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Xcode IDE Update Supports New MacBook Pro Touch Bar Development

Apple's Xcode 8.1 IDE is now available, supporting the new Touch Bar feature that was the star of the company's recent MacBook Pro rollout.

"You can now download Xcode 8.1 from the Mac App Store," Apple announced yesterday. "This version includes the latest macOS SDKs for building apps that use the all-new Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro. To develop apps for the Touch Bar, you'll need a Mac running Xcode 8.1 on macOS Sierra 10.12.1 (12B2657) or later."

The Touch Bar was the focal point of the company's splashy unveiling of its new MacBook Pro line, held on the same day.

"The all-new Touch Bar revolutionizes the keyboard experience by bringing dynamic controls to your fingertips," the company's Web site says. "This Multi-Touch Retina display at the top of the new MacBook Pro keyboard changes depending on what the user does in your app, so you can surface context-specific features and controls."

The Mac App Store Xcode 8.1 download clocks in at about 4.47GB. Its entry reads: "Xcode includes everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple T and Apple Watch. Xcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing and debugging. The Xcode IDE combined with the Swift programming language make developing apps easier and more fun than ever."

New features in the IDE to support Touch Bar development include:

  • Touch Bar displays context-specific buttons when in the Xcode editor, commit sheet, navigator and Interface Builder.
  • Debug button in the Control Strip lets you pause and inspect your app while Xcode is in the background.
  • Interface Builder button updates the frames of selected objects and their children.
  • Classes in Interface Builder make it easy to add Touch Bar features to your Mac apps.
  • Touch Bar simulator works on any Mac so you can see how your app works with the Touch Bar.

More information is available in the Xcode 8.1 Release Notes.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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