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4 apps to show off the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar

Still skeptical about the Touch Bar? Try these apps.

Now playing: Watch this: Is the New MacBook Pro's Touch Bar revolutionary?

At first, using the Touch Bar can leave you feeling let down. Nearly all Apple apps take advantage of it to some extent, often with a boring "OK" or "Cancel" button.

There are a few apps, however, that show off the Touch Bar's full capabilities and potential. While most of Apple's own apps work just fine with the Touch Bar, the best apps come from third-party developers. Below are four apps that take full advantage of Apple's latest laptops.


Jason Cipriani/CNET

PCCalc isn't your average calculator app, and after a recent update it uses the Touch Bar to help you figure out basic and complex calculations.

At first glance, PCCalc's Touch Bar integration may feel a bit lacking. Then you open the customization screen, and things get really interesting. I mean, just look at all of the options in the screenshot above.

After customizing the Touch Bar for PCCalc, you can put functions like Inverse Power or Cube Root -- whatever those are -- in the Touch Bar for easy access and instant answers.


Jason Cipriani/CNET

A popular Photoshop replacement for Mac users, Pixelmator uses the Touch Bar with every tool and selection. From a color picker that's bright and vivid to paintbrush adjustment buttons that are easy to quickly change with little fussing.


Jason Cipriani/CNET

Password-managing service 1Password not only supports TouchID on the MacBook Pro, the company also uses the Touch Bar for various tasks. Activate the search dialogue, or begin adding new accounts to the app directly from the Touch Bar.

I've used 1Password for the past five years, if not longer, and had no clue there was a "Store Rewards" category for saved information in the app until I used the Touch Bar version of the app.


Jason Cipriani/CNET

The only Apple app to make the list is Photos, and that's because it's the only app preinstalled on your MacBook Pro. Use Touch Bar to scroll through your library with a swipe, or edit photos with a couple of taps.

I was skeptical of using Touch Bar, but after a few days of forcing myself to use it instead of the onscreen buttons, I'm starting to like the fact I can just tap on the bar instead of using the trackpad to move the cursor, click on a button, make an adjustment, then repeat the process.