Apple are known for their innovation every time a new product hits the market. The MacBook Pro is no different in that respect. It has revolutionized laptop design with the addition of its coolest and most talked-about feature: the Touch Bar.
The Touch Bar is a strip of screen with a matte finish which lives on the topmost row of the keyboard, where we usually see the function keys. It streamlines and adds interest to the user experience. You can adjust your screen brightness and the volume, add emojis to chat messages, scroll through video and audio, and even give a command to Siri!
Sounds good, right? Let's explore the major features and functionalities Touch Bar has brought to the MacBook Pro.
1. Adjusting Screen Brightness
This is done by touching the brightness icon on the touch bar. By default, this is located on the "Control Strip"(the keys you find on the extreme right of the touch bar). When you touch the icon, it will bring up a slider. Without raising your finger, you can slide back and forth to increase or decrease the brightness of your screen.
2. Adjusting System Volume
This works the same way as adjusting the brightness. Touch the volume icon on the control strip, and hold. Once the slider appears, drag back and forth to adjust the volume.
3. Escape Key
The escape key, usually seen in the top left corner, is now part of the touch bar. Its position has changed a little, but users report it is not a big concern.
4. Function Keys
You might think you’ll miss the function keys. Don't worry, they are still there. All you have to do is press the ‘Fn’ key. All function keys will be displayed on the touch bar as usual.
Here is the most popular one! You can add emojis to your chat messages with a touch, just as you do on your phone. When you are in a chat, the touch bar automatically displays the emoji icon, and when you touch it all the emoji options will appear on the touch bar.
6. Form Filling
This is another very useful feature. When you are on a website or app window where you need to fill out your basic information such as name, birthday, email, and even a password, the touch bar will keep your details stored and suggest them when you start filling the form.
7. Media Scrubber
With the media scrubber, you can control all video or audio from the touch bar - even if you have two or three windows open at the same time. The best part is being able to scroll through audio and videos with your finger rather than having to use the mouse or trackpad.
8. Customizing the Control Strip
Now we've seen the main functions of the touch bar, let's see how each section can be customized to suit your needs. First, the control strip located on the extreme right. Go to system preferences and click on "Keyboard". Click "Customize Control Strip" from the window that appears.
You will see the available functions for the control strip pop up from the bottom of the screen. Click on the icon you want to add to the control strip, then drag it down to the touch bar at the bottom of the screen. Drop the icon on top of the icon you want to replace, and touch "Done" on the extreme left of the touch bar.
9. Customizing the Extended Control Strip
The extended control strip is the line of icons that appear when you click the arrow at the beginning of the control strip. You can customize this using the same procedure as above. Just click the arrow, open the extended control strip and repeat the steps you used for the control strip.
10. Customizing the App Region
App region is the space in between the escape icon of the touch bar, and the control strip of the touch bar. This region displays the controls specific to the app currently open on the screen. To customize this region while the app is open, right click on a blank area of the desktop and select "Customize Touch Bar". A list of all available functions will pop up from the bottom of the screen. As with the earlier steps, simply drag the icon you need to the touch bar.
11. Touch Bar Sleep and Wake Up
We've covered the main functions and features of the touch bar. Once you are finished working on the touch bar, just leave it as it is. It will automatically dim itself after 60 seconds of inactivity and go to sleep after 75 seconds. These settings can be changed from the keyboard section of system preferences. After going to sleep, the touch bar will wake up if there is any sensory input on the keyboard, trackpad or the touch bar itself.