The MacBook Pro's Touch Bar is a fascinating feature that allows you to interact with your MacBook uniquely. To take the tool to a fun new level, consider one of the many third-party Touch Bar apps on the market.
Here are the best apps with Touch Bar support.
With Pixelmator's Touch bar shortcuts, you can quickly switch between tools, find customizations for those tools, and more. The onboard 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 entire 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 Touch Bar support or not.
You have to sideload BetterTouchTools outside the Mac App Store because it needs to access your system settings. However, you can download it from Folivora.ai directly and then move it from your downloads folder into your Applications folder. Then, permit to install it when GateKeeper pops up.
One of the disadvantages of using Mac's full-size experience is that it removes the macOS Dock from view. With Pock, the Dock (and your Mac's widgets) move to the TouchBar. You get to experience your computer in a whole new way by doing so.
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, sidebar, etc.) and sort your notes by date created, title, date updated, source URL, and size.
With Touch Bar, you'll be able to alter images in ways that would typically 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 - DJ App & AI Mixer
With djay, you can 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 with no need to touch the trackpad.
Haptic Touch Bar
Modern iPhones use Haptic Touch, which acts as a slight vibration as acknowledgment following a press. Apple never brought a similar technology to Mac for the Touch Bar. However, as the name suggests, the Haptic Touch Bar app does exactly this.
Final Cut Pro
The widely used video-editing app will receive Touch Bar support, allowing you to scrub through your timeline easily, 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. However, for people starting with FCP, the Touch Bar offers a very accessible foray into editing.
The iWork suite is excellent, but many folks prefer Microsoft Office, so it's fantastic 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 focus on your Word document better.
In Powerpoint, you'll be able to manipulate graphic elements, reorder things on the fly, and more.
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 to prototype what you want something to look like before finalizing your page.
Are you a scientist? Engineer? Mathematician? Calculator enthusiast? PCalc is excellent for all of the above or for folks who 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. PCalc even supports hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations if you feel like getting your hyper-nerd on.
Check them out
It's apparent that the Touch Bar benefits artists the most. We hope they help you as well.
Updated March 2022: Updated for macOS Monterey.
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