14+ things you can do with the MacBook Pro Touch Bar


Here’s a short contribution to understanding what the new MacBook Pro can achieve. This short collection supplements my earlier report which you can read right here.

The Esc key

Apple’s HI guidelines claim the Esc key will be available when you need it. If you want a backup you can always use this tip to turn Caps Lock into Esc.


Tap the TouchID sensor at the right-hand side of the Touch Bar (which some may note is a little interesting as it doesn’t appear to be a separate mechanical part as it’s part of the glass, think about that) and you can pay for stuff online, and unlock your Mac. Interestingly, TouchID is driven by a separate iOS processor, making these MacBook Pros one of the first hybrid mobile/Mac devices.


Launch a new Finder window and you’ll see a whole bunch of functions made available on Touch Bar: Share, View, New Folder, Forward/Back, QuickLook, New Folder with Selections, New Tab, Trash and many more. This pretty much becomes a one-stop shop for all the functions you used to need modifier keys or the Menu to track down.


You don’t need to tap Control-Command-Space to access Emoji’s. Now you just touch the Emoji button on the Touch Bar to access them, sliding through them and jumping between categories.


Lots of Safari features – launch a new tab from the Touch Bar, open Favorites websites by tapping their icon, search and explore your open tabs by tapping their icon in the bar.


Touch Bar supports Photos which means you can access image editing tools through it, brightness and contrast adjustments are as simple as a swipe, as will be Photos filters. You can also navigate through your images and video library using the strip.


When you type in compatible apps you’ll get the predictive suggestions you already ignore in Mail, but you’ll also get email address suggestions when you begin typing an email. Other Mail features include predictive message filing, creation and flagging and a range of email formatting options.

Near Me

Open Maps and you’ll see eight colorful icons appear on the Touch Bar. These represent categories like Food, Shopping, and Services, enabling you to tap the icon to find what is available at the location you are looking at.


When making a FaceTime call, the Touch Bar instantly displays useful buttons like Answer and Decline. You can also see who is calling, Mute the call or set a video call up to fullscreen.


Swipe your way through your Calendar. The Touch Bar lets you easily drill down to weeks.


When you launch GarageBand you’ll find a bunch of controls, including Smart Controls and more – it’s kind of like a mixing desk and a Mac all at once.


Tapbacks for bubble effects, Emojo and predictive text suggestions.

Final Cut Pro X

For Timeline Scrubbing, audio editing, video trimming and more, the Touch Bar is a big step forward in control and precision.


You like to run Windows on your Mac? Given that some enterprises and schools insist on using their legacy kit, you may need to. So when you are using Windows in Boot Camp, Touch Bar becomes a row of function keys, says MR.

One more thing

We heard today the Touch Bar runs its own iOS chip that works with the Mac processor. Now that has happened can Apple sell TouchID-protected door locks? Some say no, I say, eventually.

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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