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MacBook Pro’s ‘Touch Bar’ is neither a secondary display, nor it is meant for fun

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After a long excruciating wait, Apple finally unveiled its next-gen MacBook Pro’s at a launch event on October 27th. The highlight of this new lineup is the Touch Bar, which is a secondary OLED touchscreen that replaces the function keys placed above the keyboard.

Even since the release of its promotional videos, developers had been looking to integrate creative fun features into the same. But they might not be able to explore the complete potential of the touchscreen, thanks to Apple’s serious guidelines which prohibit any sort of fun.

As noted by TechCrunch, Apple has detailed the following guidelines instructing the developers on how to create extensions for the Touch Bar:

  • Developers should only build controls that extend the functionality of the keyboard and trackpad. They believe that it is not a second display that displays only emojis, stickers or redundant functions.
  • Avoid any sort of animation. Keep it plain and simple. Cupertino believes that the general populous doesn’t want to see animations on their keyboards, so developers should avoid the same.
  • The interfaces built for the Touch Bar should keep in line with the design of a traditional keyboard. Thus, the developers need to use color tastefully and minimally to keep it professional.
  • The Touch Bar has been designed to extend the capability of the keyboard and not to distract the customer’s attention away from his work on the main screen. Thus, distracting alerts, messages, scrolling content, static content shouldn’t be displayed on the touchscreen.
  • Apple doesn’t want developers to build redundant interfaces(with keyboard shortcuts) such as find, select all, deselect, copy, cut, paste, undo, redo, new, save, close, print, and quit for the Touch Bar.

Though some control over the productivity aspect of the Touch Bar is necessary but a cohort of restrictions could get a little annoying for the developers. There’s a lot of hidden potential in this secondary touchscreen, but Apple seems to be scrutinizing the creativity of developers.

But, we can still hope some creative applications of the same in the near future. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to see Twitter notifications, Facebook Live notifications, stock tickers among other things on the Touch Bar!?

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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