It was not too long ago that Apple first introduced it’s ‘Touch Bar’ which replaced the usual function keys on the MacBook’s keyboard layout. The new design addition can do almost any and everything that you need, as well as adapt according to whatever app is needed. Apple stated that it was intended to completely upgrade how MacBook’s could be handled in the future and so far, it has measured up to expectations. And while some of us may still find it difficult to adjust to not having static keys at the top of our keyboards, overall, the functions offered by the Touch Bar far make up for that.[usb c portable hub]
But still, it’s no secret that some of us MacBook users are still unfamiliar with how to use it and some even completely ignore it, because they aren’t fully in tune with how to effectively put it to use. So, we put together a quick breakdown on everything Touch Bar related and how to take full advantage of the now permanent design feature. But before we dive in, for those users who are constantly struggling with keeping their charger cables sorted or are always on the move, make sure to check out some of the cable organizers available from Lention that will assuredly make your work space a little less chaotic!
So, let’s dive in, shall we?
What are the Touch Bar’s uses?
There are too many to list, if we’re being honest. It’s multi-functional and with Apple doing an excellent job of integrating the Touch Bar with the macOS system, it’s uses are almost endless with many developers even going so far as to update their apps for Touch Bar functionality.
How does it work?
Turning it on doesn’t require anything special as it’s always actively analysing what you are doing on your screen and adjusting what is displayed to help make your life easier. The feature is comprised of two primary elements; the first one is the control strip which is placed on the far right side and is made up of a different number of buttons for; Siri, Volume, Brightness etc. For instance, when you tap volume, you can easily increase or reduce the volume.
You will also find other useful things like: Dictation, Sleep, Screenshot and more. All these extra features can be customised depending on your own preferences by going to; ‘System Preferences’. Also, do remember that it usually stays minimized, with brightness and volume control taking priority. However, once you’re done customising, click the arrow, and the Touch Bar will display the extra options available.
Meanwhile, the second element, is the the MacBook’s Touch Bar. It essentially covers majority of your keyboards width, with the buttons shifting according to the actions you take on screen. For example, if you are putting in a passcode to a site, the “Accept” or “Cancel” buttons show up on the dash. This is a very useful feature to help users process requests much quicker instead of using the mousepad to point and click. Additionally, if you are using the Safari browser for instance, you can swipe between tabs easily using the Touch Pad as well.
Also, something important to note for those who do miss the function keys, you can easily press the (fn) key on your keyboard and the Touch Bar will put them on display for you.
It’s very easy to start utilising your Mac’s Touch ID features. At the far right end of the Touch Bar, there lies the Touch ID sensor, which also conveniently happens to be your power on/off button. Much like how the process worked on older iPhones, it scans your fingerprint to maintain security for your MacBook instead of constantly depending and using a passcode. After all, it’s easy to hack a passcode, but good luck stealing your fingerprint, right?
To activate this feature for convenient use, you can head to your system preferences, choose Touch ID option and follow the required steps. Afterwards, it’s pretty straightforward, as all you will need to do is place your finger on the scanner and it will be unlocking your MacBook. You will also be able to use it for web and app log-ins or to authorise payments.
As we mentioned earlier there also some customised features that it helps with in certain apps and program menus. Some of the useful one’s include;
MacBook Finder: It will display a number of different options to; search, share a document or file, change the Finder’s layout, etc.
MacBook Mail: It will help users with; email creation, email replies, archiving, deleting mail or moving mail to folders.
Moreover, some third party apps that effectively utilise this feature include;
Spotify: While you listen to music, it presents a number of useful controls such as; skip track, shuffle, play/pause etc. This reduces the need to have to constantly use your mouse and these tools also apply to Apple’s own music applications as well.
Photoshop: This is a welcome feature for those creative editors and designers who utilise Photoshop on the daily with some tools offered by the Touch Bar making the whole editing process easier.
This handy guide should have helped you understand your Touch Bar’s functionalities a little easier, allowing you to more efficiently utilise it’s features and make you even more productive! Also, as a side note for those highly active users who may be looking to expand their connectivity options, make sure to pick out a lention usb c hub which is a convenient tool to expand the number of charging ports, HDMI, Thunderbolt and USB options available on your MacBook!