• If we’re trying to navigate with mostly the
keyboard, dialog boxes can sometimes pull me out. Now, the options in a dialog box also show up on the Touch Bar. We also love how the Control Strip’s volume and brightness controls are a single button, and not two buttons (one to increase, one to decrease) like on a function key Mac. You just tap the button to see a slider, and you can even tap and keep your finger down to slide up or down, even if your finger isn’t directly on top of the slider. A smooth slider makes more sense than having to tap-tap-tap a single key to crank the music or brighten your screen.
Mostly, the Touch Bar just adds a new level of surprise and dare we say delight to using a Mac. It’s a bigger deal to me than Sierra’s addition of Siri, because while talking to our computer in the middle of our office isn’t something we’re comfortable doing, using the Touch Bar isn’t a stretch at all. Our hands are already on the keyboard and our eyes are already on the screen, so the Touch Bar is in a great spot for our eyes to flick down while our fingers reach up. Tapping a button on the Touch Bar takes less movement than reaching down to the trackpad to click that same button onscreen. Sure, keyboard shortcuts are even faster, but we don’t remember keyboard shortcuts for even a fraction of the buttons we see on the Touch Bar. Third-party developers are adding Touch Bar support too. Apple says that Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Pixelmator, the Omni Group’s apps, djay, and many more apps will be updated to 22 MACWORLD • JANUARY 2017 MWJAN17.indd 22