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Two ways to experience the magic of the Touch Bar on any iMac or MacBook


Back in October 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the latest product in the Mac range, the 2016 MacBook Pro featuring an all-new Touch Bar. The Touch Bar sits above the keyboard and replaces the traditional line of function keys, with the aim of serving up app-specific shortcuts that you’re likely to use. It allows video editors to quickly and easily scrob through an edit, it provides shortcuts for graphic designers using Photoshop and a bunch of handy tools for the average joe surfing the web using Safari.

However, the issue is that the functionality is limited to the new MacBook Pro, which starts at £1,749 in the UK. Apple doesn’t currently offer a Touch Bar-enabled Magic Keyboard for the iMac, although we suspect it will at some point, so what are everyday Mac users that want to try the functionality to do? Here, we show you two ways that you can access the all-new Touch Bar on any Mac that runs Apple’s latest version of macOS Sierra.

How to get MacBook Pro Touch bar on Any Mac

So, how can you get access to the all-new Touch Bar on any Mac? There are two ways currently available, either by using your iPad as the Touch Bar input, or by adding the Touch Bar to the bottom of any Mac display. Of course, you won’t be able to touch it like you are when using the actual Touch Bar or the iPad, but it may serve of some use for various in-app shortcuts.

How to get MacBook Pro Touch Bar on any Mac: Using an iPad

Developers Andreas Verhoeven and Robbert Klarenbeek have created an ingenious app called Touch Bar Demo that allows you to use the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar on any Mac. This is done via an iPad connected to the mac via USB, and will display all the Touch Bar’s features alongside any app that offers support for the new functionality. As the functionality was only recently announced, the list is still fairly limited, but support for the Touch Bar should continue to grow over the coming months.

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