Apple made waves in the tech world last week with the announcement of its new MacBook Pro. A key feature of the new machine is the Touch Bar, an integrated touchscreen that is set to replace the traditional row of function keys at the top of the MacBook Pro keyboard.
The Touch Bar is now being supported by multiple application vendors, including Apple itself. Among the newly updated Apple applications are its iWork programs, including Pages, Keynote and Numbers, as well as the Xcode developer tool and the Final Cut, iMovie, Compressor and Motion video applications.
The application support basically means that application capabilities can now be directly accessed from the Touch Bar.
While Touch Bar support is a key feature in all of the application updates, it's not the only new feature. In the new Xcode 8.1 update, Apple is now also providing developers with a Touch Bar simulator that works on any Mac, enabling developers to see how apps will work with the Touch Bar.
Video Editing Upgrades
Apple's consumer-friendly iMovie application for video editing is being updated to version 10.1.3 with the ability to delete render files in order to recover disk drive space. In contrast, the Final Cut Pro, a professional video editing application, is being updated in a somewhat larger way than any of Apple's other software applications.
Final Cut Pro 10.3 is considered a major milestone for Apple and includes a new interface that changes how users will work with the video editor.
"This is our biggest update to Final Cut Pro X since we completely redesigned it five years ago," Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of Apps Product Marketing, said in a statement. "The new version features a sleek interface and adds powerful new editing features that go far beyond what’s possible with traditional, track-based video editing apps."
Among the new features is what Apple is calling the Magnetic Timeline 2. Final Cut Pro X first introduced the Magnetic Timeline as a way to easily enable editors to move and adjust video content. With the Magnetic Timeline each piece of content snaps or magnetically attaches to the video editing timeline. Now with the Magnetic Timeline 2, Apple has added color coding of video and audio clips to help organize content. Additionally the Magnetic Timeline update includes a focus button to highlight specific roles.
Final Cut Pro 10.3 now also includes a new flow transition capability that, according to Apple, seamlessly merges jump cuts to remove pauses or mistakes in on-camera interviews. The Final Cut Pro update now also finally gets a fully integrated timecode effort that can display the clip's name when viewed.
Apple is also updating the Compressor and Motion applications which are often used together with Final Cut Pro. Both Compressor 4.3 and Motion 4.3 get an updated interface that is aligned with the Final Cut Pro 10.3 update. Compressor now also benefits from an improved iTunes Store Package features that helps video editors to prepare video content for inclusion in Apple's iTunes Store.
The Motion effects application also now includes multiple improved capabilities for 3D text, including environment reflection controls and more realistic brushed metal surfaces.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.