We’ve come to expect a lot of mystery and even more fanfare out of Apple’s events, and it’s usually with good reason. Most of us will forever remember the iconic photo of Steve Jobs holding up the first-ever iPad, or the crazy invite to the Apple event that surreptitiously unveiled the iPhone 5 in shadow relief. Face it, these events and the marketing behind them are fun.
Which is why it’s pretty confusing that the company’s senior vice president of software engineering would oops himself into opening a classified email onstage yesterday. That’s a pretty big flub in front of an audience full of reporters… unless it was intentional.
Whether or not Craig Federighi actually meant to open the email or whether it was just a no-big-deal mistake–since all it revealed was the anticipated pending ship date of Mac’s new desktop software El Capitan, which is already out in private beta–the smart thinking is that this was really the only wow moment of an otherwise standard event. After all, the big reveals included new features for the iPhone 6 and 6-Plus instead of an iPhone 7 as rumors speculated, and a larger iPad at a time when many companies are looking to make tablets smaller. While hardly ho-hum news, the announcement of a twelve-plus inch iPad Pro for increased work capabilities isn’t exactly on par with the launch of a never-before-seen device.
Which is why it’s likely that Federighi’s onstage gaff was really just a fun way of announcing something that was already slated to be said to the crowd, especially since the email itself was practically a glowing endorsement for El Capitan. This new software, which will offer even better workflow tools than the current Mac Yosemite software, will include little extras like split screen windows and better functionality with many of Apple’s apps. The upgrade to El Capitan is free, and will be available to the public–according to Federighi’s “private” email–on September 30th.