At the tail end of last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the world to the new MacBook Pro models. In addition to all of the upgrades consumers have come to expect, the higher end models included one significant change. This addition came in the form of a capacitive OLED panel dubbed the “Touch Bar.”
Apple has made some pretty lofty promises in regard to the functionality of this teeny tiny screen, stating that it will revolutionize how people use their laptops. We’ve covered many of its most useful features, but functionality is still severely limited to Apple software. If you find that your Touch Bar does nothing but drain your battery, have a look at the list below. You might just be able to find a new, more amusing use for it.
Touch Bar Piano
The Touch Bar Piano may feature squashed, deformed keys, but it can be a useful tool for musicians. The Touch Bar Piano supports polyphonic composition and is capable of emulating 128 different instruments. Of course, the musically-challenged can certainly have a bit of fun with it.
It’s safe to say that most people are aware of the hidden game that Google has tucked away inside its Chrome browser. When the Internet drops out, Chrome indicates to users that they are offline with a picture of a desert. If users hit the Space bar when confronted with the possibility of missing out on the latest memes, they can pass the time playing a game. Google Chrome’s “Network Error” Easter Egg is an addictive endless runner featuring a T-Rex avoiding cacti and swooping pterodactyls. Now, thanks to the Touch Bar, you can play whenever you like.
The puzzle game Lemmings was released in 1991 and tasked players with preventing cute critters from marching to their deaths. Players guided the green-haired rodents to a designated exit, helping them avoid various environmental perils. With the Touch Bar you can test your puzzle-solving skills once again with the dumb, yet adorable, creatures. The developer claims it is more of a proof of concept than an actual game, but who can resist those little guys?
Yes, the classic arcade game can also run in the Touch Bar. Don’t worry, though; the mazes aren’t squished down to some microscopic size to accommodate the tiny OLED Touch Bar screen. Instead, this version of Pac-Man has been developed specifically for the MacBook Pro Touch Bar. In this version Pac-Man runs along one long horizontal tube, munching on dots. Of course players still have to avoid ghosts, only this time they do so by detouring into vertical pipes.
The classic table tennis video game Pong is one of the very first to achieve mainstream popularity. Although the original arcade cabinet made its debut in 1972, you can now experience a piece of video game history using Apple’s latest hardware. The free GitHub version allows players to control their paddle by moving their finger along the Touch Bar. It features a computer opponent and an increasing difficulty level. Another version is also available through the App Store for $1.99. In addition to features present in the free version, it includes local multiplayer with one player using the Touch Bar and the other using the trackpad.
Doom pretty much runs on everything, including the Macbook Pro Touch Bar. That’s right, the infamous first-person shooter has been ported to the Touch Bar by an iPhone developer. With Doom running on ATMs, printers and everything in between, it was only a matter of time. While the game is playable, the aspect ratio is completely out of whack. Instead of being a new build like Pac-Man, Doom has simply been scrunched into the tiny Touch Bar. The code hasn’t been released, so it’s up to you to figure out how to get it running. If you do manage it, you better have a magnifying glass handy.
Have you found the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar to be useful? How so? Have you stumbled across any other fun and unique things the Touch Bar is capable of? Let us know in the comments!