Is The MacBook Pro's New Touch Bar The Feature You Want But Don't Actually Need?

  • Update: 28/10/2016

Apple has unveiled the long-awaited new MacBook Pro, which arrives with the usual claim that it's the thinnest, lightest and most powerful version yet.

Inevitably, though, the feature that most attention will be focused on is the new Touch Bar - essentially a thin multitouch display that replaces the row of function key at the top of the keyboard.

This offers different controls depending on the software you're currently running. In GarageBand, for example, you can use it to tweak the Smart Controls on the selected track, or make volume adjustments.

There's Touch Bar support in quite a few of Apple's apps already - including Final Cut Pro X - but, strangely, Logic Pro X is still to be updated. We're guessing that it will be made Touch Bar-friendly at some point, but it remains to be seen how many third-party developers choose to get onboard.

In fact, the usefulness of the Touch Bar itself is also open to debate. It looks nice, and has that 'next-gen' vibe that's been the hallmark of many Apple innovations down the years, but it might just be a solution to a non-existent problem. In an era when touch technology typically means getting your hands on the screen, giving you a direct connection to the thing you're controlling (as on Apple's iOS devices) there will be come who consider the Touch Bar to be a backward and unnecessary step, especially when you consider what's going on in the rest of the computer hardware industry.

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