The MacBook Pro's Touch Bar is a fascinating feature that allows you to interact with your MacBook like never before. You'll be able to use it for all manner of built-in apps, but there will be a ton of third-party apps with Touch Bar support as well!
Here are the best apps with Touch Bar support so far!
- Pixelmator Pro
- Adobe Photoshop
- djay Pro
- Final Cut Pro X
- Microsoft Office
- Mail Designer Pro 3
Pixelmator is an epic photo and graphic editing program that lets you create and manipulate images, illustrations, and a whole lot more. They're best known for their robust painting tools, which are fully customizable.
With Pixelmator's Touch bar shortcuts, you can quickly switch between tools, find customizations for those tools, and more. The on-board filter preview shows you a thumbnail of what the effect looks like, right on the Touch Bar, which you can tap into to see on the full screen.
This is not a Mac App Store app, but it's probably the best-known dedicated Touch Bar app. It's almost like IFTTT for the Touch Bar. You program in recipes, like "Open Safari to iMore.com" or "Open Slack to my work channel." It works with any app you have downloaded to your MacBook Pro, whether it has its own Touch Bar support or not.
You have to side load BetterTouchTools outside of the Mac App Store because it needs to access your system settings. You can download it from Folivora.ai directly and then move it from your downloads folder into your Applications folder. You'll likely have to give permission to install it when GateKeeper pops up.
If you have a subscription to Evernote, or only use the note-storing app on two devices (one of them being your 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar), you can take advantage of some great tools that are right at your fingertips.
You can tap the Touch Bar to create a new note, search for content in your notes, add tags, change font colors using a color slider (and a color picker), and mark up images and notes (Premium account users can also mark up PDFs). You can also use the Touch Bar to change the display style (grid, list, side bar, etc.) and sort your notes by date created, title, date updated, source URL, and size.
If you're looking forward to having easy access to your most important tools in Evernote, use it with your Touch Bar and you'll be set.
The biggest name in image alteration, Photoshop's Touch Bar integration was announced and demonstrated at Apple's October 2016 event.
With Touch Bar, you'll be able to alter images in ways that would normally require a bunch of mouse clicks, like changing the color balance or brightness of an image. Instead, you'll be able to slide along the Touch Bar and watch things change in real-time.
djay Pro 2
Also demonstrated at the Mac event was Djay Pro, which lets you mix tracks, scratch, fade, control playback, sample, and much more using just the Touch Bar.
You can mix a whole song using multi-touch and even alter the waveform, right on the Touch Bar. No need to touch the trackpad.
If you're an amateur DJ or just want to see what it's all about, check it out!
Final Cut Pro X
The widely used video-editing app will receive Touch Bar support, allowing you to easily scrub through your timeline, adjust audio, fine-tune your cuts, and much more, all on the Touch Bar.
Most folks are likely used to using hotkeys already and probably won't change their ways, but for people just start out with FCP, the Touch Bar offers a very accessible foray into editing.
The iWork suite is great, but many folks prefer Microsoft Office, so it's awesome that Microsoft has added Touch Bar support to the Office suite.
You'll be able to use brand new features in apps like Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. For example, the Touch Bar will take you into Word Focus Mode, which removes all the commands and ribbons, allowing you to better focus on your Word document.
In Powerpoint, you'll be able to manipulate graphic elements, reorder things on the fly, and more.
You'll also be able to perform all the most popular functions of Outlook right from the Touch Bar, like sending email, replying, attaching documents, and more!
1Password helps you store all of your passwords in one spot and keeps them secret, keeps them safe.
With Touch Bar supports, you'll be able to create a secure note or password at the tap of a button, and only you will be able to see your 1Password account, thanks to Touch ID! You'll even be able to create logins for many popular sites, just by tapping their logos on the Touch Bar — no browser needed.
1Password gets more secure and more convenient, thanks to Touch Bar support.
Sketch, the vector drawing app, is for collaborating on graphic design and creating interfaces for your web pages and apps. It's not meant to be the final product. It's like a sketchbook for your ideas where you can prototype what you want something to look like before finalizing your page.
With the Touch Bar, you can switch colors and shapes on the fly, as well as many more features.
Mail Designer 365
If you often send out digital newsletters and haven't heard of Mail Designer Pro 3, then you've been missing out. Mail Designer Pro lets you create mobile-ready newsletters with all the tools you need to make yours look great. In terms of Touch Bar, Mail Designer Pro 3 currently supports:
- Text formatting (including visual styles)
- Scrubbing through design templates
- Text style, formatting and layout controls
- Adjust background color and tint, or zoom background images
- Switch between desktop & mobile layouts, pull up a smartphone preview or toggle layout guides
So if you're in for everything you could possibly need to make a kickass newsletter, from hundreds of fonts to graphics to flexible layout designs, and much more, then check out Mail Designer 365.
Are you a scientist? Engineer? Mathematician? Calculator enthusiast? PCalc is awesome for all of the above or for folks who just want or need a feature-heavy calculator. No more TI-83 for you!
You get an optional RPN mode, multi-line display, and your choice of button layouts. If you feel like getting your hyper-nerd on, PCalc even supports hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations.
AND, you can customize what appears on the Touch Bar, so the buttons and items that you use the most are literally always at your fingertips.
It's quite apparent that the Touch Bar benefits artists the most. What's your favorite third-party app with Touch Bar support?
Let us know in the comments below!
Updated July 2019: Added BetterTouchTool and Pixelmator Pro to the list.
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