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

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  • Reply 81 of 189
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,195member
    ggoo said:
    darkpaw said:
    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.
    It works on iPhone because you look at the keys while you press them. The feedback is visual: magnified key.

    You don't look at your keyboard while you type.
    You don't? Thanks for clearing that up.
  • Reply 82 of 189
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,738member

    1)  Touch screens -- which they didn't want to do because they suck.
    Um... what? That’s basically saying that an iPad with a keyboard (which Apple provides) sucks. 

    C’mon. 
    numenorean
  • Reply 83 of 189
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,195member
    The physical keys on MacBooks are on their way out . It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. 
    There may be a version produced, but there is a very large segment of people that will not buy them.

    I gave a family member his first iPad. Even set it up for him. He handed it back to me. "I refuse to use a touch screen keyboard." Even when free, he didn't want it. Told me without a keyboard, he'd put it in the trash. I got him a BT mechanical keyboard. "Where's the mouse?" he asks. I explain, he rolls eyes. Reluctantly uses the iPad.

    Things like this are quite common. In today's cars, there is really no reason to have a mechanical level for changing gears on an automatic transmission. They are all electronic now. But look to see where the transmission controls are in most models: right there in a center console where people expect them with controls that are very familiar. I had a rental of a Mercedes Benz with the gear select on a lever sticking out of the right side of the steering column. It was completely unintuitive. From an engineering perspective, maybe elegant, but the car still had a center console with other stuff on it, all of which was completely baffling.

    People demand the familiar. I don't see demand for tactical keyboards going away.
    edited July 8
  • Reply 84 of 189
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,201member
    A solution in search of a problem. Or a stepping stone to something more comprehensive and useful later. 
  • Reply 85 of 189
    I still am happy with my 2015 MBP. It gives me no problems & still has all the ports I need. Yes I want the newest MBP but not at the cost of functionality. I tried to use a friend’s 2017 MBP with Touchbar. In my humble opinion I really disliked the physical keys typing mechanism & barely saw any use for the Touchbar. In fact I did not like 2017 MBP at all. It was a little bit faster then my MBP, but not enough to trade in my MacBook Pro for the 2017 version. For me I will stick with my 2015 MacBook Pro till Apple makes a actual decent laptop. Maybe I am old fashion, but I like things that works intuitively. Touchbar requires more work to use & is not intuitive. If Apple goes with a full software base virtual keyboard then I think the MacBook Pro is doomed. For a example: if you play a game on a iPad it is okay but you don’t feel involved enough or in more control because it uses software controls, but on a computer or game console you have physical controls which gives a greater sense of involvement & control. For us who type or use the keyboard based on feel are not going to adapt well to a software base keyboard. We would constantly have to look down at the keyboard instead of the screen to see what we are doing. I feel it would make us feel more disconnected to our MacBook Pro. What works for iPad does not mean it will work for our Mac devices. 
  • Reply 86 of 189
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,377member
    It seems that most here think the Touch Bar is inherently flawed and needs to be replaced with the old, physical 'fn' keys. I disagree with that notion, and I'm not sure that effective haptics are on the horizon so that we create dynamic buttons that are accessible completely by feel. But what if there is another solution?

    What if the Touch Bar was reduced in size from spanning the entire width of the keyboard as a single display to smaller display segments? For example, there are currently 14 buttons on the top row; what if every two button widths was its own LED-based display. This would offer multiple benefits.

    For starters, smaller displays are easier are easier and less expensive to produce. Why? Because producing a single Touch Bar display in its current form means that the entire display needs to be flawless, but with smaller displays any production errors can be discarded at a lower cost and you ultimately get higher yields. Then, being the width of the two buttons means that you could still implement the slider that is one of the best features of the Touch Bar. Now, I can't say it would be as good as it is now as it wouldn't be as wide which would reduce its overall precision but it might be a good compromise and would certainly be better than going back to 'fn' keys.

    Being the width of two buttons with a key space between each one means that you can feel for either the left or right edge of the "Touch Bar 2.0" buttons without having to look at the keyboard. But let's remember that this is all just SW so buttons wouldn't have to be regulated to only two virtual buttons. For example, the Mute/Volume Down/Volume Up buttons could be put into that same space either by reducing all the button sizes, making the Mute button half size, or just removing the Mute button altogether so that a long-press on the Volume Down button calls for the system to Mute just like on iOS devices. 

    Finally, being the width of two of the top-row key—about halfway between the width of the Caps Lock and Shift keys—these could be perusable keys. This would be one way to solve the problem of accidental presses that is my biggest issue* with the Touch Bar. My workaround was to rearrange my Touch Bar buttons so this is less likely to occur, but I'd like to at least see a Force Touch added because I'm willing to wait a fraction of a second for the brightness controls to take effect, but making the Touch Bar buttons smaller and work like typical keyboard keys would be a huge plus, IMO; not this talk of complex haptics and a solid display for the entire keyboard.


    PS: The best place for virtual sliders, both vertical and horizontal would probably be the trackpad. It's been a glass covered, capacitance matrix like on iOS devices for many years and in more recent years it's moved to being static and using a haptic engine to brilliantly simulate being physically depressed. If Apple can make this an LED-based display you could have horizontal  sliders for video and photo editing (like we see now with the Touch Bar), you could have multiple vertical sliders for audio equalizers and a number pad for Calculator instead of using the horizontal row of keys or using the mouse pointer to click virtual buttons on screen to name just a couple examples. This could also be useful for fullscreen apps so that parts of the Menu Bar could be displayed at the top o the trackpad's display. The sky's the limit here.



    * My second biggest issue with the Touch Bar is that the resolution and brightness are lower than what I'd like.
    edited July 8 pscooter63
  • Reply 87 of 189
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,378member
    joehef said:
    The Menu Bar is worth it for the fingerprint reader alone
    The should have released a version with Touchid and regular function keys.
  • Reply 88 of 189
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,378member

    It sounded like a good idea to solve two problems.   But, it just didn't work in practice.

    Time to move on.   Nothing to see here folks!
    And that is why we are getting Marzipan.  Apple has realiz4d that supporting two main operating systems (besides tvOS and watchOS) is too much work and need to unify them.
  • Reply 89 of 189
    darkpawdarkpaw Posts: 118member
    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.
    I got one on loan from apple for my business.
  • Reply 90 of 189
    darkpawdarkpaw Posts: 118member
    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.
    I was saying that the headline is a bit blunt and not representative of reality. Yes, lots of people say they don't like it, but lots of people say they do like it, so to claim it serves no useful purpose is absolutely wrong. It may serve no useful purpose for the author of this story, but that does not apply to everyone.

    "Says" is the correct use of the word there, so there was no need for you to enclose it in single quotes.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 91 of 189
    darkpawdarkpaw Posts: 118member
    lorin schultz said:
    Well, yeah. It's an editorial (and says so). That's what an editorial is: an opinion.
    I'm reading this on the AI app. The stories on there do not mention that it's an editorial. Thanks for the dictionary definition.

    lorin schultz said:
    That's a common misconception. The Touch ID is NOT part of the Touch Bar. It's a separate component. Touch ID can be included on a Mac without the Touch Bar.
    The MBP with a Touch Bar comes with Touch ID. They are not currently separate, so it's absolutely fine for me to claim it's part of it. It's right next to it and has the same dimensions. It's designed to look like a part of it. The Touch Bar points to it when you need to use Touch ID.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 92 of 189
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,842member
    k2kw said:

    It sounded like a good idea to solve two problems.   But, it just didn't work in practice.

    Time to move on.   Nothing to see here folks!
    And that is why we are getting Marzipan.  Apple has realiz4d that supporting two main operating systems (besides tvOS and watchOS) is too much work and need to unify them.
    Wrong. Did you even watch the keynote, where Craig said it’s exactly not that? Or do you only hear what you want to hear and push your narrative despite the head of Apple software laughing at it?
    edited July 8 Solifastasleeppscooter63
  • Reply 93 of 189
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,255member
    k2kw said:

    It sounded like a good idea to solve two problems.   But, it just didn't work in practice.

    Time to move on.   Nothing to see here folks!
    And that is why we are getting Marzipan.  Apple has realiz4d that supporting two main operating systems (besides tvOS and watchOS) is too much work and need to unify them.
    Either you or I have misunderstood what Marzipan is for.

    My understanding is that it is NOT a way to run iOS apps on a Mac. It is a coding tool for developers that makes it easier to convert iOS apps into a version that works with macOS. The critical difference is that users will not be able to just run any old iOS app on their Mac. Only apps the developer recodes for macOS will work.
    fastasleepmuthuk_vanalingamgatorguy
  • Reply 94 of 189
    Nikon8Nikon8 Posts: 1member
    I say put the keys back to the top. turn the big trackpad in the a big touch device.  you can customize it. have buttons near the top.. etc.. I would like that.
  • Reply 95 of 189
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,255member

    Soli said:

    PS: The best place for virtual sliders, both vertical and horizontal would probably be the trackpad. It's been a glass covered, capacitance matrix like on iOS devices for many years and in more recent years it's moved to being static and using a haptic engine to brilliantly simulate being physically depressed. If Apple can make this an LED-based display you could have horizontal  sliders for video and photo editing (like we see now with the Touch Bar), you could have multiple vertical sliders for audio equalizers and a number pad for Calculator instead of using the horizontal row of keys or using the mouse pointer to click virtual buttons on screen to name just a couple examples. This could also be useful for fullscreen apps so that parts of the Menu Bar could be displayed at the top o the trackpad's display. The sky's the limit here.

    The question I have about using the trackpad as a contextual control is how and when it changes from a cursor controller to a function-specific control. That is, how does it know when to switch from being a cursor controller to being a calculator instead? Once it's a calculator, how do I control the cursor?

    It's not an insurmountable obstacle, but it adds a layer of complication that doesn't exist with the Touch Bar. It may work out better than the strip we have now, but I'm not sure it's better enough to justify the cost.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 96 of 189
    netroxnetrox Posts: 674member
    I hate Touch Bar. I wish it was an option. I prefer the physical keys over Touch bar. Also, I don't use TouchID much either since my Apple Watch automatically log me in. 
  • Reply 97 of 189
    netroxnetrox Posts: 674member
    By the way, I think TouchID will be out in favor of FaceID anyway so no point of talking about TouchID. 
    fastasleep
  • Reply 98 of 189
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,730member
    My 9-yr-old thinks it is useful for picking emojis.
  • Reply 99 of 189
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,255member
    All the discussion of Touch Bar pros and cons dance around the painfully obvious issue: the best solution is simply to make the SCREEN the touch control.

    Virtual slider for scrubbing in a video editor? It's already on the screen. Just lemme drag it with my fingertip. Want to be able to pull one fader down in the mixer while also pushing another one up? The faders are right there on the screen... just let me USE them!

    I don't expect Apple to completely rework the UI to make macOS a touch environment. Through our experience with the iPad we already know that doing so would just impose its own set of limitations. Just add touch capability in addition to the input methods we already have, i.e. keyboard and pointer. Some things are much better controlled with a pointer, like menus, so for those we can use the mouse or trackpad. Some things are better executed with the keyboard, like entering text and combo commands, so for those we continue to use a conventional keyboard. Other things, like controlling sliders, manipulating more than one control at a time, swiping/scrolling, and pressing buttons, are sometimes much more intuitively accomplished by just touching what we're already looking at. So just let us, already!

    We can come up with a million ways to partially duplicate the experience of touching the screen, but why are we doing so when the easiest solution already exists?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 100 of 189
    I am surprised that no one has mentioned the biggest problem with the TouchBar. It is unusable for someone who is visually impaired. I have a friend that has used the MacIntosh since the first one in 1984. He uses all of the accessibility options for a visually impaired person. He cannot see or feel the different keys on the TouchBar. This is the first computer that Apple has made that he cannot use at all. He actually bought one and had to return it when he couldn't use it. He is a touch typist and had problems when they changed the spacing on the keys before the TouchBar, but nothing like the ones he had with the TouchBar. He uses the esc key to read to him what he has selected on the screen. He can't find the esc key. Since he can't feel it, he doesn't know when he is on it. His vision is bad enough that the minimum size he can see on the screen is expanded 20 times. So imagine a TouchBar that you can't see or feel and that moves what is on it, depending on what application you are in.

    i am very disappointed in Apple, since in the past they were always the best for visually impaired people. In this case they obviously never even thought about the effect on this group of people at all. Just so you know, I prefer to use MacIntosh computers. I was employed at Apple for 12 years as a software engineer. 

     Blackbird
    netroxanantksundarammuthuk_vanalingamnumenoreanDAalseth
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