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Webcam cover -cracks- the MBP 16 inch display easily

dashwin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 19, 2015
129
78
I've had many MacBook and Powerbooks in my life.

The latest MBP 16 inch with the thin tiny bezels and display comes at a cost of breakage with the tiniest of forces with a webcam cover in place. The internal display no longer works and I've had to connect it to an external display. I've had one of the exact same webcam covers on my 2011 MBP with no issues whatsoever for many years.

So general advice: DO NOT put a Webcam COVER or any hard plastic thing on the newer MBPs screens.

IMG_6277.jpg


Luckily I have AppleCare+ and can get this covered by shelling out another $99 - thanks Apple. Not ideal during these pandemic times to be out of your daily driver. That said, I have ordered an iPad Pro 12.9 inch so I'm hopeful I can have that delivered before I ship this back in for repair.

My faith in Apple products has been waning for the last few years. At some point I will likely give up and make the shift to other systems. Not that far off from here given how a) expensive they are and b) how dated the technology is. They've lost their edge.

P.S: There was a similar thread on Reddit that I came across only after cracking the screen: https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/eg84x1
 

dashwin

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 19, 2015
129
78
Wondering how any of this is Apple's fault? If you put something between the screen and the body deliberately, it's your own lookout. On any laptop.

There are a few common use-cases where people put stuff between the display and the screen such as skins, keyboard covers to not let crumbs in, webcam covers for privacy (there's only so much trust in the system regardless of the extents that Apple takes) at the very least.

Customers WILL end up doing these sorts of things whether Apple likes it or not. The same way people put cases on their phones or use third-party accessories.

Accounting for some of these common scenarios and/or designing screens that can stand up to common scenarios and some pressure when you shove it in a bag with other things is certainly in Apples purview.

Earlier MacBook's and Powerbooks had no issues with the physical screen itself to my knowledge and my experience. For example, on the 2011 MBP, if I rest my finger with some pressure on it, it doesn't flex and there's no give. In the newer thinner screened MBPs a little pressure and I see the LCD swim around with artifacts. The fact that I've had the same exact webcam cover on earlier systems without any issues for decades or years speaks for itself.
 
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Sanpete

macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2016
2,778
1,212
Utah
The fact that I've had the same exact webcam cover on earlier systems without any issues for decades or years speaks for itself.
Doesn't speak for its suitability for a new design, clearly. No way to make this Apple's fault; you have to adjust you mods to fit the machine. Your advice to no do what you did is useful, so thanks for that.
 
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jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
6,232
3,183
SF Bay Area
Strange. I have a webcam cover on my 16" and have not had any issue. I am pretty gentle with my equipment and never out a lot of weight against the back of the screen or slam the screen shut. Also, I got the thinnest possible cover I could find on Amazon. I used the same cover on my 2018 and 2015 15" MBPs with no issue.

I could definitely see a student putting once these covers on a screen and putting some books in a backpack and putting too much force. But that is something I would never do since all screen will break eventually if you do that.
 
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profcutter

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2019
468
201
There have been a few of these threads. I’m not sure how commonplace the problem is, but I don’t remember ever seeing the problem before the 16”. I have a webcam cover, but mine is just a black printed piece of paper under tape (my work requires some privacy, my university requires me to use filevault because of my research). There have been just a couple of these threads till now, but I’ll personally be keeping an eye out. It’s not unreasonable to expect that the activity you’ve done in the past to protect your privacy would continue to work on a new machine. Apple doesn’t say I can use a VPN but I do, I’d be just as pissed if I got a new machine or software update and the VPN caused an unrecoverable OS error.
 
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fishmoose

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2008
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Sweden
Install Oversight, it is an app that monitors if the webcam or microphone is turned on and notifies you. You can even block usage of the webcam or microphone.

 
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nicho

macrumors 68040
Feb 15, 2008
3,643
2,520
There have been a few of these threads. I’m not sure how commonplace the problem is, but I don’t remember ever seeing the problem before the 16”. I have a webcam cover, but mine is just a black printed piece of paper under tape (my work requires some privacy, my university requires me to use filevault because of my research). There have been just a couple of these threads till now, but I’ll personally be keeping an eye out. It’s not unreasonable to expect that the activity you’ve done in the past to protect your privacy would continue to work on a new machine. Apple doesn’t say I can use a VPN but I do, I’d be just as pissed if I got a new machine or software update and the VPN caused an unrecoverable OS error.

Not the best argument there. A little research on your behalf:

 
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chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
10,192
3,909
Strange. I have a webcam cover on my 16" and have not had any issue. I am pretty gentle with my equipment and never out a lot of weight against the back of the screen or slam the screen shut. Also, I got the thinnest possible cover I could find on Amazon. I used the same cover on my 2018 and 2015 15" MBPs with no issue.
None of the USB-C Mac laptops have enough clearance between the screen and the top case for a camera cover. I would not use anything thicker than tape.
 
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Sanpete

macrumors 68030
Nov 17, 2016
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Utah
It’s not unreasonable to expect that the activity you’ve done in the past to protect your privacy would continue to work on a new machine. Apple doesn’t say I can use a VPN but I do, I’d be just as pissed if I got a new machine or software update and the VPN caused an unrecoverable OS error.
It's unreasonable to expect everything that worked before is still suitable when the machine is redesigned. It stands to reason that putting something on your screen assembly that you can see will cause it to flex isn't a good idea. Thin tape is fine. A slidable cover is thicker.

A cover that's too thick is like a VPN that requires malware to function.
 
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profcutter

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2019
468
201
Yes I understand y’all don’t like the analogy, no you haven’t convinced me at all that there isn’t a problem. Moving on.
 
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hallux

macrumors 68040
Apr 25, 2012
3,195
743
With the tight tolerance/clearance between the screen/clamshell and topcase (where the keyboard is), adding anything much thicker than a few pieces of paper or tape is going to cause undue stress on the screen. By placing that cover in the center of the screen you're placing a fulcrum for the screen on either side to leverage against. This WILL cause the glass or screen to break. If the cover was a strip across the entire top of the screen it might not be as much of an issue.

This WAS a problem on previous MBPs, I've replaced at least one MBP screen because of this exact pressure point causing the screen to crack when pressure was placed on the closed lid.
 
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