apple's iLife suite (which sells for $79 as a stand-alone software suite). iLife is a very robust software suite that provides a number of multimedia-based, consumer-grade applications. A couple of the iLife apps are similar in functionality to Microsoft's free Windows Live Essentials apps for Windows PCs; but the iLife applications tend to be much more in-depth and feature rich than what the Windows Live Essentials apps offer. For managing your photo library and doing some light image editing, the included iLife app is iPhoto. The Windows equivalent would be Windows Live Photo Gallery.


iMovie

For video creation and editing, the included app is iMovie. The Windows equivalent would be Windows Live Movie Maker.


GarageBand

GarageBand is a surprisingly sophisticated audio-creation and editing app that is ideal for budding composers and podcasters. For some potential Windows-based software titles that share at least some similarities with GarageBand, check out the article on the Microsoft at Home Website here.


iWeb

The iWeb app is a fairly simple tool for designing, editing, and publishing Websites. It is primarily meant to be used with Apple's MobileMe subscription service ($99 per year, or $69 per year if purchased with a new Mac, iPhone, or iPad), but it can be used to design and upload Websites to virtually any host. There is no loss of Windows-based Web creation/editing software titles, including a handful of free apps, such as The CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor and Mozilla's SeaMonkey--albeit, neither of these apps are as easy to use as iWeb (note: SeaMonkey is also available for the Mac OS as well).


iDVD

The final member of the iLife family is iDVD. As its name implies, it is meant for simple authoring of DVDs for home movies and similar projects. It comes with a number of templates that make setting up the DVD's menu design as simple as dragging and dropping. A couple of free Windows alternatives are DVD Flick and DVD Styler.

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