In a move that will be appreciated by many, Google has introduced what could be justifiably called only a rudimentary support for the MacBook Pro Touch Bar in the latest version of Chrome’s Canary channel. The intention is clear — to allow consumers and developers get a firsthand experience of the earliest versions of the new Chrome features.
The moot point: Rejoice if you enjoy running bleeding-edge software on your brand spanking new and sophisticated hardware.
If it can take a cue or two from how Apple is utilizing the Touch Bar with Safari, Google definitely has the platform set for itself to push the envelope a bit more. So far we have seen, Chrome has added a number of static buttons to the Touch Bar that effectively duplicate the onscreen New Tab, Favorite, Refresh, Back, and Forward buttons. Apart from that, it also has a larger button that moves the cursor straight to the address bar, thus facilitating easy searching and typing.
However, it seems there’s no way to customize the Touch Bar to make changes (or hide) the individual buttons. Worth noting, while Safari also adds a few buttons to the Touch Bar, it dynamically alters to display bookmarks, while allowing you to switch between open tabs.
Another disappointing aspect that we need to cope with is the absence of any third-party app support for the Touch Bar. However, we are anticipating newer updates fixing that real soon. The Mac variant of Microsoft Office added the Touch Bar support last week, thus fulfilling a promise made earlier last year in October when the MacBook Pros were officially introduced. Adobe, on the other hand, added the support in its popular photo editing app Photoshop in December 2016.
Among all of Chrome’s four release channels, Canary happens to be the least stable version and is likely to undergo many more changes. Also, any newly implemented changes in Canary usually has to wait for at least three months before being added to the stable Release channel. Because those changes are required going through the Dev and Beta channels to begin with, and each individual release can gestate in individual channels for six weeks or so, Google has abundant time to improvise with the Touch Bar implementation (assuming that it wants to). But then, let’s not ignore the fact that even the most basic support tend to be a lot better than having no support at all.
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