It is fair to say that the Touch Bar – the small screen strip across the keyboard of newer MacBook Pro laptops – has not been the most successful of Apple's recent attempt at innovation. It sits most unnoticed and unnecessary and sacrifices keys that were useful for not much use. There are apps that try to get the most out of the Touch Bar and we've found them.
We just want to restrict ourselves to mentioning an Apple app in the list, but digging around and you will find that virtually all native MacOS applications contain some Touch Bar shortcuts that you may find useful.
No serious-Chrome actually has any decent Touch Bar shortcuts, maybe even better than those that Safari has. Speed around the web is about knowing the right mouse and keyboard shortcuts, and Chrome adds shortcuts to the Touch Bar for that mix.
Update the page, go home, go back and forth (of course) and more buttons we find useful are those that open a new tab (faster than the keyboard and mouse) and the search button that puts the cursor in the address bar ready for action.
Good old Adobe, helping out Apple anywhere, whether with Photoshop on iPad or Touch Bar shortcut support for MacBook Pro. There are many features and features in Photoshop, and the Touch Bar links make the program just a little easier to get around.
It means layer and brush settings shortcuts, zoom level controls, and the screens you see on the screen, opening new images, selecting colors, and more. Pro users will probably still hover against keyboard shortcuts, but Touch Bar may prove useful.
If the point on the touchline is to make a touch screen Mac unnecessary, Spotify is one of the best examples of how it can work, including mixed, repeated, and volume controls.
As you expect to start and stop playback, and skip between songs in a playlist as well. There are also browser backwards and forwards buttons to make navigation between Spotify different screens very straightforward and you also get a shortcut.
Spark is one of the best email clients for Mac, no matter what the Company delivers your email, and it has also been decided to embrace the touchline, starting with all common messaging features, filing, snoozing, pinning, trashing and so on.
Sparks set of Touch Bar shortcuts lets you search through your messages, compose new e-mail messages, mark messages as read or unread, reply or reply all to incoming e-mail, and more. You can even use it to fill email addresses automatically when you write a new message.
Password-Remember Manager Extraordinary 1Password also has a solid Touch Bar support to take advantage of. The most important way to apply is to create new entries in the 1Password database: New login details, secure notes, identity records, and so on.
You will find that the Touch Bar is useful in various other places in 1Password as well, including when searching your stored records for something important. There is also a shortcut for immediate locking of access to the 1Password macOS app.
Microsoft can be friendly to Apple whenever it wants to, and there is more evidence that the Touch Bar supports you across all Office applications on Mac: Start PowerPoint presentations, format text blocks in Word, create a chart in Excel and more.
In all the apps you can load into newer files, switch between view modes and copy and paste text and images when needed. Like the tape menu that defines the Office apps now, Touch Bar continues to switch to give the shortcuts you most likely need.
Few apps have gone all-in on the Touch Bar operation as much as Pixelmator has, with the program allowing you to quickly switch between tools and the options for those tools, via the strip. You can also preview filter effects by tapping between thumbnails on the Touch Bar.
Other nice features allow you to quickly check the differences your changes have made before using them, jump between layers in an image and browse and select custom shapes. The app itself is polite enough to let you choose which tools are displayed on the touchline.
Final Cut Pro
As we mentioned above, you expect Apple to build Touch Bar support in all MacOS apps – but Final Cut Pro is worth a special mention.
If you are a Final Cut Pro user, only a few of the shortcuts are provided by the Touch Bar, which covers video information, scene adjustment, volume adjustments, timeline scrubbing, text manipulation, color picking, clip placement, zoom levels, and tool selection.
The BetterTouchTool goes one step further than just supporting the Touch Bar on macOS by letting you customize the shortcuts on your own custom Touch Bar strip. It can include keyboard and mouse cards, widgets, app launch icons, and more.
You can create separate touch panel panels for specific apps and for MacOS as a whole, and Lifehacker has written more about the configuration process here. The app will set you back $ US7.50 ($ 10) for a two-year license, but you can try it for free for 45 days to see if you like it.