macOS Sierra 10.12.1, released yesterday, includes hidden Apple Pay images that depict the brand new MacBook Pro with an OLED touch panel that's set to be announced by Apple on Thursday, October 27.

In addition to confirming that such a product is in the works, the images give us our first full look at the redesigned MacBook Pro ahead of its launch. An OLED touch panel is located on top of the keyboard, where the function keys would normally be placed, and it very clearly supports Touch ID, as it is seen used with Apple Pay.

When I've talked about Apple having poor QA before, this is the sort of thing I'm talking about.

Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say that there are thousands of images in the 10.12.1 update. There's still not so many you can't still divvy them up and have three sets of eyes look at each one. It took the Mac press all of 14 hours to come up with these images.

Could there be mitigating circumstances? Sure.

Maybe some of these are stored inline rather than as discrete files, unlike png/jpg files found within an app (or some other sort of) bundle. It could've been a nice inline image, perhaps.

<img src="data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAzQAAABjCAIAAADCc9LyAAAd0klEQVR4nO3df2wT5/0H8CdfIZAGBLGqRRgyX5sgplK16Yqi...

Maybe MacRumors didn't find them in just 14 hours. Maybe they found the images in a beta and stayed quiet until the embargo was off.

Maybe folks were told the OS would be released concurrent with the new hardware, and that proved untrue (highly unlikely, but as long as we're maybe-ing... Didn't iOS 10 predate the iPhone 7, for instance?).

But even in one of these most favorable contexts for Apple, not to have every image pass in front of enough eyes to catch something the press does this quickly is insane.

Let's be clear: This isn't the Alcatraz level snuck into N64's San Francisco Rush or Warren Robinette's name in the Adventure for the Atari 2600. These images were meant to be consumed by users. Every user-facing image should have been QA'd. Unlike those games' Easter Eggs, this content wasn't hidden, and that QA should've been planned.

Actually, there is one "maybe" that could excuse Apple: Maybe this was a planned leak to stoke some excitement in diehard fans.

You know, I might've been tempted to believe that if...

  1. Internal leaks about hardware were common at Apple
    • I'm still flabbergasted by the ATi backlash over 16 years ago, though that's not so germane now.
    • Still, you get my point. How about the Mac Pro's trashcan? Complete surprise, iirc.
  2. Apple hadn't become so bad at QA recently (see above).

Oh well. I'll admittedly be watching Thursday. As bad as it is, I still want to [finally] add a new horse to my Mac stable. My current Macs (ones that are powered on) are an old mini and a, I kid you not, 2009 MacBook upgraded to an SSD.

I waffled thinking they'd release something new this March, but finally decided not to get the updated 12" MacBook or wait for a MacBook Pro. Instead, I bagged a $700 14" Lenovo Y700. I thought that I'd regret that purchase quickly when new Macs came out in a month or so afterwards. That didn't happen, natch.

Looks like a portable workstation with a i7-6700HQ for $700 ($850 with SSD & 24 gigs of RAM) was a pretty good deal after all. Wonder what I'd get for it with those upgrades on eBay now, and what percentage of a 13" MacBook Pro it'd cover... ;^)

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