Former Apple Employee Thinks Touch Bar Shouldn’t Be Forced on Users Who Want Highest-End MacBook Pro

Chuq Von Rospach, a writer and former Apple employee, has penned a blog post in which he opines that customers shouldn't be forced to pay extra for the Touch Bar in order to have the highest-end MacBook Pro currently available.

The current [MacBook Pro] line forces users to pay for the Touch Bar on the higher end devices whether they want it or not, and that's a cost users shouldn't need to pay for a niche technology without a future. So Apple needs to either roll the Touch Bar out to the entire line and convince us we want it, or roll it back and offer more laptop options without it.
In other words, Rospach believes Apple should sell a 15-inch MacBook Pro configuration without a Touch Bar, and he isn't the only one with that opinion. A quick check of Twitter reveals dozens of users who believe the Touch Bar is a gimmick.

After purchasing a new 5K iMac and migrating away from his late 2016 MacBook Pro, Rospach said he didn't miss the Touch Bar at all and missed the Touch ID fingerprint sensor only "a little bit," but "a lot less" than he expected to.
Much as I love the Touch ID sensor, what keeps me from missing it much is 1Password. It's marginally more work for me to type in my password to open 1Password than use my fingerprint, but not much. My Apple Watch unlocks the Mac, and so I don't need the Touch ID sensor for that, and when I use Apple Pay on the iMac, the Watch makes that quite painless, too.
Rospach thinks Apple needs to either expand Touch Bar and Touch ID to its entire Mac lineup with a new standalone keyboard, which would be compatible with iMac, Mac Pro, and Mac mini desktops, or expand its notebook lineup to include more models without the Touch Bar going forward.
So what's the future of the Touch Bar? I don't know. I'm not sure Apple does, either. I was fascinated that when Apple released the iMacs earlier this year not one word was mentioned about the Touch Bar or Touch ID and support for them via an updated keyboard or trackpad was nowhere to be found. I'm taking that as an indication that after the lackluster response to this with the laptop releases, they've gone back to the drawing board a bit before rolling it out further.
Beyond old models, the lowest-end 13-inch model is currently the only MacBook Pro with a standard row of function keys. It starts at $1,299.

Via: The Loop and Techmeme

Tag: Touch Bar

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VMware Fusion 10 Coming in October With macOS High Sierra and Touch Bar Support

VMware today announced the upcoming release of VMware Fusion 10, its popular virtualization software for Mac.


VMware Fusion 10 includes full compatibility with macOS High Sierra, integration with the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro models, and support for Apple's Metal 2 graphics acceleration technology for improved graphics performance, power efficiency, and accuracy of rendering.

Fusion 10 also features a redesigned user interface, including improved Installation and Migrate Your PC wizards.


Fusion 10 can run hundreds of operating systems, ranging from the latest Windows 10 versions to lesser-known Linux distributions. It will be able to run the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update expected to launch in October.

VMware will also be releasing Fusion 10 Pro, targeted at IT professionals and developers. The premium version features enhanced vSphere and networking controls, support for REST APIs, integration with VMware PhotonOS, and support for Microsoft's new virtualization-based security features such as Credential Guard.

VMware Fusion 10 and Fusion 10 Pro are expected to be available in October for $79 and $159 respectively. Fusion 8.5 customers will be able to upgrade to Fusion 10 for $49 or Fusion 10 Pro for $119.

Additionally, customers who purchase Fusion 8.5 or Fusion 8.5 Pro between August 22 and November 1 this year will be eligible for an upgrade to Fusion 10 or Fusion 10 Pro, respectively, at no additional cost.

Fusion 10 will be accompanied by Workstation 14 Player and Workstation 14 Pro with enhanced data center management capabilities.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, macOS High Sierra
Tags: VMware, Fusion, Touch Bar
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

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Spotify Updates Mac App With Full Touch Bar Support for MacBook Pro

The Spotify Mac app was recently updated with support for the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro. Now, when Spotify is open users will be able to search, shuffle and repeat tracks, use traditional play/pause/skip controls, and adjust the app's volume. When in the background, the Touch Bar will update with a Spotify playback scrubbing tool as well as play and pause buttons similar to iTunes.

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Users have discovered that auto-pause on connected AirPods works as well, so when one AirPod is removed from the ear while a song on Spotify is playing, the track will automatically stop. Just like with iTunes and Apple Music, when placed back within the ear, Spotify's music will resume automatically. Automatic resuming of music doesn't work when both AirPods are taken out, or when users are only using one AirPod to begin with.

With many Spotify users on the new MacBook Pro, the addition of Touch Bar support should make listening to the streaming music service a more integrated experience with Apple's laptop. Many users are still waiting for Spotify to announce support for other Apple devices, including apps for the Apple Watch and fourth-generation Apple TV. Neither platform is expected to be supported by the company 'anytime soon.'

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For those who want to gain the most out of music listening on Apple's products, Apple Music has been the streaming service of choice. Spotify is still the industry leader with 40 million subscribers as of September 2016, but Apple Music is gaining ground on its rival with a reported 20 million paid subscribers now listening to the service.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tags: Spotify, Touch Bar
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

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DaVinci Resolve Video Editing Suite Update Brings Touch Bar Support and More

Blackmagic Design today announced a new update to its professional video editing and color correction software, DaVinci Resolve, featuring Touch Bar support on compatible MacBook Pros.

The 12.5.4 update brings context sensitive tools to the OLED keyboard strip that dynamically change based on the current task. For example, on the Media page, users can instantly add the current clip to a bin, switch between icon and list view, display clip attributes, search media and show metadata simply by tapping on the Touch Bar.

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When editing video, the Touch Bar is context sensitive and displays commands based on whether the media pool, source viewer or timeline are selected. Customers can quickly switch between trim modes, navigate the timeline and perform different types of edits without ever having to use the mouse or pull down menus.

Colorists can use the Touch Bar to do everything from adjusting primary sliders and color wheels, to changing mid tone detail, saturation, tint and more. The Touch Bar can be used to save or wipe gallery stills, toggle viewer modes, work with split screen mode to compare shots and even use multi touch gestures to adjust multiple color parameters, such as printer lights, at the same time.
The update also brings support for Rec. 2100, a superset of Rec. 2020 that defines high dynamic range (HDR) formats. New sliders have been added to control Dolby VisionTM analysis data, while support has been added for Grass Valley HQ and HQX codecs on Mac, among other additions.

The DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Studio 12.5.4 update is now available for download from the Blackmagic Design website for all current DaVinci Resolve users.


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Adobe Photoshop Updated With Touch Bar Support

Adobe has released an updated version of Photoshop CC 2017 for Mac with support for the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro, providing users with access to controls based on three categories: Layer Properties, Brushes, and Favorites.

photoshop-touch-bar
Photoshop's implementation includes a History Scrubber to jump to any recent state of a document created during the current session. Each time a user applies a change to the document, a new document state is added. Users can scroll through or tap thumbnails on the Touch Bar to navigate the document history.

Touch Bar functions for Layer Properties include adjusting the layer opacity and visibility, scrolling through available blending modes, and making a layer a clipping mask. For brushes, users can use the Touch Bar to pick a color, brush size, brush hardness, brush opacity, and brush flow.

Favorites includes a Screen Mode for toggling between the normal screen mode and full screen mode, and controls for invoking the New Layer command and flipping layers horizontally or vertically. Meanwhile, a Fill Mode control invokes the Fill command with the Content-Aware Fill option preselected.

Photoshop design manager Bradee Evans demoed the Touch Bar features at Apple's new MacBook Pro event in October. Skip to the 52:30 mark.


Photoshop users can update to the latest version using the Adobe CC Updater. Adobe says Touch Bar support is a "technology preview," meaning the feature is not considered "production-ready" but nonetheless is available for users to try out.


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Ulysses 2.7 Brings Touch Bar Support, macOS Sierra Tabs and More to Popular Writing App

German developers The Soulmen today released a new version of popular writing app Ulysses, bringing Touch Bar support, Tabs in macOS Sierra, and a host of other new features and performance improvements.

From Wednesday, users launching version 2.7 of the award-winning app on Touch Bar equipped MacBook Pros will see new contextual functions for Ulysses in the OLED strip, bringing the ability to assign markup tags directly while they write.

macbook_touchbar ulysses
Ulysses 2.7 now also includes tabbed windows in macOS Sierra, making it possible to switch between multiple open texts within the same window.

Elsewhere, Ulysses now offers full support for the TextBundle format outside its iCloud library. TextBundle combines Markdown text and all referenced images into a single file for convenience, and Ulysses now allows writers to use images when working from Dropbox or other storage providers.

The latest update also makes it easier to switch from Evernote to Ulysses, by allowing users to import ENEX Evernote export files containing multiple notes, upon which individual sheets are created for each note.

In addition, a new Reading Time writing goal has been added to the existing options (number of characters, words, or pages), while a number of more general improvements, bug fixes, and stability enhancements have also been implemented in the latest version of the app.

Ulysses 2.7 is available for MacOS and iOS on the Mac App Store and App Store respectively, and is a free update for existing users. The Mac app costs $44.99, while the universal iOS app costs $24.99.


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‘TouchSwitcher’ and ‘Rocket’ Apps Let You Switch and Launch Apps From the Touch Bar

Two free third-party Touch Bar apps have been making the rounds this week that may be of interest to some owners of new MacBook Pros. The apps essentially offer alternative ways of accessing pre-existing macOS functions.

TouchSwitcher adds an icon to the right side of the Touch Bar that when tapped brings up a list of currently running apps for quick app switching, similar to the Command + Tab keyboard shortcut.

TouchSwitcher
One limitation of the Touch Bar discovered by TouchSwitcher's developer is that only one non-system control can be displayed in the right-hand strip, meaning other Apple apps compete for the same space.

iTunes for example overrides TouchSwitcher when music is played, and the TouchSwitcher app must be restarted to make it re-appear in the control strip. To manually regain access to the default media control button, users can long press on the TouchSwitcher app icon to quit it.

touch-bar-rocket-app
Another new app called Rocket lets users launch apps from the Touch Bar. Rather than live in the system control strip on the right though, Rocket is a standalone app that can be invoked using a keyboard shortcut, whereupon it displays a list of app icons along the left side of the Touch Bar.

TouchSwitcher and Rocket (listed as a beta) can be downloaded for free directly from the developers' websites.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tag: Touch Bar
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)

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