A few months in, are you using your Touchbar or not?

Are you using your Touchbar?

  • Yes, totally useful.

    Votes: 38 56.7%
  • No, it's a useless gimmick.

    Votes: 29 43.3%

  • Total voters
    67

macbook123

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
1,860
85
I personally haven't found any use for it yet, but am open to finding some. Please comment how you use it, after doing the poll. Thank you!
 

mcpryon2

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2008
505
88
I wouldn't say it's a useless gimmick, but I never use it. I've been using keyboard shortcuts for as long as I can remember and I can think of one time that the touch bar has been faster, and that was doing a task in Photoshop...and there is probably a shortcut what I was doing.

I can see how people would use it, though, so I can understand why it exists. It is probably much easier for people who don't want to learn keyboard shortcuts, especially for using a spreadsheet application. I'm curious to see it develop and I'm sure I'll find a use for it in the future.

My experience so far with it is mostly me accidentally hitting escape and wishing I could just hit the volume button a few times instead of tapping, holding, and sliding. Now, the biometric aspect of the power button? Love it.
 

SnackTime

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2013
40
10
I don't think it is a gimmick, but I don't think it is a wholly realized feature yet. I use it pretty regularly while in safari to open tabs, switch tabs, etc. Of course I use it to adjust volume and brightness often. I also use it in Airmail to start a new message. Siri is rarely used on my MacBook, but I like the touchID button a lot. I also enjoy scrolling through emojis. As it matures I am sure it will be more useful - though I don't know if it will ever become a thing you really miss if they took it away.
 

JMacHack

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2017
345
437
Been using it to run scripts and automate some tasks. BetterTouchTool is a must.
I wouldn't say it's useless, but it's not a "how did I live without this?" product either.
 

macbook123

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 11, 2006
1,860
85
Been using it to run scripts and automate some tasks. BetterTouchTool is a must.
I wouldn't say it's useless, but it's not a "how did I live without this?" product either.
Can you tell me more about what scripts you run? Thanks!
 

tvith

macrumors member
Nov 1, 2012
94
9
Yea, using it all the time...volume & esc, oh and the occasional brightness change. That's about it
 

MDMacGuy

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2015
10
7
I bought a 13" MPB two weeks ago, and ended up getting the highest-end model just so that I could get the 1TB model without having to go BTO. I wasn't really interested in the Touchbar, but I've really gotten used to using it for more than just the usual stuff, e.g., brightness and volume. I particularly like having the formatting options in Word available to the touch, and find the word suggestions in Mail to be very helpful, particularly if I'm not sure of a spelling or am just feeling lazy about typing a long word. (If you use this feature on the Mail app on your iPhone, you'll particularly like it on the Touchbar.) Not indispensable, but I'm surprised how much I like it.
 
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profmatt

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2015
1,610
1,602
UK
I'm using far more than I did when I first got the MacBook. I use it with iTunes and Microsoft Excel the most.
 

turbineseaplane

macrumors 603
Mar 19, 2008
6,065
8,988
In my opinion it's in the same category as 3D Touch.

It can be useful but it's certainly not necessary (or useful at all to some) and it's lack of deployment across the full line of hardware will continue to hamstring it's adoption and development.

To me that sentence can be equally applied to the TouchBar and 3D Touch
 

jackoatmon

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2011
617
655
I use it sssssslightly more than f-keys in everyday use, and tons & tons more in Photoshop and FCPX.

If they put touchbar support for the rest of the Adobe CC outside Ps I would be using it constantly.
 

QueenTyrone

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2016
698
627
Been using it to run scripts and automate some tasks. BetterTouchTool is a must.
I wouldn't say it's useless, but it's not a "how did I live without this?" product either.
Yes BTT IS a requirement for the touchbar, I agree
 

xfusejc

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2006
339
118
Mostly for the default functions, volume and brightness and the like. So not really a lot of use.

Touch ID, on the other hand, is amazing.
 
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noteple

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2011
1,407
328
The touch bar is always exposing things I can do with a keystroke vs mousing around.
For new apps it's been a help with the learning curve
 

wiffle

macrumors regular
Apr 5, 2017
158
73
Been using it to run scripts and automate some tasks. BetterTouchTool is a must.
I wouldn't say it's useless, but it's not a "how did I live without this?" product either.
yeah in for this too - would love to know what scripts you're running. been playing around with BTT touchbar settings recently and have found little more than scripts to show what song is running on itunes/spotify, basic functions, app shortcuts etc... looking to maximize, but on the whole agreed with the fact that BTT improves touchbar's capabilities immensely!
 

JMacHack

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2017
345
437
Can you tell me more about what scripts you run? Thanks!
yeah in for this too - would love to know what scripts you're running. been playing around with BTT touchbar settings recently and have found little more than scripts to show what song is running on itunes/spotify, basic functions, app shortcuts etc... looking to maximize, but on the whole agreed with the fact that BTT improves touchbar's capabilities immensely!
Really really simple stuff that doesn't have hotkeys in photoshop, and some stuff that I use typically.
The main scripts I use all the time are a script for converting an image to grayscale, resizing a photos to a specific size and DPI, resizing the canvas and adding a layer for the watermark (still peeved that there's no command in AppleScript for "place"), auto levels, and I'm working on one that fills in the standard filenames that my workplace uses.

I also have scripts to quick look in finder, set color tags to folders, and quickly take me to the root or home folder. TBD: several that take me to "most used" files, cutting down on navigation time, and one to send images to messages (my boss likes to see proofs of ads, and this way I can send them to his phone directly from my Mac)

It's simple stuff right now since I'm new to scripting with AppleScript, mostly limited to adding keyboard shortcuts for things that I didn't have before. But the more I use it the more advanced I can make stuff.
 

Pangalactic

macrumors 6502
Nov 28, 2016
406
708
I think is it useful, but the issue is that it takes significant effort to make it useful (contrary to pretty much anything else Apple makes). I like saying in my company (we develop task management software) that UI stands not only for User Interface, but also for Useful + Intuitive. In this sense, what totally qualifies is Touch ID. Useful? Sure! Intuitive? Absolutely! That's why it's a great feature.

Is the Touch Bar useful? It definitely can be. But is it intuitive? No. It takes quite a lot of effort + Better Touch Tool to turn in into something decent.


Which also brings the question of what will happen if Apple decides to unite iOS with MacOS at some point (and judging by the new iOS, things are sort of moving in this direction) - what will happen to the touchbar then? I personally don't really see a very clear future for it.
 

kipwheeler

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2016
147
71
I use it selectively--i.e., I use keyboard shortcuts more, but for launching specific apps and for a few rarer commands, I do use it. (You really need a scale of 1-5 in the survey rather than a binary yes/no, I think.)
 
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JMacHack

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2017
345
437
Is the Touch Bar useful? It definitely can be. But is it intuitive? No. It takes quite a lot of effort + Better Touch Tool to turn in into something decent.
I dunno, I think you might have that backwards. It's intuitive in the sense that virtual buttons are easy to understand and use. It's less intuitive to add functionality to it that frankly, wasn't intended in the first place. (big mistake not having something like BTT, imho. It's what makes the touchbar useful for power users, but I digress)

I should also say, that it doesn't really take much more effort to make useful. I've messed around in Automator for a lot of tasks using voice control, and to be perfectly honest, it was a lot more difficult than having the TouchBar run some scripts. By that metric, a lot of MacOS's core functions are unintuitive. (it is a dream compared to other Ones I will say)

However, I do absolutely agree that the TouchBar came out as sort of a half-baked idea. But, god willing, Apple will improve it as time goes on.
 

ahostmadsen

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
808
458
I think the question was stated wrong. It should be: "Do you use your touch bar for something you could not use the function row key for?" Many of the replies here are: I use it to adjust volume. Well, you could do that with the function row key.

I only had my TB Mac Pro a few days, so it's hard to judge. But it seems to me there is nothing I can do with the TB that I couldn't do just as easily with a shortcut or clicking the window toolbar with the mouse. Perhaps it's like 3D touch: I will eventually find a few specific things it's useful for.
 

OneMike

macrumors 603
Oct 19, 2005
5,651
1,582
I had a 15-inch 2017 MBP for a 3 weeks tomorrow. I got the laptop for the processor, ram and a lot of things touch bar not being one of them.

I have to say the touch bar itself is rather useless in most cases as I originally thought since it was introduced. Touch ID on the other hand in combination with a password manager is great for fast login.

In apps like xcode I do use start / stop button for the simulator. The biggest thing is most people other than those that are new to macs or can't type probably don't look down at the keyboard frequent enough to make it something you can't live without.

I consider it like most Apple Watch apps. Ok, but not something I use on a regular basis. That said I still love my Apple Watch and new Mac.
 

lcs101

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2010
192
77
I think the question was stated wrong. It should be: "Do you use your touch bar for something you could not use the function row key for?" Many of the replies here are: I use it to adjust volume. Well, you could do that with the function row key.

I only had my TB Mac Pro a few days, so it's hard to judge. But it seems to me there is nothing I can do with the TB that I couldn't do just as easily with a shortcut or clicking the window toolbar with the mouse. Perhaps it's like 3D touch: I will eventually find a few specific things it's useful for.
I'm surprised some people seemed to have not realized it was implied.
 
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