Apple leaks details of new MacBook Pro with OLED ‘Magic Toolbar’

26 Oct 2016

The new Magic Toolbar and Touch ID functionality were inadvertently leaked as images within the new macOS Sierra. Image source: MacRumors

Apple has included images of a new MacBook Pro with an OLED touch panel and a Touch ID sensor in the latest version of macOS Sierra.

Whether it intended to or not, Apple has out-scooped the entire news industry that has developed around Apple rumours, by revealing what the new MacBook Pro due to be unveiled tomorrow (27 October) will look like.

Apple is planning a total refresh of its Mac line-up. This can’t happen fast enough, as Mac sales are down 14pc, with 4.8m computers being shipped in Q4.

‘The new line of MacBooks will feature the Apple Smart Button and the Magic Toolbar’

Future Human

Apple is pinning its hopes on a buoyant Q1 Christmas sales season, forecasting revenues in the region of $78bn.

The return of the Mac and there’s no Esc

It has been at least two years since Apple has gone crazy with its Mac line-up. One of the rumours circulating of late has been the inclusion of an OLED strip panel along the top of the new MacBook Pro, which would change according to what apps were being used.

It is an interesting development and shows Apple still has a few innovative tricks up its sleeve.

Interestingly, the OLED panel is being accompanied by a Touch ID button with Apple Pay integration.

When not in use, the OLED strip remains completely dark, but could transform itself in terms of touch buttons, colours and symbols – depending what app is in use.

Eagle-eyed observers have also noticed that the new MacBook Pro comes with no Esc button, showing Apple is being quite fearless in jettisoning old tech that has served its purpose.

Say hello to the Apple Magic Toolbar

Apple leaks details of new MacBook Pro with OLED ‘Magic Toolbar’

The Magic Toolbar goes dark when not in use but lights up when certain apps are switched on. Image: The Verge

Considering the furore around the disappearance of the headphone jack in the latest iPhone 7 devices, it remains to be seen if Apple is also planning on getting rid of USB ports, in favour of a single USB-C port for charging and transferring data.

But the OLED strip could inform the future of all notebooks as we know it.

Irish trademark expert Brian Conroy is carving something of an international reputation as The Trademark Ninja, after spotting the correct name for Apple’s new wireless headphones: the AirPods.

Conroy has spotted a trademark application for the Apple Magic Toolbar, which was filed in Delaware as well as in Benelux countries.

After careful research, Conroy spotted a number of coincidences and trademark applications by an entity calling itself Presto Apps America LLC, which he believes is actually Apple.

“So, I’m pinning my flag to the mast now,” Conroy said. “The new line of MacBooks will feature the Apple Smart Button and the Magic Toolbar.”

As usual, only Apple really knows, and we will have to wait and see what the tech giant reveals tomorrow (27 October) in Cupertino.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years