By far the most exciting and talked about new feature of the 2016 MacBook Pro is its Touch Bar, an OLED display that runs above the keyboard to replace the old-school function keys. The Touch Bar provides the distinct advantage of being programmable, both by MacOS itself and by applications, to provide an optimized input experience.
In order for the Touch Bar to achieve its true potential, that means that developers need to write support for the innovative new input method into their applications. Because finding apps of any kind, and particularly those that support a new feature like the Touch Bar, can be a challenge, Apple has started highlighting them in the Mac App Store, as MacRumors reports.
If you open the App Store on a MacOS machine, you’ll find a highlighted section titled “Our Top Picks for MacBook Pro.” Clicking on it takes you to section that includes “Enhanced for Touch Bar” apps, of which currently 15 are listed:
- Final Cut Pro
- Djay Pro
- Day One
- Mail Designer Pro 3
- OmniGraffle 7
- Drop — Color Picker
- Live Desktop
- Artistry Photo Pro
- PocketCAS Mathematics Toolkit
Each app varies in how significantly it uses the Touch Bar, but you can expect at least a selection of settings and shortcuts that might be otherwise buried behind a menu or using physical function keys on non-Touch Bar MacOS machines. Whether users can more easily search and add passwords in 1Password or scrub through a video in Final Cut Pro, the Touch Bar should make using each app more efficient to one degree or another.
As is always the case with new technology, users can be impatient to see its full capabilities make their way to applications and the operating system. Time will tell just how much support the Touch Bar will receive, but with major developers like Microsoft bringing support to important applications like the Office suite of productivity apps, the MacBook Pro’s shiny new tool should be of ever-increasing value as the machines start rolling out to early buyers.