Friday, November 4, 2016

Touch Bar on Apple's Standalone Keyboard Will Take A While If It Ever Happens

Source: 9to5Mac

Almost immediately upon learning about the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro, the next thought that occurred to me was when Apple will bring it to their standalone keyboard.

I've left it on the table for a bit and allowed it to simmer for a few days. With Halloween on the horizon, I didn't think about it until I read the above post from 9to5Mac which they showed a rendering of what an Apple Touch Bar keyboard will look like.



I'm not sure if Apple brings the Touch Bar to the external keyboard, it would be just a simple strip like what we see on the MacBook Pro. If you believe that is all Apple will do, then don't expect it to happen this way. First of all, the jury is still out for me on the Touch Bar. I'm not a professional. I'm just a regular Mac user like the most of you. It's too early to see just how useful it will be outside of Apple's reality distortion field and video and photo cutting rooms. Being able to access emoji quickly is cool but not a deal maker for most.



I get the feeling Apple has a larger design for touch input for both Macs and iOS devices in the near future. And Touch Bar 1.0 implementation on the new MacBook Pro is Apple's way to learn how people will use it. It's much like the Apple Watch. People were excited but mostly curious of the Apple Watch and it's potential. And from WatchOS 1 to 2, Apple made a number of changes. And it was not until watchOS 3 that we are beginning to see greater potentials in the Apple Watch.

I reckon it will be the same with the Touch Bar. Apple will learn from how users are interacting with it. Then there will be changes and new features added with each new macOS update. It sure makes it easier to implement updates given they the Touch Bar runs on its own processor and OS. By version 2 or 3, we'll be able to see where Apple is going with it. And Apple may even bring what it has learned from the Touch Bar to the iOS devices, Apple Watch, and, yes, Apple TV. And who knows, the Apple car too?

Features aside, there is also the hardware question. It will not be simply stripping out the top row of function keys and adding the Touch Bar. There will be new designs that best work for the users. There will be a need for a bigger battery to accommodate the strip and its LED display. And what about including Touch ID?

So, expect a long wait for the Touch Bar ever comes to Apple's standalone keyboard if it ever comes at all. But when it does, it will be fantastic and very different from the current Touch Bar implementation.

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