Try MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar On Your Current MacBook With This App


The biggest highlight of the new 2016 MacBook Pro is the Touch Bar. While Apple has yet to ship the Touch Bar equipped notebooks to the public there is an easy way through which you can somewhat try this new feature out on your current MacBook or even an iMac. In order to test the Touch Bar you need to install an app on your Mac. The on-screen ‘Touch Bar’ will look and function same as the physical touchscreen bar found on Apple’s latest MacBooks letting you get a taste of Apple’s latest technology before it hits the masses.

There are two ways you can use this app to test out Touch Bar, this includes installing the Touch Bar app on your computer and using the physical function keys to control it. Or you can sideload the application on your iOS device and use it complete in its touch interface glory. To be able to use the Touch Bar app you just need to connect your iPad to the computer using a USB cable. The iPad app gives a more authentic feel of the Touch Bar to the user, as you can actually control it with touch input. It also updates contextually showing buttons and options based on what’s on your Mac’s screen.

Sure this is not something you can take advantage of in your day to day use, but if you are planning on buying the new 2016 MacBook Pro solely because of the Touch Bar feature this app can help you see if the upgrade is worth it or not.

In order to install this Touch Bar test app, which is called TouchBarServer on the Mac you need to be running macOS Sierra 10.12.1 build 16B2657 as normal build (16B2555) does not have Touch Bar support.

Here are some instructions on how to install the Touch Bar Server app on the Mac and iPad by its developer.

Ensure you have installed macOS Sierra 10.12.1 build 16B2657, which adds support for the Touch Bar to macOS. Build 16B2555 does not have Touch Bar support, so it won’t work.

Just fetch the latest ZIP from the release section section and put the extracted app into your Applications folder.

To build the iOS app, open TouchBar.xcodeproj, connect your iOS device and select the TouchBarClient target and your device.

For sideloading the app, see these instructions. (Source)

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1 comment
  1. Had to install a different build but it works now. I wish Apple had given an onscreen touchbar to old macbook users

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