Apple announced a new line of MacBook Pro laptops at its press event on October 27. The biggest improvement to this generation of MacBook Pro is the addition of an OLED Touch Toolbar, called the Touch Bar.
The Touch Bar replaces the function keys on the keyboard. The toolbar is an OLED touch display, independent from the main display, that shows context-aware menus depending on what the user is doing.
Apple’s Magic Toolbar was confirmed several days before the event, when the company accidentally leaked photos of the OLED touch toolbar with some Apple Pay promotional photos.
The Touch Bar adapts: in Safari, it shows links to favorite websites, search and back buttons, and can show quick type suggestions while a user is typing — similar to what users see on iPhones. The Touch Bar also has a fingerprint scanner in the power button to integrate Touch ID using a new chip apple is calling the Apple T1 Chip.
The Touch Bar can still allow the function keys to appear if a user holds the function key on the keyboard. In the meantime, the OLED bar changes automatically from app to app. It’s even customizable: there’s a palette of available buttons that users can click and drag into their Touch Bar.
Touch ID can also be used to share a machine — multiple users can unlock the same MacBook Pro using the fingerprint scanner.
Apple demonstrated that the Touch Bar is versatile no matter what program you use. Demos included Photoshop, video and audio editing, viewing and editing photos, messaging friends, and web browsing.