Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

D22 and iOS 11 GM Leaks

John Gruber, on this weekend’s massive leak of the golden master build of iOS 11:

I wish I could say more about how I know what I know, but it’s good to see the BBC confirm this. The BBC doesn’t say definitively that the leak was sent by an Apple employee, but I can state with nearly 100 percent certainty that it was. I also think there’s a good chance Apple is going to figure out who it was.

Earlier this year, I was thinking about how amazing it was that a product as closely-watched as Apple’s next iPhone had not yet leaked in a substantial way. Yes, there were the occasional and inevitable part leaks showing a vertical cutout for the camera on the back, and there were lots of rumours about the new virtually bezel-less hardware and 50% greater pixel density display, but there was very little actually known.

And then the HomePod firmware leak happened, and gave everyone a rough idea of what the device would look like. A few codenames were found as well, some more obvious than others.

And then this weekend’s GM leak spilled everything wide open.

The thing I don’t understand is simply why someone would do this. It’s not an early tease of a few new features, like the lost (or stolen) iPhone 4 was, nor is it early enough for a competitor to be able to change course. Apple’s event is on Tuesday, so this leak is just a massive spoiler for anyone who likes surprises, and all the staff who have worked really hard to keep these products secret.

To be clear: I have no problem with 9to5Mac or Steven Troughton-Smith picking their way through the firmware. But I think the Apple employee who did this was acting selfish by sending these links to rumour sites. It’s the kind of stupid act that is likely to create a more restricted environment for future software and hardware.