Next touchbar update?

Camark08

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2018
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23
When is there to likely be a new touchbar update? I would love if they made it as customizable as 3rd party apps like BetterTouchTool? I'm shocked it's still as limited as it is.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,095
30,700
Boston
When is there to likely be a new touchbar update? I would love if they made it as customizable as 3rd party apps like BetterTouchTool? I'm shocked it's still as limited as it is.
I'd say never, I'm of the mind that Apple will quietly shelve the whole touchbar component, it never lived up to the hype, developers have for the most part only given it passing attention. Its a solution in search of a problem.
 

internetrando

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2018
432
245
Texas
I'm going to agree with maflynn on this one. I don't think that there will ever be much done with it, and quite frankly, I think that it has been a large failure. Maybe I'll be wrong, but companies have had years to work on implementing it and, for the most part it has been ignored. I would gladly upgrade to any Mac with the present internals and physical keys.
 

Falhófnir

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
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If anything, there was a rumour about a full touch/ haptic keyboard. I'm not sure of the validity, but from a practical standpoint I see it being quite difficult to get the feedback working for even a moderately fast typer whose fingers would only be in contact with the surface for a fraction of a second, and the interval between key presses might be too short to produce the feedback. From an ergonomic standpoint I'm also sure it would be an uncomfortable typing experience, so hopefully they don't go with this.

But yeah, more likely is they either leave it there untouched for another generation or quietly remove it at the next redesign. Don't see any further money being put into making it (just the bar) haptic or anything.
 
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SDColorado

Contributor
Nov 6, 2011
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But yeah, more likely is they either leave it there untouched for another generation or quietly remove it at the next redesign. Don't see any further money being put into making it (just the bar) haptic or anything.
You can already add haptic feedback to the touch bar with the $4.99 Haptic Touch Bar App (14 day free trial), but it doesn't really add to the bars limited functionality. I am with Maflynn as well. It never really lived up to its "Touch of Genius" claim and will probably just quietly fade. Shame it was left to Apps like Better Touch Tool and Haptic Touch Bar to even try to deliver on what Apple should have shipped, to begin with.
 

PeterJP

macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2012
424
243
Leuven, Belgium
While I like the TouchBar's concept, I see that 3 out of 4 of my colleagues with newer MBPs have the non-TB version. And that's in a media context, where I'd expect them more than e.g. a software development context.
 

Camark08

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 15, 2018
60
23
I doubt they get rid of the touchbar in 2020. If anything I think they will add the full keyboard and put the touchbar above it.
 

Dave245

macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
7,346
5,196
The Touch Bar got True Tone display in the 2018 MacBook Pro update, but other than that it’s been left alone.
 

Cashmonee

macrumors 65816
May 27, 2006
1,168
832
I have found a couple of useful things for the TouchBar. I can use it for the ribbon in Word which allows me to hide it on screen. I also like using it with BetterTouchTool and its iTunes widget. Nice to have a second display for what track is playing without having to find it on screen. As a secondary source of some information, it isn't bad.

Having said that, I would much prefer they got rid of it and save the cost (both money and real estate/resources).
 

afir93

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2018
728
896
It depends on what kind of updates (and how big) we are talking about. Technically, it did receive a number of small but pretty meaningful updates last year in Mojave – the ability to put pretty much any custom action or chain of actions as a shortcut onto it (as long as it can be packed into an Automator script) is pretty useful for example, as are the new screenshot tools and the like, and the other stuff Mojave added. If these count as updates in your book then I wouldn‘t be surprised if 10.15 this year continues this trend.

On the hardware-side of things, I‘d say the next big update for it is due to the 2020 redesign, probably not earlier. Or the removal of it, as some people here like to claim, though personally I doubt that and I think those who choose to believe that are setting themselves up for disappointment. If Apple gives it the Digital Crown-treatment of adding proper haptic feedback to it and adds some more of the BetterTouchTool customizability to it, that would go a long way of making it more useful.
 

poorcody

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2013
788
603
I doubt Apple even knows what they will do at this point... they may only decide when they do a redesign of the MBP, which I think people are guessing will be possibly 2020... ? I have been hopeful they were going to add it to an external keyboard -- that should be answered this year if/when they finally update the iMac...

As for the future, this AppleInsider article on an Apple patent makes me wonder if the Touchbar and keyboard and trackpad might become less "distinct" over time. I wouldn't want a flat-glass iPhone-like keyboard, but having sealed-glass while retaining "feel-able keys" sounds intriguing:

MacBook keyboard failures could end with introduction of glass panel keyboards

As for me, I have found the Touchbar very useful for macros (via Better Touch Tool). I was never one to use macros before, but the Touchbar changes the game by making them visual and easily accessible IMO. It would be nice if Apple integrated more customization directly.
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
6,054
3,290
Apple often experiments with technology in ways that we don’t see. Before they put OLEDs on iPhones they learned about the technology and practices using it on a small scale with the Watch. Then they put it on the Touch Bar. Then we got the iPhone.

I don’t think the Touch Bar is going away on the Pro notebooks.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,159
4,692
I've been using an external keyboard and trackpad for the last two weeks and I have to say that I really really miss my Touch Bar. Already things like media controls are just annoying with the keys.

I'd say never, I'm of the mind that Apple will quietly shelve the whole touchbar component, it never lived up to the hype, developers have for the most part only given it passing attention.
I agree with you that Touch Bar was certainly not as successful as Apple would have hoped (which is mostly their fault), but I also don't think that the developer attention has been lacking. All major apps support TouchBar now and now we also start having games with Touch Bar support.
 

JTBing

macrumors regular
Aug 6, 2015
196
258
I always thought the vitriol directed at the TB was a little exaggerated, but after just getting a 2018 15" MacBook Pro this week, I'm having an even harder time understanding it. I love the Touch Bar. So far the main apps I've used it comes in handy. I use it more often than I used the function keys. Switching between Safari tabs is great when I'm writing a paper and have several research articles open. My wife has used the new computer several times, and I had to explain to her what the TB was the first time she used it. She told me yesterday that it's now her favorite thing about the new computer.

I think people would like it more if there hadn't been such an initial stigma about it.
 

inhalexhale1

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2011
1,029
651
PA
I'd say never, I'm of the mind that Apple will quietly shelve the whole touchbar component, it never lived up to the hype, developers have for the most part only given it passing attention. Its a solution in search of a problem.
I could just as easily see them make the entire keyboard adaptive. Stationary keys with haptic feedback. Not that I would personally want this.
 

GoldfishRT

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2014
507
285
Somewhere
I've found some minor uses for the Touch Bar but nothing revolutionary. However we're talking about Apple here, they won't do away with it without good reason - it would be admitting failure on their part.

I would be perfectly happy to have it if they had a function row still. In fact, it might actually be better than a standard keyboard in that case because I wouldn't have to hit the Fn key to access my routinely used function keys. I could adjust brightness, sound, play/pause, AND anchor my cells in Excel. It would be a win win in my book.

So of course that won't happen.
 

CLS727

macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2018
253
372
I guess I'm in the minority on this one. I like and use the Touch Bar daily. I use it while playing music, I use the tools in Word as it's much faster than scrolling up to the toolbar, etc. I would like to see expanded functionality but I like it.
Agree... I also have found myself liking the touch-bar... never even considered it as a positive or negative when buying... just didn't pay any attention to it until I started using it.

I'd love it to be a little bigger and more customizable.

When I'm just on a blank desktop... I think it would be cool to 'hide' my dock on the screen and just have all the icons on the touch-bar instead..... sort of like my own customizable hotkeys.

Or when browsing Chrome, have all my book mark icons there instead of just the search URL bar.

Otherwise, I'd agree the older keyboards were better that had more of a definitive 'click' to each strike.