Two free third-party Touch Bar apps have been making the rounds this week that may be of interest to some owners of new MacBook Pros. The apps essentially offer alternative ways of accessing pre-existing macOS functions.

TouchSwitcher adds an icon to the right side of the Touch Bar that when tapped brings up a list of currently running apps for quick app switching, similar to the Command + Tab keyboard shortcut.

TouchSwitcher
One limitation of the Touch Bar discovered by TouchSwitcher's developer is that only one non-system control can be displayed in the right-hand strip, meaning other Apple apps compete for the same space.

iTunes for example overrides TouchSwitcher when music is played, and the TouchSwitcher app must be restarted to make it re-appear in the control strip. To manually regain access to the default media control button, users can long press on the TouchSwitcher app icon to quit it.

touch-bar-rocket-app
Another new app called Rocket lets users launch apps from the Touch Bar. Rather than live in the system control strip on the right though, Rocket is a standalone app that can be invoked using a keyboard shortcut, whereupon it displays a list of app icons along the left side of the Touch Bar.

TouchSwitcher and Rocket (listed as a beta) can be downloaded for free directly from the developers' websites.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro 13", MacBook Pro 16"
Related Forum: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

Kobayagi Avatar
63 months ago
Again, they're trying to solve a problem that isn't there.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ijlakw Avatar
63 months ago
absolutely pointless....
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Telos101 Avatar
63 months ago
I don't have a problem with offering users alternative ways of achieving the same thing. Apple has always done this. Complainers just don't like that other people prefer other ways of doing stuff.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
amg2014 Avatar
63 months ago
I thought we already have this feature, called the Dock?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ike1707 Avatar
63 months ago
As someone who always disabled the shortcut keys in favor of the function keys, I won't be remotely disappointed if the Touch Bar falls flat on its face.

It's almost comical that this Touch Bar revelation of theirs would come with the "pro" series laptops, because anyone who makes in depth use of adobe apps (and probably loads of other design software) will simply lament the loss of the function keys because countless keystroke shortcuts require them.

I don't think any professionals want to bank their user experience on "Touch Bar support"
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FeBo Avatar
63 months ago
I actually found the touch bar very useful and practical. Again, something you don't think is useful but when you try it you can never go back (What Apple is really good at)!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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