For the uninitiated, Apple’s MacBook Pro, circa late 2016 is enough of a hit that keeping certain models in stock is a problem. For other experienced users, it’s an anemic, over-priced Mac that cannot be upgraded, and it comes with a gimmick. The Touch Bar. If you like such gimmicks, here’s how to get a Touch Bar on your iPad.
iPad? Wait. What? Why not get a Touch Bar on every Mac? Patience is a virtue and Apple will take us into the future soon enough; a place in time and space where everyone uses a new Mac, nobody uses Windows PCs, and each new feature Apple launches will be met with praises of glory.
Just kidding. But there is plenty to like about the MacBook Pro’s new Touch Bar. Macs for ages have had a Function key array on the keyboard. That’s still there but replaced with a long, slender touchscreen that doubles as context sensitive Function keys. Context sensitive in that the keys and functions change with every app that comes foremost to the Mac’s screen.
What does that have to do with the Mac’s Touch Bar on an iPad?
A few Apple engineers started a company and launched a product called Duet for Mac and iPad. Download and install the Duet app for iPad, iPhone, and Mac, plug the iPad into the Mac with a Lightning cable and you get a dual screen setup whereby the iPad acts as a second screen for your Mac. While all this works on iPad, iPhone, and any new Mac, it’s particularly useful for Mac notebooks which have less screen real estate.
The whole shebang with Duet is the convenience of using the iPad’s screen as a second display for a MacBook (but again, it works with other Macs and iPhone, too).
The app also brings the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar to the iPad’s screen, which, in reality, is just an extension of the MBP’s screen because of, well, Apple-inspired magic in Duet.
Duet brings Touch Bar from MacBook Pro to an iPad’s screen (haven’t tried it on an iPhone; sorry). It works much like it works on the MacBook Pro, so whatever Mac application you’re using on the iPad’s screen– that also has a comparable Touch Bar Function key setup– also works on the iPad’s screen.
A few, but the obvious ones. You’ll need Duet for the Mac and iOS 10 (but Duet runs on iPads and iPhones back to iOS 7). The Mac will need macOS Sierra 10.12.2 because that’s where Touch Bar resides. In the end, your Mac gets an external display that’s wicked fast and works with touch and the Mac’s mouse or trackpad.
And, you get to try out Touch Bar without having to buy a new MacBook Pro.