Apple announced a new Retina display 'Touch Bar' replacing the function key strip on the keyboards of its two top-tier MacBook Pro notebooks at its "Hello again" event today.

Apple software engineer Craig Federighi showed off the customizable sapphire crystal Touch Bar in action, which can also be used as a traditional Function key set and supports a host of native and third-party apps.

touch bar
Apple says the Touch ID component in the Touch Bar features an Apple T1 chip with a secure enclave for security purposes.

The Touch ID sensor recognizes account holders instantly and also supports account switching. System controls can be used and they also support gestures and swipes for controlling brightness, for example.

Contextual controls in apps are fully supported. For example, the Mail app gains Touch Bar controls for composing messages, replying, flagging, filing, and formatting options.

When composing, Quick Type options like in iOS appear on the bar, with like Siri predictions. Emojis are also displayed in the Messages app: browsing emojis by frequently used or by category can be achieved with simple swipes.

Naviagation in and between apps is also included. The touch bar can be used to move between tabs, previews, previews. and opening new tabs with favorites ready to select.

Lastly, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, and Photos are also supported - users can use Photoshop tools, swipe through photo collections, and use playback controls when viewing photos and editing videos.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro 14 & 16"
Related Forums: MacBook Pro, macOS Sierra

Top Rated Comments

RowellE Avatar
96 months ago
I feel like most of the stuff you do on the Touch Bar is what the trackpad is for...
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac 128 Avatar
96 months ago
While I think there's some great potential here ... a lot of the touch bars just replace things that could be accessed by the mouse, requiring a person to take their hands off the trackpad.

I suppose this is all getting us ready for Touch-based macOS...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thisisnotmyname Avatar
96 months ago
I like the concept. Hope they provide a new magic keyboard too so I can be consistent on my Mac Pro too.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
netsped Avatar
96 months ago
I feel like most of the stuff you do on the Touch Bar is what the trackpad is for...
And keyboard shortcuts.

The lady demoing Final Cut appears to find Touch Bar really uncomfortable using it though.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lhymes Avatar
96 months ago
I find it odd that Apple has developed a means of interacting with content creation that takes your eyes away from the content... hate to be the one to say this, but the whole thing is very counter-intuitive.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Scoobysnack1 Avatar
96 months ago
Wow! That was completely underwhelming. And the prices are just incredible. I don't think I can justify this kind of expense for a laptop. They've completely price themselves out of the range of 99% of the population. Computers for the 1%. Just like the iPad pros, way too expensive. I guess I'm gonna have to learn to live with windows 10. Apple has completely done away with their entry and mid level computers and gone super ultra high premium. For the first time in 35 years I will have to be a Windows user. Too bad. I'm a little sad to say goodbye community. It's been nice being one of you.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...