Cool things you can do with the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar

The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is officially Apple’s newest baby, though at a starting point of $1799, it’s a pretty expensive baby. The Touch Bar unlocks an entirely new world of functionality for the MacBook though. Developers can get on board with the API so it works seamlessly with third-party apps. Of course Apple has already baked Touch Bar support into the core of macOS Sierra, so it has plenty of solid use now.

1. Type more productively

Apple has brought the predictive keyboard, also known as QuickType, from iOS to the Mac with the Touch Bar. Now, whenever you’re typing, such as when composing an email, the Touch Bar learns how you speak and predicts what you should say next so you can tap on the words as they appear rather than spelling them out manually with your keyboard.

2. Accept or decline calls

Whenever you receive an incoming call, whether it’s via FaceTime or through a nearby iPhone relaying a phone call to your Mac, your Touch Bar will automatically turn into a response pad so you can accept or decline the phone call without clicking on anything.

3.Edit Your Photos

The Photos app, and presumably other photography apps in the future, provides a great interface to the Touch Bar for editing photos. It has quick options for small edits like rotations, but more advanced sliders are available too for adjusting brightness or straightening photos.

4. Use your function keys
Apple’s idea with the Touch Bar was to replace those function keys that are hardly used anymore on modern computers (Macs especially). Despite the function keys being replaced, you can still press and hold on the Function (fn) key at the bottom right of your keyboard and the Touch Bar will transform into a virtual function key row (f1 through f12)  until you release the Function key.

5. Control your music

Whenever you’re listening to audio on your Mac, the Touch Bar becomes an off-screen media controller. Complete with forward/back and play/pause buttons, which were already present in the function row on the basic keyboard, the Touch Bar-based music controller lets you command your music without ever having to open a window on your Mac to access the controls.

6. Pick the best color for your art
 
 7. Use Touch ID to unlock your Mac and switch accounts

One of the most practical uses for Touch ID on the new MacBook Pro is the switching accounts feature Phil Schiller demonstrated at the keynote. If you share your Mac with multiple users, all another user needs to do to switch accounts is rest his finger on the Touch ID sensor. macOS will verify the identity and brilliantly switch to the user account. As such, this also works to just unlock your Mac and pick up where you left off at any point too.

A good function key replacement?

I think it goes without saying that the Touch Bar is an amazing replacement for the hardware function keys that have been on the Mac since the beginning. Not only does it provide basic function key functionality out of the box, but it goes even further by providing versatile shortcuts in real time for whatever you might be doing on your Mac.
Thanks to the APIs available for Touch Bar, even third-party apps can be programmed by their developers to take full advantage of it. Many apps with Touch Bar support are already under way and will be released before the end of this year.
Are you excited for the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro? Tell us why in the comments below!

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