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Jony Ive on touchscreen Macs and why Touch Bar is ‘just the beginning’

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Apple’s design guru Sir Jonathan Ive says the new Touch Bar on the 2016 MacBook Pro is just the ‘beginning’ of a new direction for the firm’s notebooks.

Speaking to CNET, the London-born executive said the small Retina Display that sits in place of the function keys offers Mac users the best of both worlds.

He said: “This was an area of combining touch and display-based inputs with a mechanical keyboard. That was the focus. We unanimously were very compelled by [the Touch Bar] as a direction, based on, one, using it, and also having the sense this is the beginning of a very interesting direction. But [it] still just marks a beginning."

Related: Apple MacBook Pro Touch Bar - The coolest apps and features

Ive also explained Apple’s choice not to follow the popular Microsoft Surface Pro line into the touchscreen laptop market. Ive said the firm had considered the option in the past, but the idea didn't go further than an exploratory stage.

When we were exploring multitouch many, many years ago, we were trying to understand the appropriate application and opportunities for [it],” he said.

“We just didn’t feel that [the Mac] was the right place for that... It wasn’t particularly useful or an appropriate application of multitouch.”

When pushed on why, Ive added: “For a bunch of practical reasons. It’s difficult to talk [laughs] without going into a lot of details that puts me starting to talk about things that we are working on. I don’t really want to talk much more about it.”

Video: Introducing the 2016 MacBook Pro

Would you prefer a touchscreen MacBook or is the Touch Bar the best of both worlds? Share your thoughts in the comments below

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