New MacBook Pro 2016 Rumors: Apple Pay, Touch ID, OLED – What’s Apple Showing Off Tomorrow?

Fans of Apple’s MacBooks are waiting with bated breath, as the Cupertino tech giant has one more media event scheduled for Thursday, October 27. Word has it that Apple will be showing off new MacBook Pro models, and the newest rumors on the 2016 MacBook Pro update has Apple packing a whole range of new features into its new MacBooks. But just which rumors are the most believable?

The newest reports come courtesy of MacRumors, which delved into some of the image resources built into Apple’s latest macOS update, macOS Sierra 10.12.1. Released yesterday, the new update — for the operating system that powers Apple’s MacBook, iMac, and Mac Pro lines — gave Apple sleuths the best indication of what to expect from tomorrow’s MacBook-focused event.

In particular, the macOS update showed images of a MacBook Pro with features just like those that have been rumored for months now. Namely, the MacBook Pro shown in the macOS internal images was missing its top row of function buttons. Instead, the new MacBook appears to have an OLED touch panel at the top of its keyboard where the function keys would normally be placed. What’s more, there appears to be a Touch ID function — a biometric fingerprint reader like those seen in Apple’s iPads and iPhones — built into the power button on one end of the OLED strip.

Swapping out the function key row for a new OLED touch panel would allow Apple to make that row into a changeable aspect of the new MacBook Pro. That would allow Apple and other developers to change the information seen on the row depending on the context an application or website requires.

What’s more, the inclusion of Touch ID would allow MacBook Pro users to pay for things on the internet, through applications, and through Apple’s App and iTunes Stores without having to go through the process of entering their personal information again and again. It could also allow users to log into their MacBooks without entering passwords.

Aside from what Apple is expected to call its “Magic Toolbar,” the 2016 MacBook Pro updates are expected, of course, to see upgraded internals across the MacBook line, with faster, less power-intensive processors built in. The 13-inch MacBook Pro – the version seen in the images revealing the Magic Toolbar – is also likely to get a new speaker arrangement, with the speakers showing up on the side of the keyboard.

As to that keyboard, it looks like it will be one of a number of form factor changes for the 2016 MacBook Pro line. Apple is expected to make the new MacBook Pro models thinner and lighter, and it looks like Apple may be bringing the “butterfly” keyboard mechanism seen on the Retina MacBook to this year’s MacBook Pro lineup. That will likely mean a shallower keyboard arrangement, a change that it might take some MacBook Pro fans a bit of time to get used to.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, some other more recent rumors have sprung up regarding the 2016 MacBook Pro that point to significant changes to the MacBook’s internals. Respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously pointed to improvements in the MacBook Pro’s screen’s energy efficiency, up to 2TB SSD of storage, and a special processor to control the aforementioned Magic Toolbar as likely new additions for the 2016 edition of the MacBook Pro.

Rumor also has it that the 2016 MacBook Pro lineup will see Apple ditching the HDMI port, the MagSafe power port, and the SD card slot, a possibility that might see some MacBook Pro fans holding off on upgrading. This year’s update might see the addition of four USB-C ports, though, so users with cutting-edge peripherals will likely be set for connectivity.

That’s not all that Apple is expected to show off at Thursday’s media event, but the MacBook Pro upgrade is definitely the most anticipated of Apple’s revelations. Apple fans might also see new MacBook or MacBook Air models, and there’s a possibility that Apple will update its iMac lineup. For the most part, though, the MacBook Pro update is expected to be the focus of Apple’s event, and fans will want to tune in on Thursday, October 27, at 10 a.m. PST to see what Apple has waiting in the wings.

[Featured Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]