If you are considering owning any of the brand new or refurbished MacBook Pro models from 2016 or later, you may have come across the Touch Bar feature.
What is the Touch Bar?
It is a strip of adaptive digital keys at the topmost row of the keyboard, essentially replacing the function keys. But instead of physical keys, you have the touch bar with different capabilities depending on what you’re doing. The cool part here is you can customize the strip to show your frequently used actions, like taking a screenshot, opening a new tab, or moving an item to trash.
Apple introduced the Touch Bar back in 2016. This feature is available on MacBook Pro models starting 2016, excluding the 13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports and 13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports variants.
Even though the Touch Bar has been around for a couple of years now, many still don’t know its full potential.
So, what is it for? How can you maximize it? Is it worth it to have one on your device? How do you take advantage of it? You came to the right place. Below is a discussion of all things Touch Bar, including tips to get the most out of it from your MacBook Pro.
Tips and Tricks to Maximize the Touch Bar
Apple laptops are known to fit a variety of lifestyles and needs, and in this section, you’ll find some of the best ways to explore the full potential of the Touch Bar.
If you’re a photographer…
Editing photos is easy and intuitive with the Touch Bar. Below are just some of the settings you can tinker with.
1. Browse through your gallery in a swipe
Get that same feeling of flicking through a digital album by using the Touch Bar instead of your arrow keys. This allows you to skim through your files much faster. Looking at photo-slideshows has never been more satisfying!
2. Edit with more precision
If you ever needed to straighten a photo, color correct, or do some quick actions with your pictures, you’ll find it convenient to do with the Touch Bar. Instead of holding down your trackpad, you can get better control by tapping on your keyboard strip. It’s similar to quick and easy editing on your phone.
3. Explore Touch Bar integrations with Photoshop
Right when the Touch Bar first came out, Adobe Photoshop vowed to take advantage of the technology that would be present in the MacBook Pro. For instance, having the option to adjust the size and color of your paintbrush on the Touch Bar and trackpad without clicking the screen has to be one of the most satisfying things for a creative.
If you’re a DJ…
If you like mixing and producing music, then you can have a lot of fun using your MacBook Pro with Touch Bar in your projects.
4. Download mixing apps that support Touch Bar settings
Logic Pro, Apple’s audio mixing software, is designed to work with Touch Bar shortcuts and modifications. You can customize it, too! There’s a detailed user guide from Apple with all the things you need to know so you can make your workflow easier. Other third-party apps such as Djay and Virtual DJ have their own options for customization, as well.
5. Customize your control strip according to your preferences
Every DJ has a style, and you can conveniently import your favorite settings on the Touch Bar. Make sure to tinker with the best settings for your DJ software and the expanded control strip feature to get more presets on your Touch Bar. Here’s how:
- Go to System Preferences
- Select Keyboard
- On Touch Bar shows, select Expanded Control Strip
6. Freely scratch and mix
For certain apps, your Touch Bar will allow you to scratch and mix music—it’s as if you have a digital turntable with you! Instead of clicking on the screen, you can tap and slide straight on the touch bar, allowing for a seamless mixing experience.
If you’re in advertising…
The Touch Bar doesn’t just benefit creatives and users, but professionals in the advertising industry, as well. Below are some unique things your brand can engineer in the Touch Bar for your users to come across.
7. Develop a Touch Bar game
Since Apple has specific guidelines for how the Touch Bar should be used, it could be well worth in your interest to develop either a simple app or add a feature in your existing apps that integrates the Touch Bar.
An example of this is Chrome’s notorious offline dinosaur runner game. Whenever a user gets disconnected from the internet, they are met with a T-Rex whom they can control to jump through cacti and other obstacles. An app was created to have this experience on the Touch Bar, and it’s a fun and simple feature that reminds users about the Chrome browser experience.
8. Expand the Touch Bar’s features
If you have the resources to create an app that can elevate or improve the Touch Bar experience for your users, then, by all means, give it a shot! When users go to your download page, you can brandish other products and services they may be interested in—this is an excellent advertising opportunity.
TouchSwitcher is a cool example of this point. It helps users switch through applications with a single tap instead of hand gestures. Since this is developed by a company who sells a Mac app to help you manage multiple windows, this became a great marketing tool for them to show users what they’re capable of.
The Power of Touch
Apple has long been recognized as a trailblazer for providing a unique touch bar experience for their devices. The Touch Bar can simplify and save time on specific tasks that are repeated on a frequent basis. In typical Apple fashion, they are easy to customize and use.
Thankfully, you don’t need to get a brand new device to experience its magic! If you’re looking to buy a MacBook Pro model within your budget, head on over to Macs4U for their high-quality refurbished offerings.