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The Apple MacBook Pro Touch Bar’s T1 chip actually runs on watchOS

That headline-making Touch Bar on the new Apple MacBook Pro actually bares more than a slight resemblance to the Apple Watch.

Speaking to The Verge, noted Apple developer Steve Troughton-Smith has discovered the T1 chip that powers the Touch bar actually runs on the same macOS software as Apple’s wearable.

Related: MacBook Pro Touch Bar – The coolest features

From everything I can piece together, the T1 chip in the new MacBook Pro is a variant of the system-on-a-chip used in the Apple Watch,” he said.

“Running watchOS on the T1 lets the Mac benefit from Apple’s deep work on iOS embedded security, as the T1 gates access to the Touch ID sensor and, from the looks of it, the front-facing camera in the new MacBook Pro too.”

However, according to Troughton-Smith, that doesn’t mean we’ll start seeing Apple Watch apps showing up on the Touch Bar.

Apparently it only has a 25MB ramdisk, which is used to boot up the TouchBar, but is missing the full version of watch that would allow it to mirror the user-interface on Apple’s laptop.

“There’s no way for multiple apps to drive the bar layout at the same time,” he said.

Interestingly though, it seems to be possible that the watchOS software could be used even when the laptop is not running macOS. Apple executive Craig Federighi has confirmed the Touch Bar will simply become a visual row of function keys when running Windows with Boot Camp.

Troughton-Smith says: “The Touch Bar theoretically could run while the rest of the machine is turned off, so you get all the low-power and security benefits of an iOS device, without having to switch to ARM completely on the desktop.”

MacBook Pro event 2016

Will you be snapping up a MacBook Pro or is the Brexit-affected starting price of £1,450 out of your price range?

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