Touch Bar Stories April 26

As Apple drops Touch Bar, Dell puts one in the trackpad

Apple last year dropped the polarizing Touch Bar from the MacBook Pro models, but Dell has just launched a new laptop with a touch bar in the trackpad …

Touch Bar Stories October 21, 2021

During its “Unleashed” event earlier this week, Apple unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro. Basically, the company brought back everything that was available before 2016 but with more power on the inside. Unfortunately, or not, Apple removed the Touch Bar and reintroduced the function keys. How do you feel about this? Do you like this change or not?

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Touch Bar Stories January 25, 2021

The future of the Touch Bar was thrown into doubt earlier this month thanks to separate reports from Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The former said that the touch-sensitive strip was definitely being removed, while the latter said Apple was considering it.

There doesn’t seem to be any real consensus view of the Touch Bar, making it a tough call for Apple, but one Apple patent does describe a possible compromise approach that takes the company some way toward a fully dynamic keyboard …

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Touch Bar Stories January 20, 2021

Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable supply chain analyst for TF International Securities, predicts a bold new class of MacBook Pros this year with MagSafe charging and I/O ports that won’t require dongles. What Kuo doesn’t forecast is a future for the Touch Bar, the strip of touchscreen panel Apple added to the MacBook Pro in 2016. Love or hate the Touch Bar, that’s a bad thing.

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Touch Bar Stories January 15, 2021

We’ve had a couple of reports today, each from solid sources, suggesting that we’ll see significant changes when the 2021 MacBook Pro models appear.

The two reports agree on most things, though there are some differences between them. Notably, Ming-Chi Kuo indicates that removal of the Touch Bar is a done deal, while Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman thinks it is merely being considered at this stage …

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Touch Bar Stories January 8, 2020

It’s tough to complain about Twitter for Mac these days. After a disappointing history on the Mac that ended with no official client for a while, Twitter used Apple’s Mac Catalyst technology to bring the iPad codebase to the Mac last fall. The latest version of Twitter for Mac brings the app one step closer to working like a traditional Mac app.

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Touch Bar Stories April 12, 2019

It seems a given that Apple will bring Face ID to Macs sooner rather than later, now that the tech has been extended from iPhones to iPads too. We’ve today seen the latest in a series of Apple patent applications to do just that.

But the patent also suggests the Touch Bar could be coming to Magic Keyboards

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Touch Bar Stories October 19, 2018

One of the questions a lot of people had when Apple first announced the current incarnation of the MacBook Pro design was: is the Touch Bar a gimmick?

Last time I discussed this, I concluded it wasn’t worth the premium it likely adds to the price of the machine – and the majority of you agreed with me. But today I go further and wonder whether it adds any value at all … ?

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Touch Bar Stories June 12, 2018

CNET has a piece today listing five things it thinks Apple needs to do with the Mac line-up this year. Alongside sorting out the butterfly keyboard issues, allowing a sneak-peek at the Mac Pro, updating the MacBook Air and offering one non-USB-C port on MacBooks, Dan Ackerman asks for … one more thing.

Make the Touch Bar truly optional. It’s not a universally adopted control interface, and plenty of Mac users either don’t care for it or don’t feel they need it.

The least expensive 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar is a full $500 less than the least expensive 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar (yes, there are CPU and storage differences as well). The 15-inch MacBook Pro, however, is only available with the Touch Bar. I’d wager that many potential shoppers would jump at a chance to shave a few hundred dollars off a 15-inch Pro that skipped the high-concept Touch Bar …

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Touch Bar Stories March 16, 2018

When Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone in 2007, he made much of the fact that other smartphones of the time had physical keyboards. That was, he said, an inflexible approach when you didn’t need a keyboard all the time, and where the optimal keyboard layout may depend on which app you’re using.

The same argument could be made for a laptop, but while an on-screen keyboard is fine for small amounts of typing, it can never replace a physical laptop keyboard – unless it could act and feel like a real one. And that’s what Apple tackles in a new patent application …

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Touch Bar Stories October 17, 2017

If you’re selling (or generously handing down) your MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Apple recommends an extra step when erasing your data before parting ways with your machine. This step requires an obscure Terminal command that you wouldn’t assume and isn’t required on Macs without the Touch Bar.

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Touch Bar Stories July 25, 2017

Version 60 of Google Chrome is rolling out now to macOS with the long awaited Touch Bar support. This release also adds support for a number of developer-focused features, including the Payment Request API and an updated Credential Management API.

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Touch Bar Stories April 11, 2017

Evernote is out with a major new update for MacBook Pro users that brings colorful new Touch Bar features to the note-taking app. The latest version lets Evernote users gain ‘quick access to key navigation and note editing commands’ on the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

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Touch Bar Stories April 4, 2017

I wondered soon after the launch of the 2016 MacBook Pro whether Apple might have plans to bring the Touch Bar and Touch ID to a new Magic Keyboard. A new Apple patent application shows that the company is at least exploring the idea.

As ever, the language of the patent is dense, but the illustrations include a standalone keyboard as well as a laptop one.

In some embodiments, the device may also include a processing unit positioned within the housing, and a primary display positioned at least partially within the housing and configured to display a graphical-user interface executed by the processing unit. In some embodiments, the display is an organic light-emitting diode display. The electronic device may be a keyboard device.

As I noted previously, this would seem to address the greatest weakness of the Touch Bar …

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Touch Bar Stories March 11, 2017

Microsoft has quietly updated its Skype client for Mac to version 7.48 with a notable new feature for MacBook Pro users: Touch Bar support. The update, which is available now, allows MacBook Pro with Touch Bar users to more easily control their calls…

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Touch Bar Stories February 23, 2017

how-to-take-screenshots-with-the-touch-bar

One of the things that I’ve always loved about macOS is how easy it is to take a variety of screenshots with just a keyboard shortcut. Yet, with the release of the Touch Bar-adorned MacBook Pro, some may find that taking screenshots is easier than ever. In this brief tutorial, we’ll show you how. expand full story

Touch Bar Stories February 21, 2017

touch-bar-keyboard-shortcuts

For last week’s installment of our Logic Pros series, I wrote about the new Touch Bar support in the recently released latest version of Logic Pro X. It turns out Final Cut Pro users have good reason to be jealous; and other apps could benefit a lot from implementing what Logic has done. It’s some of the best support yet, and one feature specifically, fully customizable banks of buttons for keyboard shortcuts, is something I’d love to see other apps adopt.

Final Cut Pro, GarageBand and other Apple apps got Touch Bar support at launch, but what Logic Pro X ended up getting beats them all.

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Touch Bar Stories February 16, 2017

excel

Microsoft has released a new update today for Office 2016 for Mac that includes Touch Bar support. These features were originally announced during Apple’s October event last year. We reported last week that members of the Office Insider beta program got a chance to try out the new update first. Now, the update with Touch Bar functionality is available to all users.

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Touch Bar Stories February 7, 2017

customize-macbook-pro-touch-bar

How to customize the Touch Bar on these Mac laptops:

The 2016 MacBook Pro adds a new way of using macOS with the addition of the Touch Bar, featuring dynamic touch controls, sliders and buttons, close to your fingers next to the row of static keys. Depending on the app, the Touch Bar changes context and shows relevant buttons for what you are doing.

You can also take this one step further and change what the Touch Bar offers yourself: Apple has made it pretty customizable. You can add new buttons for a particular app, take others away, as well as adjust the persistent Control Strip items on the right side of the Touch Bar. For example, you can remove the Siri button from the Touch Bar. Here’s how to do that and a lot more …

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Touch Bar Stories January 30, 2017

Bar exam applicants required to disable MacBook Pro Touch Bar due to cheating concerns

The Board of Law Examiners of the State of North Carolina has issued a notice to Bar exam applicants, informing anyone using Apple’s new MacBook Pro that the device’s new Touch Bar hardware will have to be disabled for the exam. Many other states have recently banned use of the machine for taking the test outright. 

Touch Bar Stories January 24, 2017

macbook-pro-touch-bar-safari-bookmarks

A common concern with the Touch Bar on Apple’s new MacBook Pro is that it may just be gimmicky and not actually useful. Function keys and keyboard shortcuts may make you efficient, but Touch Bar customization can put elements like on-screen Safari controls right on your keyboard.

Touch Bar for me has been a way to discover functionality within apps, and Safari’s customization lets you personalize what you want to access. Below we’ll look at how you can use Safari Touch Bar customization to improve your own workflow on macOS.

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Touch Bar Stories December 16, 2016

davinci-resolve-studio-touch-bar-macbook-pro

Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio both received recent updates that implement support for the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro. The professional non-linear editor is popular among videographers for its immersive color correction features.

While Apple’s flagship Final Cut Pro X received Touch Bar support back in October, DaVinci Resolve’s December 14th update brings one of the most impressive Touch Bar support implementations that I’ve seen thus far. expand full story

Touch Bar Stories December 13, 2016

Tip: How to quickly access System Preferences using the Option key and Touch Bar / function row [Video]

We’ve covered the usefulness of the Option (⌥) modifier key in macOS plenty of times in the past, but we’d like to remind you about its usefulness in the wake of the new Touch Bar-enabled MacBook Pro. By using the Option key while pressing one of the Touch Bar’s Control Strip shortcuts, users can access System Preferences with ease.

Of course, this same functionality is available on non-Touch Bar Macs, but with the versatility of the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, we figured it was worth mentioning again. Have a look at our brief hands-on video to see it in action.

Touch Bar Stories December 2, 2016

bettertouchtool-touch-bar-support

As Chance noted last night, an alpha version of BetterTouchTool was released yesterday with support for the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar. Being an alpha release, you can expect to find bugs, but I decided to go hands-on with the update to see how the Touch Bar implementation worked.

What I found was a seriously impressive tool that will allow users to have a ridiculous amount of fine-grained control at their fingertips. Have a look at our brief video walkthrough inside to see the customizable Touch Bar controls in action. expand full story

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