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More about Touch Bar: Microsoft's old project, Lenovo's discarded idea and how to run a trial version on Mac / iPad

S time go tell if the controversial Touch bar New MacBooks Pro will become a valuable tool for amateur and professional users around the world or simply relegated to the dishonorable roll of ideas and features beautiful in concept but useless in practice and forgotten by time.

While the future is not enough to enlighten our minds on this absolutely crucial question for the future of humanity, we stand here looking at Apple's inspirations and possible ways to get our hands on the magic bar before the new computers hit stores and much before they reach stores in Brazil, more specifically.

Microsoft Adaptive Keyboard Type, Similar to Touch Bar

The first subject to be addressed here today has to do with an old Apple nmesis: Microsoft. Apparently, the Redmond giant has been working on an adaptive keyboard concept quite similar to the idea behind Touch Bar for no less than 15 years. Who reports the The verge.

Conceived in 1999, the idea is admittedly more ambitious than Apple's Touch Bar, but the intention behind everything is basically the same. Here we have a screen at the top of the keyboard that is very similar to the Apple solution, although larger that displays content based on what is happening on the main screen above. This secondary screen, however, extends to the keyboard buttons, which can display specific keys also according to the active program.

The concept of Microsoft did not come true for a simple reason: at the time it was developed, the company did not manufacture computers; Now that Surfaces are about to overwhelm tech fans around the world, Uncle Satya's company focuses on touch-screen machines, which kind of do without this kind of solution on the keyboard.

Still, the similarities to the idea that Apple ultimately implemented were remarkable. Do we have here a case of slight undue inspiration?

Lenovo's discarded idea

You can argue that no, but with regard to this prototype of Lenovo, the similarities are undoubtedly even more frightening (and suspicious?). An early version of the Thinkpad X1 Carbon, introduced in early 2014, features what would essentially be a Touch Bar version in the Windows world without Touch ID.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon prototype with similar feature Touch Bar

The implementation is pretty much the same, with the design almost identical, and the idea of ??changing keys according to the main screen context also seems to have been directly imported by Ma two years later.

Lenovo's prototype did not see the light of day due to keyboard-driven consumer criticism (since Lenovo did not have enough #heart and simply moved keys like ?Esc? and ?Delete? to absolutely inappropriate locations instead of killing them). them) and also "poor implementation" of the concept apparently, in 2014 people were not prepared for a small screen replacing the function bar. We will see if, almost three years later, this paradigm holds.

Testing the Touch Bar

Regardless of where Apple got its inspiration for creating the Touch Bar, the fact that the feature will surely be embraced by all of the biggest developers in the Mac world over time. If you make applications for macOS and want to familiarize yourself with the bar before your arrival in the world or if you are simply curious about it, this is already possible thanks to a shared application on GitHub.

O Touch Bar Demo App Allows the user to open a Touch Bar simulation window on the Mac screen itself by pressing the function key to operate the window through the machine's trackpad or mouse. The most interesting option, however, is if you have an iPad: in this case, simply connect the tablet to the Mac via USB and an app will display the Touch Bar at the bottom of the screen, allowing you to operate the bar ?exactly? as in new MacBook Pro.

To install the Touch Bar Demo App, you need to have a Mac running macOS Sierra 10.12.1 (specifically the 16B2657 build, which comes with Touch Bar support) and simply extract the application from the ZIP file to download by placing it in the application folder. . If you want to test it on your iPad, you need to open the TouchBar.xcodeproj file, connect the tablet via USB and select the device next to the TouchBarClient in Xcode.

And let the ideas machine begin!

(via Cult of Mac, 9to5Mac)