It was not that long ago when Apple opted to remove the function keys and replace them with a Touch Bar on their laptops. This is a touch-controlled strip that is designed to help improve your Mac’s functionality and experience. The whole purpose of its introduction was to improve the convenience and accessibility offered on the MacBook. And while some users often start that they preferred those keys at the top of their keyboard, the TouchBar has proven to be a useful replacement. However, not many people are familiar with how to use this new feature and what applications are suitable for its use. So, we put together a quick and handy guide on everything TouchBar related, and how you can best optimize it to make your Mac user experience that much more enjoyable.
How Does This New Touch Feature Work?
The general rule with this new Mac feature is that it is applicable to almost anything you want to do. In other words, the TouchBar is always on and constantly analysing what you are doing, adjusting its display to better suit your preferences. The touch control strip is comprised of various shortcuts that help users control system functionalities like volume, display, Siri etc. It is also highly customizable, meaning you can either remove or expand more shortcuts and functionalities if you prefer.
Meanwhile, the TouchBar takes up most of the length at the top of your keyboard and constantly adjusts to suit whatever programs or tasks you are working on. For instance, if you are browsing online and the prompt for accepting or canceling shows up, these buttons are also displayed on your TouchBar. This speeds up the entire process and makes it easier to complete selections rather than always toggling the trackpad. Another prime example of its useful functionalities is during browsing activities when you have multiple tabs open on Safari. Through the TouchBar, you can easily switch from one tab to another. Moreover, those users that originally preferred having the function keys can press on the (fn) key and the TouchBar will digitally display them.
Additionally, when it comes to convenience, you should also consider purchasing a Laptop Stand for your Mac’s keyboard. This is because it offers portable freedom and ease of use, eliminating the constant need to look down on your screen. This prevents potential health problems such as; back and neck pain which can result in bad posture. Moreover, the ability to adjust the screen position using one of these accessories means that the likelihood of excessive eye strain is lessened. Moreover, you leave sufficient space under your Mac to increase airflow, which reduces the chances of overheating.
Using Touch ID
One of the benefits of the introduction of the TouchBar is the inclusion of TouchID functionality on your laptop. You can use this feature that also acts as your power button much like how older iPhones worked, using your fingerprint biometrics to verify your identity and secure your device. You can set up TouchID by heading to your System Preferences where you can setup your fingerprint for future verification. It will then allow you to be easily using your fingerprint to gain access to your Mac instead of using a passcode. You can also be using the feature to verify online payments and login to applications.
Volume: The TouchBar offers extensive volume control functionalities that allow you to adjust your volume settings as you see fit. This means that you can adjust your audio accordingly, whether it’s to mute, increase or reduce the volume, without having to toggle the changes using your keyboard or even activating the display. This is especially evident when utilizing a Bluetooth earphone set. These audio devices are usually affordable, offer a great sound range and long-lasting battery life. And Now, with the new TouchBar functionalities, they will be even easier to navigate and use!
Backlight & Display: You can easily adjust the brightness of your keyboard through your TouchBar which allows you to easily brighten or dim the backlights and your screen brightness with a simple and convenient tap and drag of the Touch strip.
You should also remember that you can always customize the control strip to include other different system functions, beyond just the default ones already available. For instance, this means that you can add other shortcuts other than eg. screen brightness, volume etc. You can accomplish this by heading to System Preferences > Keyboard, then customizing everything from there to better suit your personal preferences. You can also always use a third-party app like BetterTouchTool, which upgrades your TouchBar functionalities even more than what Apple permits. In other words, you will be able to create app and program shortcuts, create your widgets and more!