Seven months on, do you like the Touch Bar?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by AndersM, Jun 3, 2017.


Do you prefer the Touch Bar over the old F-Keys?

  1. Yes!

    21 vote(s)
  2. Yes, but it needs more development

    52 vote(s)
  3. No, bring the F-keys back!

    62 vote(s)
  1. AndersM macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014

    It's been a while since the new MBPs where released, does anyone of you find the touch bar useful?

    My issue with it is that you never know what's on it, so you can't use any muscle memory with it. You always have to check what you're pressing. I also find most of the app specific functions not very useful. I've never ever used it to switch tabs in safari for example. The only thing I can think of that I used it for is autofilling names and email adresses in forms. It is nice that it shows my different email adresses to choose from...

    What about you? Do you use it actively? Do you prefer it over the old F-keys?

  2. Pangalactic macrumors regular

    Nov 28, 2016
    Here's my experience from around 2 month of using it:
    A) for SCROLLING, the touch bar is useful
    B) for PRESSING THE KEYS, the touch bar is far inferior to function keys - no feedback and having to look at it all the time is a deal breaker for me.

    With that is said it would be interesting if it came along WITH the function keys.

    As for the price (value) of the touch bar - I wouldn't pay more than $100 for it, it's occasionally useful, but not even close to the "touch of genius" Apple seems to think it is :D
  3. The Mercurian macrumors 65816

    Mar 17, 2012
    Timely thread with new models supposedly coming out. I wonder will they tweak the touchbar experience at all. I've only used them on shop machines and I can say they would not be for me. (I think if there was a physical escape key i'd be happier)
  4. lambertjohn macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2012
    I think it's the most gimmicky, slop of electronic eye candy to come out on a notebook computer in years. There, how's that for an opinion. Short and to the point. Hope Apple comes out with a 15" nTB version on Monday.
  5. FelixII macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2013
    I don't own a new MBP yet, but from what I've seen the practical use is limited. I would like to be able to inspect and control background applications with the touch bar while I work on something else. For example, select a new track in iTunes or monitor a file upload.
  6. smallcoffee macrumors 65816

    Oct 15, 2014
    North America
    It's ok. I've been slowly finding it a little more useful for quick things that normally take me a click or two. The real winner is the TouchID. I love that thing. I like that I can add a quick computer lock button to it as well.
  7. Aditya_S macrumors 6502

    Jan 25, 2016
    I think it could've been better if they put a Taptic Engine underneath it so that way when you press something it gives you feedback. Also they could've easily fit the function keys and trackpad at the same time.
  8. robertfrancis70 macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2012
    I was skeptical at first, and bought the non-tb 13 first. I then exchanged it for the 15" tbMBP and from the outset, I found it surprisingly useful in all sorts of ways and wouldn't want to part with it.

    I think the key to the touch bar is that it's helpful in many small ways that add up to make a host of tasks more convenient.

    For example, I love that I can immediately lower screen brightness--with one touch and with greater precision--when I first wake up / login. I like that I can adjust sound the same way quickly. I like that I can quickly hit pop up buttons, switch tabs, move sliders, etc -- all a bit faster than I could using short cuts.

    The main arguments against the TB are "yes, but my old shortcuts are quicker," and/or "I have to look down to see which buttons are there." In some cases, this is true (hence my initial skepticism). But in practice, over the many months, I have found that in many cases, it isn't true.

    In many cases, I've found that even though I have to look down and even though I have to reach up to press a button when I know a keyboard shortcut, it all feels easier and faster to simply reach for the TB. My mind will be on the phrase I'm writing, the thing I'm looking for online, the 'to do' I need to enter, etc., and it's great not to have break the train of my thought to recall the shortcut for something. It's great to be able to glance down in a split second and touch that glowing icon.

    I'm glad the TB is there and wouldn't want to give it up.
  9. jun180 macrumors regular


    Apr 27, 2010
    Found the TB to be a hinderance rather than improve my workflow.

    One reasons I ended up 'downgrading' from a maxed out 15" to a 13" non-touch bar because I much prefer the physical function keys.

    EDIT: I do wish there was an option for function keys and TouchID. That would be perfect!
  10. William Payne macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2017
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    I am planning on getting a MacBook Pro sometime in the next year. It got me thinking about the function keys, as I new I would lose them.

    I have realised that I never ever use the function keys at all. As a computer user I never developed a habit of using keyboard shortcuts.

    I can't remember the last time I had to use the escape key or any of the function keys.
  11. fokmik macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2016
    the future is touch keys so, get used to the touchbar . It is a nice add-on and it will be better i think starting from next macOS
  12. jamezr macrumors G4


    Aug 7, 2011
    Why not just make a touch screen MBP? Would make things so much easier to scroll through apps and improve workflow.
  13. vyruzreaper macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2015
    5% utility for me. 95% of the time I miss function keys.

    I wish it was more angled upwards so I can see it easily without having to take me eyes off the screen.

    When I use a keyboard, I dont look down at my fingers. I am forced to do so with the touchbar. First few months it was cool but over time I try avoiding it as much as possible because it slows me down.

    I would have been happier with a hybrid solutions. Part touchbar part function keys. If I was the product manager at apple, I would have done AB testing to play the touchbar below the screen or right above the keypad and left the fucntion keys alone
  14. dogslobber macrumors 68030


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    This. Don't duplicate button pressing functionality as though the function keys are still there. It has to offer innovation that pressing keys don't. Sliders is one aspect but it's still not a convincing use case compared to keys.
  15. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The key innovation is that the touch bar is app-controlled. Thats something thats just not possible with physical keys .
  16. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Touch ID is great, not sold on the touch bar. Main gripe is my hands tend to hover over the keyboard when typing. In outlook there is a send button on the touch bar on the left hand side. It needs the lightest touch to send an email before I have finished it. I have so many half finished emails by accident.
  17. doitdada, Jun 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017

    doitdada macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    It made me switch to a Windows 10 desktop PC with 1080 GTX Ti. I seldom use my computers outside of my office and home. Doing business on the run has been a part of my repertoire. I never made my career trying to be a freelance graphics artists at the local Starbucks. Great to have all the power in the world hooked up to a big 32" screen and have no issues. Miss TouchID, Sequel Pro and iTerm 2, but I have found sufficient alternatives for Windows.

    I still like my iPhone, but may switch, if the product line doesn't attain some more balance on Monday. Would love to own everything Apple, but clever solutions from competing companies seem to be doing more right than wrong. I like solutions, not gadgets.

    May buy a MacBook Pro with Coffee Lake without a touch bar, if they release one, but this year I am trying to be the little kid getting my business on rather than trying to fetch some attention by swiping through my emojis.

  18. William Payne macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2017
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    Why would switching to Windows make you need to change phone brands? I have noticed this where Windows guys will buy an android phone just because it's not Apple.

    Before I got my Mac Pro I was a Windows guy for years and years yet was and still am a happy iPhone user. Not that I know what I am missing. Once I went to iPhones I lost all desire to try other systems and have never even messed with an android phone.
  19. doitdada, Jun 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017

    doitdada macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    iTunes is the only software on Windows from Apple that supports the iPhone, and I don't want to be rude, but the interface is starting to look old. I'm also a bit tired of Siri, visual chat effects and the way they implement new features without keeping the phone clean. Settings is a mess at the moment, and I feel Apple is copying more from Android than the other way around. I still love the iPhone, but I keep dropping the natives apps on it, like I would do on Android before when I had one, and I take that as a sign that I may move on to alternatives like the new Essential. A lot of my friends no longer have a blue phone number in iMessage, so whatever Apple implements, the new effects won't affect the receiving end. E-mail is in fact the only native messaging application that gets through to all platforms on all devices.

    I still think that the public believe in Apple, but the core users who rebuilt their reputation in the 90s and 2000s may be seeking other places to get their hardware. I still believe that macOS is a visually stunning operating system with great features and brilliant usability, but they may be lacking the attraction they used to gather from powers users. I feel a lot of good is happening at Microsoft at the moment. They may not have reached their full potential yet, but the attention they are getting now are due to the lack of power shown by Apple.

    As mentioned earlier in my posts, I may crawl back to Apple in a years time, but at the moment I am quite happy with what Microsoft and generic PC parts are doing for me. I prefer a big ugly casing to multiple boxes chained in a cable salad. I understand that laptops, made to be portable, may need to get smaller and be more compact, but with workstations it's just nuts.

  20. bakelord macrumors newbie


    Dec 8, 2016
    I returned my 15" MBP as I couldn't get on with the Touchbar. It was my first proper MB too and returning it left me gutted as otherwise it was lovely. Coming from Windows I'm too used to using the F Keys in a lot of my day to day work (mostly Visual Studio/Code) so it felt a chore to have to change 15 years of habit. I spent a bunch of hours in Photoshop too and found the old shortcuts were still much more efficient after the "oh that's neat!" period had warn off.

    I desperately hope they do a 15" nTB at some point but feel that Apple are probably set in on this path now.

    That said, I'm hoping some people chime in with cool tricks and workflows they've discovered though, especially the coders out there. :)
  21. William Payne macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2017
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    Fair enough. I would love to know what you mean by the interface looking old?

    Your comments on Siri are interesting but I cannot relate as I have never ever turned the Siri function on.

    Yeah iTunes is really the only Apple app I used on my Windows. Though I'm not a heavy iTunes users.

    With my Mac Pro the only real way I currently sync my iPhone with it is for messenger and same as you not many friends with iPhones. But to be honest I don't care what my friends use.
  22. doitdada macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    The Notes app is a perfect example. On top I have an alternative called Bear. It looks updated, fresh and clean. They gave Scott Farsdale a lot of criticism on his alleged "skeuomorphism", but the notes app still looks like something out of Windows 95. I've tried using it with others, but the collaboration is horrible and the interface doesn't give me any control. Microsoft and Google have also advanced past Apple with OneNote and Notes. Googles Sheets is better than Numbers, and all you need is a Gmail, all my friends and colleagues have a Gmail, still not as native Excel from Microsoft on Windows. In fact Excel lacks multi-core support on macOS, and even if you buy a quad core, or even a eight core Mac Pro, you are bound to the clock speed of a single core.


    The Reminder app also suffers from trying to mimikk an old Rolodex. I don't need paper on a screen, the Arctic white is sufficient, I don't need a texture from a medium that never found its way into a display. I'm using a computer, not sitting on my grandfathers desk trying to write my schedule with a fountainhead pen.


    All my examples are from iOS, but since Apple is also using a similar layout in iOS, I think the images reflect what I am speaking of.
  23. William Payne macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2017
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    Would you not have to download those alternative apps that you prefer on an Android phone as well?
  24. doitdada macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2013
    I actually use a lot of Google apps, and since Android is Google, I don't have to download them ;)

    Someone said to me that the only reason to buy an Android phone is because you can't afford an iPhone, and that has been true for a while, but I feel that statement is changing, especially with iPhone prices getting on the same level as premium Android offerings. I think the phone companies are playing; how much can we charge? The same with MacBook Pros and the newest PC offerings from Microsoft. They are all carrying premium price tags, but not a single one is changing the game, at least not giving other companies a thing they have to copy in order to stay alive in the PC market. The Surface Studio is still only a fun device to use, the touch bar is just a fun gadget and 3D touch has only been replicated by Huawei, who has taken a stake in the phone market by emulating iOS hardware and software for Android phones.

    The last good thing to come out of Apple was the 12" retina MacBook. Portable, fanless and great battery life. It has been copied by all of the other computer companies out there.
  25. Haemorrhage macrumors member


    May 30, 2017

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