Apple reveals the MacBook Pro's new Touch Bar display — here's how it works

Source: Apple
Source: Apple

The most exciting feature on Apple's newly upgraded MacBook Pro is the OLED touch display panel, which Apple calls the Touch Bar. The slim, black strip at the top of the keyboard replaces the prototypical function keys with a digital presentation. And, yes, there's an emoji keyboard — which is probably what all your friends will be talking about.

Bye-bye, function keys. As a leak on Tuesday first revealed, the Touch Bar is indeed compatible with Apple Pay and Touch ID. The display is dynamic, showing distinct prompts and options depending on the program being used. In the case of Apple Pay, a dialogue box along the panel highlights the price and offers the option of paying with Touch ID. When typing, the Touch Bar will predict the words you want.

Touch Bar
Source: 
Apple
Touch Bar
Source: 
Apple

Touch Bar is customizable, as senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi demonstrated:

Source: Apple

The MacBook Pro's new Touch Bar essentially blends in with the rest of the keyboard and may not seem like a huge deal. But really, it simplifies many of the commands users give their computers and further removes the trackpad (and mouse, if you have one) out the equation. And with the OLED technology, important information like audio controls and Siri control is more easily visible. 

This story is developing.

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Aric Suber-Jenkins

Aric is a writer covering technology. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Maxim and Brooklyn Magazine. He is based in New York and can be reached at aric@mic.com.

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