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

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  • Reply 41 of 189
    mike54mike54 Posts: 246member
    Disagree with you. Touch Bar has a purpose but badly implemented.

    I always wanted a row of programmable function keys. They finally did it. But...
    • Make the Touch Bar the full height of a row of keys, larger. Not the skimped-on thin line.
    • Have it fully equipped with all the functions that users commonly use the cmd/opt/ctrl keys that you can choose the keys for.
    • Have settings app so that it can be programmable/customised  (like Better Touch Tool).
    • Apple should of also manufactured the desktop keyboards exactly the same to have consistency.
    Apple should of had all of this when it first came out, this should of been enforced. Apple lack of cohesive planning is showing.




    edited July 7
  • Reply 42 of 189
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,043member
    The most obvious problem to me is that for it's intended use it really needed to be below the keyboard not above it. 
  • Reply 43 of 189
    backstabbackstab Posts: 94member
    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. 
    Ohhhh... "Quite a few people here".
    Well, that settles it.
    Rayz2016fastasleep
  • Reply 44 of 189
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,513member
    I use it all the time and love it.  Am I on a Windows PC web site by accident?
    cornchipwilliamlondonmrakoplas
  • Reply 45 of 189
    joehefjoehef Posts: 1member
    The Menu Bar is worth it for the fingerprint reader alone
    retrogustomrakoplas
  • Reply 46 of 189
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,172member
    Maybe I've missed it, but I'd like an option to see the left-hand side Menu Bar items show up on the Touch Bar if I'm working in fullscreen mode so I don't have to run my mouse pointer up to the top edge of the display to see the time and other stats. I use iStat Menus so that would be handy for me at a glance if this was opened up to 3rd-parties. I also wonder if other features, like a stock sticker, running along all or part of the Touch Bar would be beneficial to certain users.
    dewme
  • Reply 47 of 189
    rolsrols Posts: 49member
    The touch bar is worse than useless - it took away the real functionality and feedback of physical keys. I hit that stupid Siri button by accident all the time, and what I wouldn't give for a proper escape key! The whole keyboard on the 2016 and newer Macbooks was a huge step backward from the feel and function of the previous generation. After living with it for 8 months, I still hate typing on my 15" 2016 Macbook Pro compared to my 2011 MacBook Air. The feedback was so much better on the older keyboard.
    complete agreement with this. I bought the Macbook Pro with touchbar because they didn't sell the full spec machine without it and I thought it would be at least no worse than a row of real keys. After trying various combinations of icons up there for a year, I gave up and turned it to display function keys by default and it's far more useful. I hate the dead-spot esc key too. (Even if it were reliable the keyboard on the 2016 pros has terrible feel and I type 2/3 speed on it) 

    I saw further down this thread someone suggested apple thought everyone was a touch typist when they introduced this bar; but I think it's exactly the opposite, they must have thought everyone spends their time looking at the keyboard. In the end that's probably the worst thing about the touch bar, it may be showing context-aware icons, but you have to take your eyes off the screen to find them. 

    Perhaps if there had been mass adoption of the bar with most apps showing an row of accelerators there (programming IDEs would be a great for this), you might start keeping the bar in your eye line and using it, but there hasn't been and the few cute sliders and buttons from the stock apple apps weren't useful enough for me to adapt my usage. 



  • Reply 48 of 189
    mebmeb Posts: 1member
    The touch bar would be many times more effective if it was placed between the keyboard and the trackpad.  The ability to use both the trackpad and the touch bar without moving your hands would highly useful with many programs. 
  • Reply 49 of 189
    asciiascii Posts: 5,813member
    If the verdict is still out after 21 months then the verdict is not still out. 

    There comes a point when a claim changes from being "not true yet" to being "not true" simply by virtue of the amount of time that has passed.
    anonconformistDAalseth
  • Reply 50 of 189
    Yes, I also learned after a year of use it’s a pretty useless tool. I hope they’ll offer a high end one without Touch Bar to save some money.
    I pray that they introduce a 15” MacBook Pro WITHOUT Touch Bar later this fall or in early 2018.
  • Reply 51 of 189
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,647member
    backstab said:
    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. 
    Ohhhh... "Quite a few people here".
    Well, that settles it.
    Apparently you did not read — or if you did read — you perhaps did not understand @darkpaw’s post. 
    edited July 7
  • Reply 52 of 189
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 895member
    dewme said:
    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.
    You bring up an interesting point, which leads me to wonder if Apple ever considered keeping the function keys above, and placing the Touch Bar, vertically oriented, to the immediate left of the keyboard...
  • Reply 53 of 189
    Apple: ”We don’t think people want to touch their monitors on laptops”

    Apple Solution 1: Letting people touch a tiny strip AWAY FROM THE MONITOR, on buttons outside the app canvas. 🙄

    Apple Solution 2: Design iPad covers with integrated keyboard that turns tablets into a laptop setup WITH TOUCH SCREEN. But without a mouse. 🙄

    Come on already! What is Apple thinking.

    Just design a laptop you can detach the keyboard from and effectively turns it into a tablet, which then redraws the interface to be touch friendly (detached) or mouse/key friendly (attached), and also makes it possible to layer and resize windows desktop style, etc.

    That means merging iOS and macOS. Most likely just take iOS / iPad Pro as a start and add professional macOS-like features. Force developers to support both scenarios.
    Keep macOS for traditional laptops for years to come, and if successful phase it out to be replaced with “iOS Pro”


  • Reply 54 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.
    Not sure about @darkpaw ;specific case, but Apple does have a 30 day demo program for corporate and educational IT.
  • Reply 55 of 189
    georgie01 said:
    maccad said:
    ... the the Surface devices have convinced me that Apple needs to merge macOS and iOS. I'm tired of crippled iOS versions of apps on my iPad. Apple also needs to put touch screens on all devices. "People don't want that. That's not how they use their computers." I look at my MBP sitting beside my iPad with its Smart Keyboard. They're both laptops. A touch screen is so wrong for the MBP, but it's great for the iPad. Really Apple? Really? Functionally, the Surface line, especially the Studio, is eating Apple's lunch. 
    I’d suggest that your perception above may be due in part to a resistance to moving away from what you perceive as ‘real’ computing. Operating systems like macOS and Windows were developed with a keyboard/mouse in mind. A touch-based UI has to be re-envisioned. Microsoft with the Surface didn’t re-envisioned the Windows UI, they adapted it.

    To move forward with computing we need to move past the notion that productivity and power comes from the traditional desktop operating system UI.

    I’ve done serious work on the iPad since the first version. For instance, using Pages on iOS for 95% of my post-graduate thesis (which, by the way, received a special mention for the quality of its presentation). Obviously you can’t do everything on the iPad, but you also can’t do everything on macOS that you can do on iOS—it simply depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
    I think serious work doesn’t mean professional work in the traditional sense. You can’t edit or post effect video and audio professionally on iOS, e.g Davinci Resolve or FCPX. You don’t have a mouse on iOS, which is a very high precision tool that is faster than a pen on many occasions. You can’t move and layer windows and quickly switch between apps the way you do on macOS. Professional mail clients are restricted on iOS vs macOS. Working in the browser (e.g Confluence, G Suite) is harder and slower on iPad... and so forth.

    You mention a simple word processor (btw why don’t you use the vastly superior G Suite for a thesis?). The content of that work is professional but not the tool itself - that’s just a word processor.
  • Reply 56 of 189
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 681member
    The physical keys on MacBooks are on their way out . It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. 
  • Reply 57 of 189
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,172member
    The comments on this thread are odd. On the hand people say that the Touch Bar replacing the minimally used 'fn' keys are a failure because they lack a tactile response, but then you have others (or maybe the same people) wanting the entire keyboard replaced with a giant touchscreen. How the hell is that going to work?

    One might qualify their argument to say that Apple could invent some haptic and electrostatic solution that would make the keys feel like physical keys, but if they can't do that with the much simpler, smaller, and cheaper Touch Bar why would you think this would be possible with a 4.5"×10" version? I'm all for that sci-fi notion becoming a reality but I think we should assume it will start small and work itself into a larger version once all the bugs are worked out. Is there even any evidence that this could be happening anytime soon in any regard? Apple patents, for example?
    edited July 8 lamboaudi4pscooter63
  • Reply 58 of 189
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,020member
    Soli said:
    The comments on this thread are odd. On the hand people say that the Touch Bar replacing the minimally used 'fn' keys are a failure because they lack a tactile response, but then you have others (or maybe the same people) wanting the entire keyboard replaced with a giant touchscreen. How the hell is that going to work?

    One might qualify their argument to say that Apple could invent some haptic and electrostatic solution that would make the keys feel like physical keys, but if they can't do that with the much simpler, smaller, and cheaper Touch Bar why would you think this would be possible with a 4.5"×10" version? I'm all for that sci-fi notion becoming a reality but I think we should assume it will start small and work itself into a larger version once all the bugs are worked out. Is there even any evidence that this could be happening anytime soon in any regard? Apple patents, for example?
    Actually, yes; there have been quite a few. The most recent one was highlighted on this site:

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/03/15/apple-seeks-patent-for-keyless-keyboard-concept-with-haptic-feedback
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/02/27/apple-granted-patent-using-hinged-oled-screen-as-a-dynamic-ipad-or-mac-keyboard

    and of course there are no end of patents on haptics

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2017/10/a-secretive-apple-patent-filing-discovered-in-europe-today-relates-to-plural-haptics-output.html

    And there is a hell of a lot of research under way in producing haptic signals that can simulate different shapes and textures. Combine this with some basic animation, and you'll have a touch screen keyboard that the new wave of users will be perfectly happy with. 

    Apple has been training its user base with very shallow keyboard travel for years now. Their new generation of users are already used to working on keyboards with no travel at all, which is why all the complaints about the depth of travel tend to come from older users. 

    The advantages to Apple are enormous: dust, food, liquid and dead skin will no longer be a problem: the keyboard can be wiped clean with a cloth. They will no longer have to produce different units depending on the country of sale; the savings on that alone will be enormous. And that's before you get to applications that can replace the whole keyboard with a mixing desk for example.

    When? Still about five years out I reckon. 

    On the question of the Touch Bar, I don't think it's going anywhere. It's a test bed for the future keyboard.
    edited July 8 radarthekatracerhomie3lamboaudi4fastasleep
  • Reply 59 of 189
    elfig2012elfig2012 Posts: 38member
    Another “try” from Apple with not much Added value to the customer!
    i guess the idea box is getting empty, not like in the old days...
  • Reply 60 of 189
    maccad said:
    I hardly ever used the function keys. Yes, the biggest thing I use the Touch Bar for is volume and braightness, but I do use it for other tasks in various programs. The strength of Touch Bar is that it changes to fit the app that's running, much like the virtual key strip at the bottom of an iPad Pro. I don't understand the complaints about the Esc key. You can even tap the Touch Bar at the end, to the left of the Esc key, and it will trigger Esc. Dead simple. The MacBook Pro keyboard is one of the best I've ever used. After almost a year of use, I haven't had any problems with the keys. I would hate to have to go back to my previous MacBook Pros. In addition to my MBP, I have an iMac and an iPad Pro. I also have a Surface Book and Surface Studio, mostly out of curiosity. Windows still sucks, but the the Surface devices have convinced me that Apple needs to merge macOS and iOS. I'm tired of crippled iOS versions of apps on my iPad. Apple also needs to put touch screens on all devices. "People don't want that. That's not how they use their computers." I look at my MBP sitting beside my iPad with its Smart Keyboard. They're both laptops. A touch screen is so wrong for the MBP, but it's great for the iPad. Really Apple? Really? Functionally, the Surface line, especially the Studio, is eating Apple's lunch. But, like I said, Windows sucks. I hope Apple takes a few clues from Redmond. No matter how good you are--and Apple is good--you can still learn from others.
    Sounds like you’re notva software developer yourself, so you don’t have a reason to use the Escape key nor function keys) very often.  For you, an extra step and stumble isn’t going to cause much, if any problems.

    meanwhile, in the land of developer tools, we use autocomplete on a regular basis, often more than once while typing a line of code in editors. We often need to press the Escape key to escape out of a menu/autocomplete selection, and there’s zero physical tactile feedback about where the “key” is and you’re likely to hit something else on the Touch Bar, which blows your line of thought.

    For people that barely use keyboards at all and are slow at typing or do hunt-and-peck typing, the Touch Bar would seem like a great thing: for those that are regularly using every key on a keyboard (or nearly so) on a far more regular basis, the Touch Bar is an unmitigated WTF design failure.

    If Apple hadn’t replaced the Escape key and all the standard function keys with the non-tactile Touch Bar that changes on a whim and had instead only added the Touch Bar above the regular keyboard layout, it would have been potentially helpful to those not keyboard-adept while also not getting in the way of the keyboard-adept.  Time and thought needed to look at your fingers to ensure you hit the right thing (and not the wrong place on the Touch Bar) is extra wasteful thought and action that breaks your concentration on what you’re really trying to do: a keyboard is a necessary evil because computers can’t read your mind, but a Touch Bar requires more thinking to use it when trying to avoid hitting the wrong thing.

    all parties involved that approved the Touch Bar to replace all existing function keys along with the Escape key instead of supplementing them should be fired instead of lauded, because it’s self-evident they didn’t do enough testing before locking in the design.
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