How annoying touchbar really is on MBP 2018?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jas9, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. jas9 macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2016
    I have MBP 2017 13" base model. I require a slightly bigger screen so I am thinking about buying MBP 2018 15". Touch bar is kind of a huge turn off for me. I really don't want to use any of its features. I just want the F keys which I can use to increase/decrease brightness, volume etc. just like I do on my current MBP. Can I just use the touch bar as regular F keys and pretend its not a touch bar with all those fancy functions and features?
  2. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    Yes, but there’s no feedback like with physical keys.

    Fwiw i like the touchbar.

    I dont like the 2018 15”. Mine was ripe with issues so i got a refund after 2 months and 3 weeks without computer.

    Getting a 13” mbp instead
  3. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Yes, you can set the Touch Bar to show function keys only. You can also set it to show the multimedia controls only. Of course, its by far not as convenient as using the sliders, but everybody picks their own poison...
  4. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    After hating it, without owning a system with it, I find the touchbar better for the tasks you mention.

    To change brightness or volume you just put your finger on the appropriate icon. Then just slide your finger left to decrease or right to increase. Regardless of where you finger ends up untill you lift you are adjust. No more poking one button for up, another for down. Just slide and lift your finger when your done. Also, the control is more fine grained.
  5. vmflapem macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2013
    I've been using the touch bar since the very first release date. Still don't see the point of it as an average student consumer. It's also annoying when it freezes, which happens sometimes. I wish Apple would release a normal Function key version macbook pro. I'd still buy it even if I had to pay extra to not have the touch bar.
  6. Mythos99 macrumors member

    May 24, 2016
    Yes, you can set it as normal f-keys, but there is no feedback, so you will have to look all the time down when you wanna press something, which is just stupid. Everything else on the MBP 15 is really great tho (- ButterflyKeyboard for me personally, still can't get used to it).
  7. retta283 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 8, 2018
    Kingman, AZ
    I'm mad there is not a 15" without touch bar. Of course I'm still mad that they still have not released a 17" version, even 6 years later...
  8. n3t_runn3r macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2018
    I love it (but only with BetterTouchTool)!
  9. Zippy99 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2017
    I'm not a fan, and in fact have been looking longingly at the new Air keyboard, because its the perfect combo (touch ID with no touch bar). My main complaint with the touch bar (which I keep set to show non-function keys) is that my left pinky often slides off the top left row of physical keys and hits Touch Bar keys before I can stop myself. It's like accidentally hitting a key that takes zero pressure - you lose every time. Really silly design.
  10. SDColorado Contributor


    Nov 6, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    You can purchase the Haptic Touch Bar app for $4.99 and add at least some haptic feedback to it. But it is yet another 3rd party app you need to buy in addition to Better Touch Tool to add functionality to the novelty bar that should have been there in the first place.

    Better yet, it should have been a CTO option, rather than forced on everyone, whether they prefer it to the function keys or not.
  11. Padsterman macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Yeah I do the same. Will have to adjust my typing or cut off left pinky.
  12. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    I have never used any of the customizable parts of the Touch Bar. Things like the emojis, little screenshots of the safari tabs or whatever else generally appears in the middle of the thing for different applications.
    • I like the brightness and volume sliders but I always have to look where I'm touching. Can't do it from muscle memory like real buttons.
    • I love the Touch ID.
    • I need the esc button when using the vi editor in the terminal. I sometimes have to look where I'm touching to get it.
    • I use the function keys when in the eclipse IDE. I always have to look where to touch.
    • The most annoying thing is accidentally touching the Siri button and having a dialog appear. It happens often.
    Overall I find it pretty useless. Adds more annoyances and hardly any benefit.
  13. mylittlepwny macrumors member


    Apr 5, 2018
    I don't find the touchbar annoying at all, a lot of the app controls are useful. If you don't like the custom menus you can set the touchbar to "Expanded control strip" in keyboard settings and it stays in the same layout as having buttons. If I have any complaints it could be a bit brighter, and the text predictions are hard to reach when typing normally so I rarely use them instead of just typing the whole word.

    2018 15" MBP
  14. applesed macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2012
    I don’t like that after some idle time it dims, and then after more time turns off, and you can’t change that behavior. I don’t want it to change at all because it distracts, and I don’t want to wake up a function key. Also it looks grainy and not sharp resolution. Haptic feedback will probably be added in the near future.
  15. buran-energia macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2017
    I actually prefer it to the physical keys, because it allows a more precise volume and brightness control.
  16. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Other then the missing physical function keys, its not terribly annoying. My kids like it, and its not completely useless but it is a gimmick
  17. DSTOFEL macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2011
    +1 For these two controls alone it’s worth it for me. The other controls are there to use if I need them and sometimes come in handy. For my use, I almost never use function keys on laptops, and it’s no big deal for me to give the fn key a tap to bring them up if I need them.

    I absolutely hated the volume controls on my 2012 15 rMBP. All the time I had it I couldn’t easily figure out which button was for volume up vs down and was always going the wrong way!

    FWIW I love the 3rd gen butterfly KB too!
  18. smirking, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    smirking macrumors 68020


    Aug 31, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    I'm not fond of the touchbar, but I don't loathe it either and I'm a developer so I type a lot. It's handy at times, but I dearly miss my ESC key.

    As others have mentioned, I really like controlling volume and brightness with a slider. I find a touch slider a much better way of scrubbing through videos too. Using a mouse for video playback controls has always been awkward.

    I'd like the touchbar a lot more if it was in addition to a full keyboard. It's one of those things whose use cases needs time to mature. Things like this are never going to reveal their full potential in their first year or two. If they just added it in addition to the regular keys they could go through the growing pains that new interfaces have to go through without all the bellyaching from people who are livid that they don't have real function keys.

    Why can't they do both?
  19. sosumi99 macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2003
    This. The TB is better for these controls. I just wish they made one with a physical escape key plus the TB -- that's the one I miss the most as a coder.
  20. Ma2k5, Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    Ma2k5 macrumors 68020


    Dec 21, 2012
    The most annoying issue I have is that, we all know that although the "Esc" key is slightly indented to the right, if you press to the top left area, it still functions as an "Esc", great. However, when using apps/browsers in general and there is a cancel pop-up option, when you go to press "Esc" (which may now show as an "x"), it doesn't behave the same as the "Esc" in that, although the "x" is indented same as the "Esc", you can't press the top left area, you have to press exactly on the "x" key on the touch bar.

    Why the inconsistency?
  21. rdubmu macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2012
    I prefer it, especially in apps that support it. Like Microsoft Excel!
  22. jeyf macrumors 65816

    Jan 20, 2009
    the MBP keyboard is a mess and the touch bar keys are the only reliable working on the keyboard.
  23. Padsterman macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Cutting off left pinky...or disable the touch bar but I like some aspects of it.
  24. LogicalApex macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2015
    The only advice I can give you is to use it and make up your own mind. Take liberal advantage of the 14 days (extended for now) Apple Return Policy to see what you really think of it for yourself.

    Input devices are one of those areas people are most vocal about in computing...

    You have people (like me) who don't think a keyboard is even remotely worth typing on unless it has mechanical keys with bonus points if those keys are Cherry MX Blues. You have those who will only use trackballs and mice are the spawn of Satan. There are those who think backlit keyboards are a useless gimmick since you obviously shouldn't need to look at the keys when typing.

    The only opinion that matters for you is yours.

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23 December 4, 2018