Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Magic Touch Bar ; TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT THE NEW MACBOOK PRO DOES - AND DOESN'T - HAVE

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Magic Touch Bar ; TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT THE NEW MACBOOK PRO DOES - AND DOESN'T - HAVE

Article excerpt

THESE days it seems somewhat quaint to be talking about an all- new laptop - I mean, who buys a computer that big when you can buy one that fits in your pocket? Well, the name sort of gives it away - the MacBook Pro is for people who have work to do.

Apple has an all-new design which features a genuinely new hardware feature never before seen on a laptop computer.

And yet all anyone's really talked about since the product launch is what the new computers don't have.

We'll get to what the new MacBook Pro doesn't have in a minute - far more interesting is what it does have.

It's a beautiful object, for a start - thinner and lighter than its predecessor, more powerful, and with a better, brighter screen that can display more colours.

It has a massive trackpad (about twice the size of before), and an all-new improved keyboard. The sound is better, too.

But the real innovation is in the new Touch Bar. Apple has replaced the row of function keys at the top of the keyboard with a thin, wide touchscreen that runs the full width of the keyboard, to about the same depth as a row of keys.

This screen adapts to display just the functions you need for the app you are using.

So, for example, when you are working in Photos to enhance your pictures, it will display sliders to allow you to adjust effects or have precise control over rotating images. It even shows you a stack of image thumbnails you can scroll through.

The Touch Bar is implemented across all of Apple's own apps, and developers can add special features to their apps, too.

Positioned on the right side of the Touch Bar is a fingerprint sensor, like the one found in the iPhone's home button, to allow you to do away with passwords, and even use Apple Pay.

It's certainly new, and it's certainly a different approach to Microsoft's Surface - an all-in-one machine that has pretensions to be both a tablet and a laptop.

Apple is adamant that full touch-screen interfaces are for the iPad and iPhone, while this new approach makes perfect sense for the laptop.

So that's what Apple has added, how about what it's taken away? Remember when the iPhone 7 was launched, and people were obsessed with how it didn't have a headphone jack? …

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