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Bye-bye function keys: The new MacBook Pro, with Touch Bar, is here

The big news (so far) at today’s Apple event is the new MacBook Pro. And as expected, the big news about the new MacBook Pro, which comes in 13″ and 15″ versions, is its new Touch Bar.

The Touch Bar is a retina-resolution color display, located where every other computer has had function keys for decades. It’s extremely context sensitive, showing everything from typing suggestions to playback controls to preview of photo filters, depending on what you’re doing in which app. And you can even customize it by dragging icons off the main display onto the bar.

Apple’s Phil Schiller began his pitch for the Touch Bar with a requiem for function keys, which date back decades to the era when people used terminals to access text-only mainframes. At first blush, I can’t imagine anyone will miss them—and I’m curious to see whether the rest of the industry will mimic Apple’s replacement.

HM