Apple finally -- finally -- unveiled its new lineup of MacBook Pro notebook computers on Thursday, complete with a badass new touch screen built above the keyboard called the Touch Bar. And while the sleek new touch strip offers seemingly unlimited new controls, buttons, and other features for the apps you use on your Mac, one of them finally makes texting as simple as it is on your iPhone: quick access to emoji.
Instead of including the physical function keys, escape button, and power button like with the previous generation of MacBook Pros, Apple placed a Retina-quality and touch screen strip in the prime real estate that's both capable of dynamically displaying controls, shortcuts, and other tools based on the app you're using and customizable. For example, when you're using the Photos app, the Touch Bar will display to a handy menu of photo editing tools, but when you switch to the Safari app, the Touch Bar will also switch to give you new icons like shortcuts to your favorite websites, among others. This 30-second video from Apple will show you exactly how it works:
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Not only does the new Touch Bar look cool, it will almost certainly prove to be incredibly useful for everyday tasks on your Mac, you know, like when you communicate via the Messages app. Just like on your iPhone and iPad keyboards, the Touch Bar will finally bring emoji characters and other useful messaging tools right to your keyboard for the quick and easy access you're used to on your mobile devices. The Touch Bar will show the same emoji folders and let you swipe through the characters until you've found the one you're looking for... which is markedly easier than having to hit the emoji button in the message app's text field and scrolling through the long list as you have to do with your current Mac.
Sure, you probably shouldn't base purchasing a new MacBook Pro on freaking emoji characters, but should you end up dropping at least $1,799 on one, it'll be just one new feature that will make your life slightly easier. Or you can always say "fuck the Touch Bar" and get $650 to switch to a Microsoft Surface instead.
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