Possible references to MacBook Pro OLED 'Function Row' spotted in Pages code

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited August 2016
A reference to a "Dynamic Function Row" has been spotted in Apple's latest release of the Pages word processing app, potentially confirming a rumored name for the OLED touch bar on the new MacBook Pro.




Spotted by Consomac, a text entry has been found in the MenuCommands.strings system file for Apple's Pages, with a menu option titled "Customize Function Row."

The entry may be for something else, however. Presumably, multiple applications would require the ability to modify an OLED touch sensitive function row, and AppleInsider searches of the latest beta's files have as of yet found no other references to the feature.

Monday's report reiterated previous rumors about the OLED function bar, giving it a name for the first time. The "Dynamic Function Row" is said to display both a virtual row of function keys and may be tailorable by developers or users app-specific commands.


MacBook Pro render. | Source: Martin Hajek


Still not known is any prospective announcement date for new Apple hardware. Any new MacBook Pro announced in the fall is expected to have a "Polaris" AMD GPU, Thunderbolt 3, and USB 3.1 generation 2 in addition to the rumored "Dynamic Function Row."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    macapfelmacapfel Posts: 571member
    I am so much waiting for the new MacBook Pro! About time they release a new notebook machine. I am equally looking forward to a new Pages. There are still quite some important features missing that were available in the old '09 iWorks.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    I have no problem if the new MBP looks exactly like it does in that picture above. That looks great actually. I only hope they do one thing like they used to, even though it affects the machine in no way other than cosmetic reasons. I do hope they put the MacBook Pro text back in at the bottom of the screen. Don't know why but I really liked it there haha.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    Seriously? I don't want a touch row, I want a touch screen. What's so damn hard about that? How about a 1:2 that's a Mac OS when connected & iSO when I have the screen detached. I use to love the Apple Events, now it seems all the real innovation is happening at Microsoft & Google. Just sad.... damn a touch sensitive row.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    @Vukasika So what you want is...an iPad Pro?
    jbishop1039foljsdysamorialolliverbkkcanuck
  • Reply 5 of 16
    foljsfoljs Posts: 383member
    vukasika said:
    Seriously? I don't want a touch row, I want a touch screen. What's so damn hard about that? 
    It's hard to find a utility for it, outside of MS Surface commercials.

    First, holding your hand horizontally for even 5 minutes is both unnatural and painful.

    So, unless it's detachable (and that comes with serious tradeoffs in construction, e.g. suddenly you need to put the cpu, batteries etc. in the screen side, not under the keyboard, and make it bulkier) it doesn't make any sense. 

    Second, for tablet like use Apple already has a far more suitable and task oriented machine out there. Which has applications AND OS optimized for touch input.


    jbishop1039dysamorialolliverbrakkenanome
  • Reply 6 of 16
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,691member
    Seems like maybe this idea would be useful on an iMac too. Perhaps add a dynamic screen to a keyboard too?
    tallest skildysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 16
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    vukasika said:
    Seriously? I don't want a touch row, I want a touch screen. What's so damn hard about that? How about a 1:2 that's a Mac OS when connected & iSO when I have the screen detached. I use to love the Apple Events, now it seems all the real innovation is happening at Microsoft & Google. Just sad.... damn a touch sensitive row.
    here we go again. multiple Apple execs have spoken about touchscreen macs and explained why they dont think it's a good idea.

    if you think the real innovation at MS and Google is so great, then you should switch over to the Surface and Chromebook. I'm sure you'll love them for years and years to come.
    edited August 2016 jbishop1039lolliverkamiltonbrakken
  • Reply 8 of 16
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,826member
    vukasika said:
    Seriously? I don't want a touch row, I want a touch screen. What's so damn hard about that? How about a 1:2 that's a Mac OS when connected & iSO when I have the screen detached. I use to love the Apple Events, now it seems all the real innovation is happening at Microsoft & Google. Just sad.... damn a touch sensitive row.
    here we go again. multiple Apple execs have spoken about touchscreen macs and explained why they dont think it's a good idea.

    if you think the real innovation at MS and Google is so great, then you should switch over to the Surface and Chromebook. I'm sure you'll love them for years and years to come.
    Most companies, unlike Apple, make products designed to attract customers who are easily drawn to bright shiny objects. Which means flashy, techno "features" that entice a sale, are used a few times before the customer gets bored and then want's a new toy. Apple's obsession with function AND design prevents them from following that path most of the time.
    edited August 2016 nolamacguykamilton
  • Reply 9 of 16
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    eightzero said:
    Seems like maybe this idea would be useful on an iMac too. Perhaps add a dynamic screen to a keyboard too?
    Not just there; let all Macs be compatible with it.

    Of course that means all Sierra Macs, which means only official Sierra Macs, which means my Mac Pro couldn’t even though… *continues complaining about purposely dropping fully supported hardware*
    dysamoria
  • Reply 10 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Maybe that OLED touch strip can also be played like a Theramin.
    dysamorialolliver
  • Reply 11 of 16
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Maybe that OLED touch strip can also be played like a Theramin.
    I smell limited GarageBand use, at least. It’ll make people want a full touch version.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 12 of 16
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    eightzero said:
    Seems like maybe this idea would be useful on an iMac too. Perhaps add a dynamic screen to a keyboard too?
    This is what I came here to say also. The recently released standalone keyboard would need the same change. Is this likely to be a laptop-only feature or across the board on all Apple computers?
  • Reply 13 of 16
    eightzero said:
    Seems like maybe this idea would be useful on an iMac too. Perhaps add a dynamic screen to a keyboard too?
    I have been thinking of getting a magic keyboard 2 but I have been holding off to see if a new one will come out that has the same changes.  I like the macbook keyboard and find after a week on the road with it alone my typing will exceed my ergo keyboard (Microsoft) [switching between the two can be more trouble than it is worth].... It would be nice if Apple made a keyboard with the keys slanted inline with the arms more.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    foljs said:

    First, holding your hand horizontally for even 5 minutes is both unnatural and painful.


    I see this argument a lot, which didn't surprise me when there was no way to know for sure one way or the other, but does now that we know it's not true. After a year of using a touch-screen Windows app and nine months with an iPad Pro resting on a Smart Keyboard I can assure you that the concerns about Gorilla arm are nonsense.

    I work on a live TV show that is run entirely on touchscreen computers and not a single person has complained. It's awesome having a choice between using a mouse or just touching an on-screen button with your finger. You can just do whichever is handier or more intuitive at any given moment.



    foljs said:

    Second, for tablet like use Apple already has a far more suitable and task oriented machine out there. Which has applications AND OS optimized for touch input.


    If you say so. We've had an iPad Pro since before Christmas, and I don't see how it could replace the computers we use AT HOME, much less the ones I use in my work.

    I prefer Apple's OS to Microsoft's overall, but this is an area in which I think Apple is getting it wrong.

  • Reply 15 of 16
    If you say so. We've had an iPad Pro since before Christmas, and I don't see how it could replace the computers we use AT HOME, much less the ones I use in my work.

    I prefer Apple's OS to Microsoft's overall, but this is an area in which I think Apple is getting it wrong.

    iPad Pro can do certain tasks better than the Macbook, certain tasks about the same as the Macbook -- but different, and certain tasks are more difficult.  

    For a white collar worker who works at their desk typing, it is a poor replacement - especially since it is difficult to setup a proper ergonomic environment -- but the majority of jobs are not desk jobs and not desk bound.... and for those jobs a tablet is better.   For my job, I am a desk bound coder type and the iPad would be a poor replacement.  

    For my sister who uses her "portable computer" to read "books" or texts, write emails, check a few web pages and write - both reports and personal journal type writing....  and the ability to jot notes at meetings.... the iPad Pro is a very good replacement.   For office (white collar) work she will still use a desktop.  

    Most people do not have one device, they don't use their phone for everything... they have multiple different devices and the handoff approach where you can drop one device and pick up another device is a better solution than having one device do a half-assed job of everything.  It would be different if Microsoft did not try to force one interface on all devices or all uses but gave a regular "windows" oriented approach for devices used as desktop and laptops and tablet interface for tablets.  If they want 2-1 devices, they should still have two optimized interfaces -- each one switches to how the device is used. 

    The future "IoT" fits better into the Apple model than the Microsoft (IMHO) -- it recognizes that you will have multiple devices ... just that you will be able to put down one and pick up another and continue working.  The devices can work together or independently -- they should be able to pool resources, or not.  I have computer chips in pretty well every electronic device, and those chips eventually come down in price.   I foresee a point where you will eventually have displayed in walls (OLED display) in counters near the kitchen to help with cooking, and even the table top and they will eventually need to work co-operatively.  Yes we are a fair distance away from that point... but that is where I think it will eventually lead.    


  • Reply 16 of 16
    OLED display touch bar may look nice, but also crucial reason why not to buy. At least Escape key is, and always be, too important and nothing can replace it.
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