Slow ship times ahead of Worldwide Developer Conference are a pretty good sign we’re about to get a MacBook Pro refresh.
Apple updated Apple Remote Desktop to version 3.9 Tuesday. The update adds support for the Mac Book Pro’s Touch Bar. It also features the ability to export computer lists and beefs up security.
Consumer Reports said in a blog post Tuesday that Apple has a fix for a bug uncovered in CR testing. According to statements from both CR and Apple, there was a bug in Safari that caused battery life issues on Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and Apple has released a fix for that bug to its beta program, and said it will release it to the public in the coming weeks.
Smile’s TextExpander got a nice update on Monday, assuming you’re a Touch Bar MacBook Pro user. The 6.1.3 update adds Touch Bar support so you can add, organize or delete snippets with a tap, filter snippets, and check your snippet statistics, too. The update also includes better VoiceOver access and fixes a few bugs because everyone else deserves a little something in the download. TextExpander 6.1.3 is a free download and works with Smile’s TextExpander subscription service.
Apple updated iTunes on Tuesday to version 12.5.4. The update adds two specific features, scrubbing in the Touch Bar on MacBook pro and support for the TV app across iOS devices. There were also security holes patched in the Windows version.
The Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro may be functional, but it can be fun, too. Henry Franks makes that point perfectly with his Pac-Man clone, called Pac-Bar, for the Touch Bar. It’s just like the classic arcade game, complete with Pac-Man and his “wokka-wokka” munching sound, ghosts, and music. The maze is a little limited since you can only go left or right, although the intersections do jump you to either end of the Touch Bar. You’ll need to use your MacBook Pro’s arrow keys to play—sorry, no touch controls here. Click the Clone or download button on Henry’s Github page get Pac-Bar.
Turning your new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar into a piano may not be practical but it is pretty cool, and that’s exactly what Touch Bar Piano does. The app lets you choose between 128 different instruments, and you can play chords, too. Touch Bar Piano is a free download, and while it isn’t the same as using an actual piano, it’s a cool example of the creative ideas developers are finding for the Touch Bar.
Smile’s PDFpen and PDFpen Pro gained Retina MacBook Pro Touch Bar support on Tuesday so users can edit documents with finger taps, and PDFpen Pro users can edit Table of Contents, too. PDFpen and PDFpen Pro are PDF document editing and creation apps. Users can add and remove pages from documents, edit text, and and remove images, create PDF forms, OCR scanned text, sync files via iCloud and Dropbox, and more. PDFpen 8.3 costs US$74.95 and PDFpen Pro 8.3 is priced at $124.95. The updates are free for version 8.x users.
Quick tips to start: copying mail (instead of moving it), editing your default Touch Bar, a new way to create pinned tabs in Safari, ejecting an external Blu-ray, and disabling notifications. After that it’s time to answer your questions about secure email, SSD upgrades, keychain errors, portable audio recording setups and much more. Press play and enjoy!
Device maker Plugable said Thursday that Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is incompatible with Thunderbolt 3 docks that use a particular Texas Instrument chip. If accurate, it means at least some early Thunderbolt 3 docks already on the market will not work with Apple’s newest Mac laptop.
John Kheit thinks Apple has lost the plot about what users need in Apple devices, especially with creative pros. He argues that Microsoft nailed it with Surface Studio, while Apple’s new MacBook Pro is a far cry from a pro Mac.
Bryan Chaffin argues that the new MacBook pro’s Touch Bar is Apple’s double down against the ToasterFridge. More specifically, Touch Bar is Apple’s solution for the same need that ToasterFridges are trying to fill.
Apple used its “hello again” event to introduce new MacBook Pro models Thursday. Smaller, thinner, and featuring four Thunderbolt 3 ports, the signature feature is a “Touch Bar,” a Multi-Touch, Retina Display strip above the keyboard that offers users context-aware controls, keys, and other user-interface features.