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Apple stabilizes new Mac notebooks

Owners of MacBooks, MacBook Pros, or MacBook Airs purchased after Apple's October launch event will want to apply new firmware updates designed to "improve stability."

Apple has released stabilizing updates for its new MacBook, shown here, as well as other systems introduced in October.

Apple has released several new firmware updates aimed at solving problems with its latest batch of notebooks.

Updates are available for all three Mac notebooks released in October: the new MacBook Pro, MacBook, and MacBook Air. In usual fashion, Apple didn't provide a whole lot of detail about the issues that are corrected by the EFI firmware updates, other than to note that they "improve the stability" of those new systems.

The company also released firmware updates for the SMC (system management controller) chip inside Mac notebooks, which helps regulate power consumption among other things. Those updates "improve the sensing and accuracy of the MagSafe Power Adapter indicator light, and the battery charge indicator lights" on the new MacBook Pro and MacBook. The SMC update for the MacBook Air tackles just the MagSafe issues.

Several problems have been reported of late with the new notebooks, which also saw a firmware update issued earlier this year to correct a problem with the new glass trackpad design introduced with those systems. The SMC is the same part that would require a firmware update to fix the sleep/wake problems noted by some users, even though Apple doesn't call that problem out in the release notes for that firmware.

The updates should be popping up in Software Update as you read this; let us know if you have any trouble applying the updates or notice any significant changes. Owners of laptops purchased before the major redesign in October need not worry about Wednesday's firmware releases.

UPDATED 3:25pm - The notes accompanying the Software Update notification explain that "this update improves the stability of MacBook computers and addresses issues with sleep-wake, USB, and device compatibility," adding a little more information and suggesting that this batch of updates should fix some of the problems we noted yesterday.