One of the biggest announcements in the October Apple event was the introduction of the Touch Bar in two of the new MacBook Pros. Today we will get up close and personal with this new innovation and see if it’s worth the hype.

Let’s start with the serious stuff: security. This bar comes with a Touch ID, and this means that you will be able to use your fingerprint to unlock your Mac with just one tap. This is the first time Touch ID comes to the Mac and if you enjoyed the convenience that it brought to the iPhone, you will love it on the Mac!

It gets better: when used with Apple Pay, you will be able to quickly and securely make payments without having to memorize long, complicated passwords. Other things you can do with Touch ID on the new MacBook Pros include quickly switching between users, viewing locked notes and accessing system settings.

Is the row of function keys dead?

Many have argued that the function row of keys is not as functional as it sounds. If you give it some thought, the average Mac user will only use a handful of these keys every once in a while. The rest are left idle, yet they occupy space that could be put to good use.

This was probably the motivation for Apple engineers as they were coming up with the Touch Bar. It changes with the software you are using to bring a new level of convenience to the way you interact with apps.

So what exactly can you do with the Mac Touch Bar?

For starters, you will have access to the most commonly used system controls like volume, brightness and media playback controls. When working on Mail, you will be able to create a new message, reply, send or move to trash. You can also answer FaceTime calls directly from this bar.

When typing messages, this bar is filled with your frequently used emojis for quick and easy access. You can conveniently choose colors, swipe through images, scrub through videos or switch through tabs on Safari.

Still want to see the function row of keys?

The new Mac Touch Bar has you covered. Hold down the Fn key and the function keys will appear. If you prefer to have things your way, you have the option of customizing buttons and shortcuts on the touch bar to something that suits your unique usage preferences.

With app developers free to harness the power of this bar, the possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can do. Pre-order one of these new Macs to experience first hand these and more capabilities of the Mac Touch Bar.