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Adobe to release Photoshop update with MacBook Pro Touch Bar support

One of the standout features of Apple’s new MacBook Pro computers is the all new Touch Bar, which replaces a row of function keys atop the keyboard with a long OLED screen that’s contextual depending on the application(s) you’re using.

Moments after the announcement of the new MacBook Pros, Apple invited an Adobe executive on stage to show off how Adobe is already working on utilizing the Touch Bar to create a “natural, expressive, and powerful new way of working with Photoshop.”

The first demonstration on stage shows Experience Design Manager of Adobe Photoshop Bradee Evans as she composites two images together using Photoshop’s integrated selection and mask tool. Rather than digging through the navigation and sub-menus within Photoshop, Evans shows how the Touch Bar makes it easy to access otherwise hidden tools.

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Beyond bringing features out of Photoshop’s convoluted navigation system, the new Touch Bar also adds a more tactile element to moving sliders in Photoshop. Rather than using the mouse and trackpad to tweak exposure, saturation, and even brush sizes, Apple’s Touch Bar lets you slide your finger across a slider to adjust variables.

It’s a far cry from a full-out touchscreen MacBook Pro, and arguably a gimmicky addition to an otherwise unimpressive update, but it’s an evolutionary step in Apple’s notebook lineup nonetheless.

Although this wasn’t confirmed on stage at the keynote, it’s safe to assume Touch Bar functionality will make its way to other photography-centric apps in Adobe’s Creative Cloud collection, including Lightroom and Camera Raw.

Adobe says the new version of Photoshop, with Touch Bar support, should be available by the end of the year.