The Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro is well implemented, but serves no useful purpose

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  • Reply 21 of 189
    darkpawdarkpaw Posts: 115member
    "The Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro is well implemented, but serves no useful purpose"

    Well, says you, one person at AI.

    I like the Touch Bar. I use it to scrub through photos, adjust brightness etc. all day. It's quicker than using the mouse or keyboard, and it has Touch ID, which is very useful. I agree that there should be more uses for Touch ID, but it will get there.

    For those of you wanting to use FN keys all the time, switch them on in your preferences. If you want tactile keys, then why are you using an iPhone which has no physical keyboard? I don't see you complaining about that.

    For those of us who actually went and tried out the Touch Bar before we bought a £3,000 laptop, we bought it for a reason, based on use. If you went out and bought a Touch Bar MBP without trying it out first, is that how you normally spend that much money?
    backstabjeffharriswilliamlondonracerhomie3lamboaudi4fastasleepsuddenly newton
  • Reply 22 of 189
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 405member
    I have tried this using the iPad app Duet https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/duet-display/id935754064?mt=8 and for me it is actually less functionally efficient even though my very costly main vertical app supports it.  If it was optional on a discrete gpu macbook pro Apple could quantify if it was popular... How does forcing it on those who feel the need for new hardware serve the customer?

    Isolated (ie. no keyboard) touchbar, the 'onboard' ram and storage and the move to calendar macOS updates still in beta forced on to new hardware all feel like a cash grab benefiting Apple vs serving the customer...  The Pro, LG monitor, lame mini, iMac VESA and pro 'onboard' bs, target display lost, even the basics of a Kensington lock slot - so many questionable changes - and 150 new features in iOS - I used to like the mac ecosystem as a means to an end, not an end in itself...?

    I could have seen some benefit to the LG monitor for example, with the lighter weight and option of vertical adjustment, and yet to preclude (by design) portrait rotation just had me asking 'what were they thinking'...?

    Please give customers choice, including choices of economy and futureproofing incremental upgrades...

    I have even asked if onboard everything may relate to fear of resource depletion and Apple wanting to close supply circles, for you know, when all the raw materials have been efficiently mined and there just isn't a ready supply...?

    I have voted with my wallet, and continue to do so. Thankfully the SJ era hardware is so wonderfully durable, flexible and forward thinking it has allowed such with aplomb... 
    edited July 7
  • Reply 23 of 189
    croprcropr Posts: 826member
    steven n. said:
    I feel the same way about the function keys. They get used, at most, once every 3 months.
    Depends on the applications you use.     When I do Python development with PyCharm, I am using the function keys every 3 minutes.  When I use Ms-Office, I never touch a function key 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 24 of 189
    I suppose the Touch Bar turned into a feature that differentiates an Apple laptop from other companies' laptops. It must be very difficult for Apple to have a product that stands out above all rivals' products. However, I can only imagine how much extra cost is added to implement that Touch Bar and I wonder if it's even worth it, considering all the complaints being made. I think the Touch Bar is a fine idea but I suppose everyone doesn't see it that way.

    Apple pretty much set itself back with that MacBook keyboard debacle. One step forward, two steps backward. Why is it so hard for Apple, with such a huge amount of resources compared to other companies, unable to get such simple things working properly? I'd always thought they test keyboard mechanisms for millions of cycles to see if they were prone to failure. Sticking keys happening after only thousands of cycles is absolutely ridiculous. Apple always trying to make things super-thin is definitely going to bite them/users in the end.
    edited July 7 Latko
  • Reply 25 of 189
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,270member
    Great title. It serves “virtually” no useful purpose. Totally agree. Because it’s contextual, it’s hard to muscle memorise. That’s the biggest issue for me.
    I think a button free laptop would be a terrible idea for efficiency. Typing and shortcuts thrives with a physical keyboard. iPad Pro is pretty great, but for shortcuts and typing I’m finding a physical keyboard much more efficient. I use a LOT of shortcuts. It’s making me really fast in my professional work.

    On a touch interface there’s no resting position.

    I’m using the Touchpad for escape button, and scrubbing in Photos. Sometimes I’m using a few trim cut commands in FCPX because the keyboard shortcuts are heavily optimised for US keyboard layout and do not work in my keyboard layout.

    I don’t like the contextual nature of it. I’d like to have the option to make the interface just stick, and not change automatically, or somehow dictate the way I want it to behave. Looking away, down on the touchpad is making me loose focus. 
    I think it’s a waste to display spelling options and active choices on it.

    thanks for the tips on extension apps. Will check out
    anantksundaramsupadav03anonconformistLatko
  • Reply 26 of 189
    track40track40 Posts: 1member
    I am hoping the touchbar is Apple’s “dipping a toe in the water” towards a fully interactive, haptic feedback-loaded, glass touch screen keyboard that is fully dynamic, app-variable and customizable. THAT, would really be something.  If I could dynamically change my keyboard so that when using Photoshop or Premiere Pro or Illustrator, keyboard shortcuts and pattterns were invoked on a dynamic screen where the keyboard used to be, it would be revolutionary. 
    edited July 7 Rayz2016fastasleep
  • Reply 27 of 189
    Adding extra functionality to the FN keys has been tried over and over in the past, the keys IMHO are too far out of the way for anything useful. As such, shortcuts using the keys which are a part of the alphabet and number set just work better. A commonality of success in enhancing the function key row is for volume and brightness control, it seems that those things are well suited for being positioned where they are. 

    What may work nicely (i would like to try out) would be if the old keyboard layout were restored and the touch bar moved to be situated below the space bar and command keys, ie. between the keyboard and touchpad. At least on my older mac book pro there would be room. This changed would mean no functionality is removed; esc, and F keys do and more imporrtantly feel like the should, while the touch bar can truly be used to add extra functionality. I think by being close to the touchpad it would feel a lot more natural to use as your fingers would be much closer to the touchbar and the hand would not have to wander all the way across the keyboard to access.
    edited July 7 williamlondonjax44
  • Reply 28 of 189
    darkpaw said:
    "The Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro is well implemented, but serves no useful purpose"

    Well, says you, one person at AI.

    I like the Touch Bar. I use it to scrub through photos, adjust brightness etc. all day. It's quicker than using the mouse or keyboard, and it has Touch ID, which is very useful. I agree that there should be more uses for Touch ID, but it will get there.

    For those of you wanting to use FN keys all the time, switch them on in your preferences. If you want tactile keys, then why are you using an iPhone which has no physical keyboard? I don't see you complaining about that.

    For those of us who actually went and tried out the Touch Bar before we bought a £3,000 laptop, we bought it for a reason, based on use. If you went out and bought a Touch Bar MBP without trying it out first, is that how you normally spend that much money?
    How did you manage to get a hold of a mac book pro for several days for evaluation without buying?, or is your "evaluation" 5 minutes of hacking away while you wait in line to purchase.
    edited July 7 anonconformist
  • Reply 29 of 189
    I knew the second I saw it during the keynote that it was a gimmick and think it's one of Apple's downfalls such as the G4 Cube, iPod HiFi and iPod Sock. My company only orders 2015 MacBook Pro's for our developers.
    anonconformistwilliamlondonLatko
  • Reply 30 of 189
    cbppcbpp Posts: 8member
    Usually I love all things Apple, but I hated my 2016 MacBook Pro. I never used the Touch Bar and the keyboard and trackpad drove me crazy. A couple of weeks ago I sold it and bought a new (still available) maxed out mid-2015 MacBook Pro instead - a machine that I can actually function on. And I got back all those accessory ports that had gone missing in the 2016 version.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 31 of 189
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,649member
    darkpaw said:
    "The Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro is well implemented, but serves no useful purpose"

    Well, says you, one person at AI.
    Well, actually quite a few people here seem to ‘says’ so. 

    Speaking for myself, I think the TouchBar is cute, but meh. 
    pentaemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 32 of 189
    pmb01pmb01 Posts: 17member
    I've said it before, but the usefulness of the Touch Bar isn't necessarily Apple's fault. It's up to the developers to use it in their apps. It has so much potential, but so many people have their head so far up their a** they won't accept anything unless it's immediately good. People need to open their minds and start developing outside their comfort zone, thinking toward the future instead of hanging on to the past.
    radarthekatfastasleep
  • Reply 33 of 189
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,609member
    I do not have a MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar but I very rarely use the hardware function keys other than for volume control. Replacing the hardware function keys with a context aware Touch Bar would be a wash. The main problem with the Touch Bar is neither the hardware nor the functionality. It’s the fact that I always have my left hand on the keyboard all the time and the right hand moving between the keyboard and the mouse/trackpad. The left hand is effectively doing digital/discrete movements while the right hand does both digital/discrete and analog movement. Neither of these movements requires that I look down at the keyboard or mouse/trackpad. I assume I would have to look down at the Touch Bar to use it and have to learn new discrete and analog movements on a new control surface. It’s doable but I’m not sure it would make me more efficient. No matter how you look at it, the current Touch Bar implementation adds complexity instead of reducing complexity because it increases the workload on the hand that’s already multitasking between two control surfaces.  

    IMHO, for the Touch Bar to be helpful for improving continuous keyboard/trackpad functions (no look down) it must remove some of the workload from my multitasking hand. Otherwise it’ll simply be relegated to non continuous or interrupt type functions where I’ve already stopped doing what I was doing and need some sort of guided assistance or quick hints to get me back on task. These hints can simply be to help me recall an obscure key combination or keyboard + mouse/trackpad combination. Once the computer realizes that I’ve mastered the obscure keyboard or keyboard + mouse/trackpad combination then it will no longer provide hints, or only provide hints when it has detected that I have paused for too long trying to recall something, or when it detects that I am actually looking at the keyboard, perhaps by using the camera. In other words, make the Track Bar smart enough to recognize when I might need help but otherwise stay out of the way or expose system level shortcuts. In essence the Touch Bar becomes a “Heads Down Display.” This is something that hardware function keys could never do and why they are essentially a waste of space for me. If you’re allocating hugely valuable real estate to a control it had better earn its keep. 
    radarthekatanonconformist
  • Reply 34 of 189
    Prb123Prb123 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I find it ironic that the only program's I use the Touchbar in are from Microsoft.
    edited July 7
  • Reply 35 of 189
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 524member
    What I like about physical buttons is I can memorize it. The 3rd one from the right is lowering volume, 4th one is mute, 2nd one from the left is de-brighten the screen etc. I don’t mind having MacBook with Touchbar. I don’t mind without either. What I mind is MacBook now doesn’t even have an LED charging indicator. A simple but very useful feature. 
    I’ll buy a new MacBook in a heartbeat if it has charging light and some kind of MacSafe, with or without TouchBar. 
    edited July 7
  • Reply 36 of 189
    Interesting. There are more cons here than pros. I would have thought it would be the opposite. 

    Just goes to show you even the die hard Apple lovers don't always love what Apple makes. 

    I would be willing to bet that the touch bar quietly fades away within the next revision of the MBP and Apple makes a better keyboard that tolerates dust or crumbs. 
  • Reply 37 of 189
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,187member
    matrix077 said:
    I’ll buy a new MacBook in a heartbeat if it has charging light and some kind of MacSafe, with or without TouchBar. 
    Then you're in luck. There are about 38×23 lighted pixels in the Menu Bar dedicated to letting you know if the battery is charging or not, and macOS has had full disk encryption since 2011 (10.7 Lion) which you can refer to as "MacSafe" if you want but Apple calls it FileVault 2. :smiley:
    edited July 7 fastasleep
  • Reply 38 of 189
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,528moderator
    track40 said:
    I am hoping the touchbar is Apple’s “dipping a toe in the water” towards a fully interactive, haptic feedback-loaded, glass touch screen keyboard that is fully dynamic, app-variable and customizable. THAT, would really be something.  If I could dynamically change my keyboard so that when using Photoshop or Premiere Pro or Illustrator, keyboard shortcuts and pattterns were invoked on a dynamic screen where the keyboard used to be, it would be revolutionary. 
    This!

    A fully customizable virtual keyboard is one of the holy grails of computer interfaces.  Whomever does this right leaps out ahead in a major fashion, and so you have to believe Apple and others are putting meaningful R&D efforts into this.  That it doesn’t yet exist is indication of just how difficult the haptic element is in context of touch typing.   But Apple has over 100 million virtual home buttons in play at this poInt and quite a few virtual touchpad MacBooks/Pros, so they are out ahead in terms of real-word experience in haptic feedback.

    Side note: if you want to see just how magical Apple’s haptic feedback really is, shut down your iPhone 8 or 8+, as I did a couple days ago, such that you’ll need to use the power button to turn it back on.  And then walk away for a while until you forget you left it in the shut down state.  When you come back to it, pick it up and press the Home button to wake it and sign in; you’ll positively panic thinking your Home button is broken.  You’ll press it harder, wondering why it’s not clicking, until it dawns on you that the unit is shut down and it’s not actually a real button.  Spooky! 
    edited July 7
  • Reply 39 of 189
    denisvjdenisvj Posts: 2member
    I don't have one but it would be cool as a notification center , like an icon for how many unread mails or the internet bandwidth meter .
  • Reply 40 of 189
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 524member
    Soli said:
    matrix077 said:
    I’ll buy a new MacBook in a heartbeat if it has charging light and some kind of MacSafe, with or without TouchBar. 
    Then you're in luck. There are about 38×23 lighted pixels in the Menu Bar dedicated to letting you know if the battery is charging or not, and macOS has had full disk encryption since 2011 (10.7 Lion) which you can refer to as "MacSafe" if you want but Apple calls it FileVault 2. :smiley:
    :smiley: 

    Hard to see when you’re 3-4 meters away though. 
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