This handy app lets you fake the Touch Bar on an old Mac
Apple recently unveiled the OLED-powered keyboard display called the “Touch Bar” in its newly launched MacBook Pro series. If you are wondering exactly how the new Touch Bar will work, then there is some good news for you.
Some developers have uploaded a new app called Touch Bar Demo on GitHub that allows users to become familiar with the Touch Bar for free in two different ways, noted 9to5Mac. Firstly, you can either run it on macOS and access it via the Function key, or run it on an iPad connected via USB to your laptop.
To use the first method, ensure that you are running macOS Sierra 10.12.1 build 16B2657 or above, which adds support for the Touch Bar to macOS. Since this has the Touch Bar functionality written into it, the earlier versions won’t work. Download the latest ZIP from the release section and put the extracted app into your Applications folder and run the app (you may need to Ctrl+click and choose Open to override the macOS security settings). To build the iOS app, open TouchBar.xcodeproj, connect your iOS device and select the TouchBarClient target and your device.
Tap the Fn key and hey presto, the Touch Bar appears, changing animatedly based on the app you’re using. As your Mac doesn’t have a touchscreen, you can choose the numerous features by clicking on them. While this will definitely not give you the complete authentic Touch Bar experience, it is however a fun way to get the hang of Apple’s newest technology on your old Mac.
The other option is to use the Touch Bar through your iPad, via a USB cable. This method brings full Touch Bar functionality as you can see in the video below. The Touch Bar simply appears on the iPad and can be controlled via a virtual Touch Bar. The icons are responsive and switch immediately based on which app is open on the Mac.
Check out the video below that shows the Touch Bar running on an iPad which is connected to an iMac: