Tenor for Mac puts GIFs on your MacBook Pro Touch Bar

The Touch Bar on the 2016 MacBook Pro is a useful tool for all manner of applications. You can quickly access settings that might normally be buried under a half-dozen clicks if you didn't have Touch Bar support. What if you had immediate access to dozens of GIFs so you could respond to texts, update statuses, and generally have a great time communicating with the world? With Tenor for Mac, you can do just that.

Tenor for Mac is currently under the name GIF Keyboard, but will be rebranded as Tenor for Mac in the coming weeks. You can find it in the App Store by searching both names.

GIFs on my keyboard?

Yes, active, animated GIFs right in the Touch Bar. If nothing else, Tenor for Mac is awesome because it makes your Touch Bar look super cool. In addition to looking cool on your Touch Bar, it does serve a purpose. It puts GIFs right at your fingertips so you can share them anywhere, not just iMessages or Facebook. Anywhere you can paste a GIF, you can copy it from your keyboard with just a tap.

Yes, but how?

When you install Tenor for Mac, it sits in your Menu bar. Whenever you want to grab a GIF, click on the icon in the Menu bar and it'll display a list of emoji on the Touch Bar, which is a fun little addition. If you're looking for an expression that you could use the middle finger emoji for, but want to go the extra step, tap on the emoji and a list of related GIFs will appear. You can also type a word or phrase into the search field.

The GIFs will populate in the pop-out window on your screen, but they will also display on your Touch Bar. You can drag your finger along the Touch Bar to the left or right until you see a GIF you want to use. Then, just tap it. Tenor for Mac will automatically copy it. Then, go to the spot you wanted to add the GIF and paste it with your keyboard shortcut, Command + V (or use Control + click on your trackpad, it's your call).

Yes, but why?

Because it's GIFs on your Touch Bar!

What makes it special?

I mean, it puts GIFS on your Touch Bar. Does it need to do anything else? Just the same, it does do other things. If you sign up for a free account, you can save favorite GIFs, upload your own content, and create "Packs," which are basically albums for your GIFs. I have one album just for GIFs I send to my significant other and another that is nothing but cat GIFs. I like having a little more customization and personalization. It makes it easier to find the right GIF without taking forever to search for it.

It's also for more than just Touch Bar users. It's a Mac app at its base, so if you don't have a Touch Bar on your Mac, you can copy and paste any GIF you want directly from the Tenor window in the Menu bar.

Is it any good?

Tenor for Mac

Touch Bar (Image credit: Apple)

It works seamlessly with the 2016 MacBook Pro Touch Bar. The moment you search for a GIF, its results appear in the Touch Bar and are animated, too. It's pretty incredible.

I do, however, have two complaints. First, only the first 20 GIFs appear in the Touch Bar. If you want to see more of them, you have to scroll down on the Tenor for Mac pop-out window in the Menu bar, which kind of defeats the purpose of having GIFs on the Touch Bar. I'd love to see an update that allows us to scroll through all available GIFs from a search on the Touch Bar.

Second, the GIFs are somewhat low quality. They're very small. This is fine if you're sharing a GIF via a chat window, but sometimes you just want to express yourself with an HD quality repeating clip. It would be cool if Tenor for Mac offered the option to select higher quality GIFs, maybe as a settings option.

Other than these two minor complaints, I find Tenor to be a fantastic GIF search engine that makes it super easy to copy and paste funny clips whenever I'm chatting with someone, updating my status, or tweeting my feelings. Sending a GIF has never been so easy.

Your thoughts?

What do you think of Tenor for Mac? Does it sound like a tool you'd use on the Touch Bar (or even the Menu bar on a non-Touch Bar Mac)? Let us know in the comments.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).