On Monday, Oct. 24, barely three days ahead of the official launch, Apple accidentally leaked images of the impending MacBook Pro in its macOS Sierra 12.1 update, which gave fans a peek into the rumored Magic Toolbar touch panel.
While the feature has brought much excitement, many must be wondering what the hype is about. What is the Magic Toolbar?
The Magic Toolbar is basically the name for the secondary OLED touch screen display above the device's keyboard, which will replace the traditional function row on the keyboard. The function row will be completely gone in the revamped MacBook Pro as confirmed by the leaked images. So essentially, the Magic Toolbar is a touch screen strip that will imbibe the erstwhile function keys in a digital manner.
Apple reportedly owns the trademark for Magic Toolbar. Rumors have been rife that the new MacBook Pro lineup will boast the most significant upgrade. In May this year, we reported that reputed KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had forecasted that the new models of the popular laptop would not have physical function keys on top of the keyboard, but in its place would be an OLED touch display bar - the Magic Toolbar.
The second mini screen would take the place of the traditional function keys on the keyboard. The touch display would be narrow and tout several shortcuts that would be adaptive and will change depending on the application the user is deploying.
How Apple intends to take advantage of the Magic Toolbar is unclear at this juncture, but it will have icons and on-screen buttons users expect from their favorite apps.
The Magic Toolbar's arrival will also result in a handy feature bidding adieu - there will be no physical escape key on the MacBook Pro 2016. Instead, as indicated by the leaked images, the left side of the display will tout a cancel button, which will possibly replace the escape key.
The leaked image (below) from Apple shows of the Magic Toolbar prompting the user to confirm their payment made via Apple Pay with the Touch ID sensor.
The idea behind the Magic Toolbar is to streamline the use of keyboard shortcuts that are frequently deployed by users. The touch screen display will possibly show off the controls for media playback when for instance a user has iTunes open. If one is working on Word, the display could show off commands for editing such as cut and paste.
Moreover, the display could potentially enable Apple to introduce new buttons through software updates, instead of a hardware refresh per industry rumors.
Apple is slated to host its much-awaited event on Oct. 27 and the company is also anticipated to take the wraps off the refreshed 13-inch MacBook Air alongside the MacBook Pro 2016 lineup.