This is how we know Apple knows the touchbar and butterfly keyboards are failures

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mossme89, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. mossme89 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Every big Apple innovation on the MacBook Pro line has been preceded or followed with a standalone version.

    -The unibody keyboard - Followed up by similarly designed USB Apple Keyboards less than a year later
    -The unibody trackpad - Followed up by the Magic Trackpad 18 months later
    -The 2016+ MBP trackpad - Was preceded by the Magic Trackpad 2 in 2015
    -Retina displays - Preceded by the Thunderbolt Display in 2011.

    History would suggest that we should have standalone touchbars and butterfly USB keyboards by now. Yet we don't. To me this tells me 2 things:

    1. Apple sees the touchbar & butterfly keyboards as failures
    2. Apple likely will not continue with the touchbar & butterfly keyboard in future versions.
     
  2. norbinhouston macrumors regular

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    #2
    Good ole Jony Ive is to proud to admit the mistake though, and Tim Crook is to weak to stand up to him.
     
  3. AnotherSoftwareEngineer macrumors newbie

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    #3
    1) The TouchBar is controversial but it's certainly not a failure like the unreliable keyboard.
    2) I don't think adding a TouchBar (and TouchId and T2 chip) to an external BT keyboard is trivial because of battery life and may not be possible to do securely.

    I'd wager your conclusions are invalid and the next MBP still has a TouchBar.
     
  4. TechGod macrumors 68040

    TechGod

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    #4
    "I don't use the TouchBar so its useless"
     
  5. LogicalApex macrumors 6502

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    #5
    We can't define either of these as success or failures since we don't have any idea by what metric Apple is measuring them. If MacBook Pro sales tanked for TB and BF keyboard models once they were introduced and persisted then we could surmise that, but there have been 4 model years of both of these and Apple is still selling them...

    You may not like them, but what you like isn't the only measure of success for Apple...

    More than likely, you're seeing Apple use certain features as we way to steer people toward various higher priced models in their lineup. You see the same thing on mobile with OLED screens only existing on the XS and only the new iPad Pro being able to use the new Apple Pencil.
     
  6. Donnation macrumors demi-god

    Donnation

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    #6
    The touchbar isn't going anywhere and neither is the butterfly keyboard. I do think the keyboard will be adjusted and hopefully made better, but the fundamental design of it won't be changed. And if you think Apple is going to backtrack on the touchbar you don't know Apple very well.

    As far as your title suggests, its a little more difficult to make a standalone keyboard with the touchbar in it that wouldn't cost $500. The keyboard hasn't changed in design because there isn't a need to make it a lower profile keyboard like their was with the MacBook Pros. Apple took years before they updated the original design of their wireless keyboard and trackpad and aren't going to update them every couple of years as it would make zero sense to do so.
     
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #7
    Given that other Mac laptops have not seen the inclusion of the touchbar is a telling sign imo, except in some rare exceptions the use of the touchbar is gimicky and by and large most developers have barely given it any attention. I'll give apple credit in that they tried something different with the TB, but it failed. Not because of lack of developer support but due to the fact its a solution in search of a problem and its implementation made using it less efficient (for many users) then those laptops w/o TB.

    I think the touchbar will quietly disappear, I'm 50/50 on the butterfly keyboard sticking around. If Apple finally succeeded in fixing the problems they'll probably keep it. Only time will tell

    In some respects, apple was close with the idea of the touchbar but they failed in the execution. Asus took the second display to another level and nailed it. I've not heard any complaints (so far) about the implementation of the dual screen laptop setup.
     
  8. TechGod macrumors 68040

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    #8
    Personally I disagree. The MacBook and MacBook Air aren't their high ends so it makes perfect sense that the touch bar isn't present, along with costs.

    I love the touch bar and will be very disappointed if they get rid off it
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    I don't see it that way.

    Just take a look at what Apple hasn't done with TB. Computers like the iMac Pro and the soon to be released Mac Pro both are high end professional computers - neither one of them have the touchbar. Also consider the fact that apple has not updated the TouchBar, which is unusual given the keyboard has gone through an annual update (mostly because of failures) but also the T2 chip, when the touchbar came out, there was only the T1. Now we see computers with the T2 chip but no touchbar.

    Given that only the MBP only has the Touchbar, this makes it a niche technology on a niche computer (Macs only have about 10% market share) and so many developers coding for the lowest common denominator will not take advantage of it. This only excerbates the situation and imo makes it harder for apple to keep pouring money into it.

    Finally unlike other changes to a laptop, this failed to markedly improve users efficiency and experience. Sure like I said, its helped some, but it also made life a lot harder for a segment of users. In the past when Apple dropped something or altered it, that change typically made life easier for the owner. I'd say that improvement was not consistently felt with the TB.

    To summarize, with apple not providing TB for the other mac models, both low end and high end, not updating it and making life harder for a large segment of users, I don't think we'll see apple continue with TB

    I don't disagree that it has found a following and some people do love it. That doesn't mean apple won't drop it, just look at that magsafe, so many people (including myself) loved that technology. It saved my laptop a number of times. Yet its gone for good ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
  10. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

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    #10
    Apple dropped the MagSafe in favor of charging on either side of the computer and issues with the cable fraying over time. Size might of had something to do with also. Probably also to sell more usb-c cables. Apple replaced the frayed MagSafe chargers with free ones most the time so probably lost money on that.
    With the Touch Bar there is no bad issues with it and it does more than a typical key row. I don't see them getting rid of it on the new redesign.
     
  11. Donnation macrumors demi-god

    Donnation

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    #11
    How many people actually own a dual screen laptop? Outside of YouTube reviewers (which are more like ads than anything else when they are given free products) who has spent any real time with one of these?

    I'm not sure how they failed in the execution of the TouchBar? It works exactly like its supposed to work and some people love it, others are fine with it, while admittedly there are those that hate it. Just because not everyone sees a use in it doesn't mean that its failed and certainly doesn't mean that Apple sees it as a failure.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 13, 2019 ---
    I really hate that they got rid of the mag-safe. One of those great features that I really liked.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    At this stage almost no one, simply because it was just announced at computex.

    it failed in execution because its less efficient then using the function keys or shortcuts. Instead for typing/using the mouse and focusing on your work on the screen. You have to stop, look down and execute the intended action, where as much of that can be done with existing workflows w/o needing to stop.

    There are some tasks that can and do work well, such as scrubbing through a video, but those things are few and far between. For most users, its more disruptive due to the design fail.
     
  13. Donnation macrumors demi-god

    Donnation

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    #13
    We can agree to disagree. You are making a broad generalization with with "most users." You don't have any data to back that up and would be better served to say "for me its disruptive."
     
  14. jimmy43 macrumors member

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    #14

    The Apple implementation of the touchbar has a fundamental design flaw - it is used primarily for control, yet it requires that you look down at it to control information which is displayed elsewhere. This is the divided attention problem. You cannot fix this. A 1st year design student would be able to identify it and so its surprising Apple still pursued it anyway. What ASUS has done, and the reason its so much better, is that they have *extended* the display down from the main monitor.

    Now this has 2 use cases - 1) giving you an overall bigger screen, or 2) using the bottom screen to get some information, and then control that information. For example, navigating upcoming videos in a youtube playlist. In Apple's implementation, you just have next/previous, in ASUS's implementation, you have the thumbnail, the title, etc. Thus, there is no divided attention problem, because you can focus solely on the bottom part of the display and get information, and maybe do some control during some micro-task.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #15
    It is my opinion to be sure, and its perfectly safe to say its not useful for a segment of users. I don't know if that segment is the majority or minority but its safe to say as a generalization that there is a dissatisfied segment with the touchbar.

    Its also safe to say Apple has chosen not to extend the use of TB nor upgrade it these past few years, and that has limited its appeal.
    Its also safe to say that developers frequently code for the lowest common denominator and if they wanted to maximize their app exposure they would not code a feature exclusively for the touchbar. Some may choose to ignore that altogether as their time and money is not sufficient to dedicate resources to such a niche technology - again just my opinion.
     
  16. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

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    #16
    you haven't heard of this I take it https://appleinsider.com/articles/1...-the-app-the-macbook-pro-with-touch-bar-needs
    Apple could put more work into it and allow for more flexibility. It is pretty awesome what you can do with it with a program called better touch control. Haptic feedback works pretty well with it too. I can adjust the volume with a 2 finger scroll left to right without looking at the Touch Bar it works anywhere on it. I can adjust brightness the same way with three fingers. Thats just a basic things you can do much more with it. Currently have the weather in mine and a lot of other custom things.
     
  17. velocityg4 macrumors 601

    velocityg4

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    #17
    The Asus is pretty neat. Although a bit impractical.

    As the touchpad is also the 10-key. It's not very useful for people whom need a keypad. Being smooth rather than physical keys would tend to reduce 10-key touch input rates and increase error rates. Also switching from 10-key to mousing would be a bit cumbersome.

    The right hand placement is less than ideal for left handed users.

    The second screen is neat. However, the OS UI and most applications aren't designed to take advantage of the lower screen. It certainly has potential. But it will take a while for software to catch up. Assuming dual screen laptops make a large enough dent in the user space for MS and app developers to bother. Much like the touchbar.

    I'm just hoping for a full dual screen laptop. With Windows GUI replaced with LCARS. Bottom screen for input that changes based on the application. Plus have Cortana's voice replaced with Majel Barrett's. It would sell like hotcakes to Star Trek fans.:rolleyes:
     
  18. bobbie424242, Jun 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019

    bobbie424242 macrumors regular

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    #18
    Intel's dual screen concept is even better, with 2 advantages over Asus':

    - main screen is at the ideal ergonomic position (identic as if you were to use a laptop stand or an external monitor). You neck and back cannot thank you enough for this
    - second screen is more easily readable


    [​IMG]
     
  19. myrtlebee macrumors 68020

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    #19
    I don’t think they see them as failures. I think they see them as experiments.
     
  20. poorcody macrumors 6502a

    poorcody

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    #20
    Last week I was annoyed that I found yet another website that didn't fully work in Safari, so I had to switch over to Chrome. I've done it enough that I decided to add a Touchbar button to Safari: now when I hit it, it automatically opens Chrome to the same website I was using in Safari. That's what I love about the Touchbar: I find it an excellent way to create and use macros (using Better Touch Tool). I have been using it for years on my 2016 MBP, and still find it useful.

    Did you notice that Sidecar in Catalina automatically shows a Touchbar on the iPad screen? It doesn't look like Apple has abandoned it.

    I find most applications updated within the last year or two have added Touchbar support. It is so trivial to add in Xcode -- you can get a basic one up within five to ten minutes, so I don't see developers ignoring it. You don't even need a MacBook Pro to set it up.

    I also noticed that the rumors for the next MacBook said they were adding an ESCape key. Not that they were bringing back function keys. It's disappointing they haven't made an external keyboard with it imo, but I do see the technical issues with doing so. iMac's still don't even have TouchID!
     
  21. x-evil-x macrumors 601

    x-evil-x

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    #21
    Have you figured out how to add scrubbing in video(YouTube) in chrome with better touch tool? I’m still exploring all the possibilities.
     
  22. ascender macrumors 68020

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    #22
    I assumed we'd see a standalone Touch Bar keyboard by now, but not sure its that easy given the integration of Touch ID and the T2 chip? Not to mention how they'd go about powering what is in effect a mini computer.

    TouchBar support is slowly spreading (about time) with new apps and actions in macOS seemingly adding support all the time.

    I don't think its the latest best thing ever, but I do find myself using it more and more often and Better Touch has let me make better use of it.

    I'm guessing it wouldn't fit in the 12" Macbook having it in the Pro is a differentiator from the Air (not to mention added expense).

    I guess its obvious now that the compelling reason for the butterfly keyboard was to save space on the new MBPs. They don't have that constraint on external keyboards.
     
  23. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #23
    Such a failure that nearly all productive users out there aren't complaining. It's just some forum dweebs and youtube click baiters feeding off each other. Oh yeahhhh and it looks like a certain banned company that rips off Mac designs are using sock puppets everywhere to feed the echo chamber.
     
  24. HappyIntro macrumors regular

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    #24
    It's fine to add features, even experimental ones, like the touch bar. Just don't take away the physical function keys - that is the issue. They've subtracted something I rely upon to add something and that is *for me* inferior. It's really very cheeky of Apple to do that, but as we all know Apple does cheeky stuff all the time, which is annoying as heck. They act condescendingly, as if they think they know better what I need than me. If I prefer to have an audio jack on my phone or iPad, or a USB-A port or SD Card reader on my MBP, they seem to act like I'm the dolt for wanting it, and I am the one with who needs to get on board their design choices, because of course they know better than me.
     
  25. LogicalApex macrumors 6502

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    #25
    That's classic Apple. This was one of Steve Jobs' core tenants that you don't listen to the customer and instead you tell them what they want so to speak. Not saying I agree, but if you're buying Apple gear you always know this friction will be there.
     

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