New patent shows Force Touch coming to the Touch Bar for MacBook Pro

BetterTouchTool (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Force Touch might be coming to the Touch Bar for the MacBook Pro.
  • Apple has filed a new patent showing off the potential feature.

Reported by Patently Apple, Force Touch could be coming to a future version of the Touch Bar. The United States Patent & Trademark Office has published a patent application from Apple that shows off the potential feature.

Apple's patent application relates to Apple's Touch Bar gaining Force Touch. Apple states that the invention "generally relates to electronic devices, and particularly electronic devices having a display with a force sensor positioned at least partially around, and coplanar with, the display." The "display" referred to is the "second" display.

Force Touch Touch Bar Patent

Force Touch Touch Bar Patent (Image credit: Patently Apple)

According to the patent, users could experience little to no flex when using the feature, meaning that the Touch Bar would remain rigid.

The cover typically flexes or otherwise deforms when an input force is exerted on it, although the amount the cover flexes maybe visually and/or tactilely imperceptible to a user. By flexing, the cover may transmit some or all of the input force through the display, thereby permitting the force-sensing circuitry #260 to operate (shown in FIG. 3).

Apple originally created Force Touch for the iPhone and the Apple Watch, but removed the feature from both devices in favor of Haptic Touch for the iPhone and, so far, no replacement for the Apple Watch.

The Touch Bar has received mixed reviews so far from MacBook Pro users, with some really getting into customizing the bar for their workflows and others forgetting to use it altogether. Apple has also not brought the feature to the MacBook Air or any of its desktop keyboards, so some wondered if Apple might abandon it completely. This latest patent, however, seems to breathe some life into the future of it.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.