When will Apple acknowledge The Touch Bar as a failure and scrap it?

freddisier

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 11, 2016
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By now I think the general consensus is that the Touch Bar on MBP is mostly gimmicky and useless. Of cos there are always exceptions where it proves to be kinda useful but still it’s very minor. Acknowledging it as a failure might sound like something Apple would not do but they do that with the trash bin MAC pro. What do you think will be the future of the TB going forward? Do you think Apple will scrap it? They still keep a lower end non Touch Bar version so currently the TB is considered as a premium feature and definitely it’s not worth 300 bucks for most people.

For me I hope they should just remove the nonTB and lower the price for the TB version.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,968
4,551
I'd say its less useless than the function key row before it, but I certainly agree that its not worth the added price. I think that the TB is there to stay, but a reduction in price will certainly be welcome. They should definitely introduce TB across all their Mac products though, right now there is just not enough incentive for the devs to support it properly.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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I opted for the Non-Touch Bar model. I didn't see enough usefulness for me and to justify the price point. But I do think it's still too early to call it a failure, and Apple certainly isn't going to be scrapping it anytime soon. And I think it's at least an opportunity to give the developers a chance to see further what they can do with the Touch Bar.
 
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Sterkenburg

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2016
386
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Apple would never go back on a new redesign after less than one year, and it's too early to mark the TB either as a gimmick or a success, because there have been relatively few attempts at exploiting its potential. So as an answer to the topic question I'd say: not anytime soon.

I agree however that Apple needs to be more consistent with their design ideas across the entire Mac line and introduce TB keyboard options for all their computers (but never making it a forced choice as with the 15" MBP). Whether they'll do it or not will be a good indicator of whether they are serious about supporting the TB and believe it's a good idea. If the TB stays limited to the high-end MBP models, then there will be simply no incentive for developers to write software that makes proper use of it. And serious developer support is absolutely needed: while it's already possible to customize the strip to a great degree, in the long run that burden should not fall on end users.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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The Touch Bar model has a slightly faster CPU... a slightly faster GPU... and double the Thunderbolt ports. And TouchID.

Sure... it's $300 extra... but you are getting more than just the Touch Bar.
Granted. But as I already noted, I didn't see enough usefulness for the price point. I don't require a slightly faster CPU, a slightly faster GPU, and double the thunderbolt ports and Touch ID.

Again, I can't justify the price point for something I wouldn't utilize the extra features. That said, I'd rather much have the extended battery life on the Non-Touch Bar model.
 

Primus67

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2017
7
0
I feel its a gimmick. But, its a digital function key and as that it works. So I counted it as something that comes with the four Thunderbolt because that was something I wanted to pay for.
 

johannnn

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Nov 20, 2009
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The function keys are completely useless for 99% of the population. The touch bar (along with Touch ID) can be useful for a lot of people, and will be even more useful when more developers add support for it.
Scrapping it just because its not useful today is like scrapping the App Store in 2009 because we only had fart apps.
 

muratura

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2017
40
29
it's still to early to mark the TB as a bad design choice. We need more time to see how it goes.
Apple will not remove it any time soon and most likely will not give the option of no Touchbar on the high end 27W 13" and the 15". They are trying to educate the consumers to buy and use this new tech. Since most people are used to normal keyboards and are adverse to paying extra cash, Apple needed to constrain the consumers' choice to just the TB. Having nTB high end models would defeat this since the buyers will opt for those instead of TB ones.

Remember the trash can Mac Pro? Nice looking but with problems. They kept that one from 2013 till now even with all the people's complaints and migration to Hackintoshes. It took them 4 years and a half to conclude (publicly) that it was a bad design.
Same with the TB, only time will tell how it goes :)
 

maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
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While I think it is gimmicky, I do believe apple see a purpose with it, and to be honest, this was the best way to implement touchid so they could use their own proprietary technology. If it is a failiure, they'll never admit it, but quietly remove it from being included.
 
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Brookzy

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May 30, 2010
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I originally thought Apple would be committed to the Touch Bar for some time yet. But then they debuted the iMac Pro with a standard keyboard, and it looks like they are less committed than I thought.

It's also worth remember that the Touch Bar introduces compromise elsewhere:
  • We can be reasonably sure that it had a direct impact on making the battery smaller (compare the battery sizes of the Touch Bar versus non-Touch Bar model).
  • We know it makes repair more difficult and expensive.
  • We know it increases the price.
  • We know that it necessitates a different speaker design (compared with the non-Touch Bar model), which some think sounds worse.
These tradeoffs are above and beyond the pros and cons of the Touch Bar itself.
 
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muratura

macrumors member
Mar 20, 2017
40
29
While I think it is gimmicky, I do believe apple see a purpose with it, and to be honest, this was the best way to implement touchid so they could use their own proprietary technology. If it is a failiure, they'll never admit it, but quietly remove it from being included.
I would not put together the Touchbar and TouchID. Touchbar replaces the Esc + F1-F12 keys while TouchId improves the standard power button.
TouchId is a very nice thing to have, I haven't seen anyone complain about that. It's weird and nice to see such consensus about a feature :).
Touchbar is separate from the TouchId and as such the removal could occur for one while keeping the other
[doublepost=1498905929][/doublepost]
I originally thought Apple would be committed to the Touch Bar for some time yet. But then they debuted the iMac Pro with a standard keyboard, and it looks like they are less committed than I thought.

It's also worth remember that the Touch Bar introduces compromise
...
These tradeoffs are above and beyond the pros and cons of the Touch Bar itself.
The price increase is a plus for Apple. It's not what is good for the consumers but what the consumers are going to pay for and what generates profit for the company. You are forced to buy it if you want certain models.

Is the TouchId linked (in the hardware) to the Touchbar? Could they offer just the TouchId perhaps? Or is it linked to the processor in the Touchbar? Similar to the TPM chips in the thinkpads
 

Dave245

macrumors 604
Sep 15, 2013
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I don't think they will remove it at all it isn't a failure just because some people don't like or use it. I don't own the new MacBook Pro but I have had hands on with my one of my friends Touch Bar Macbook's and he love it, as an editor he says the Touch Bar has saved him a lot of time in Final Cut Pro, he showed me the editing tools on the Touch Bar and i have to agree it's a neat likely feature for editors, it's also a great feature for photo editors within apps like Affinity Photo.

I think Apple will advance it further in the coming years, they even have patents for it on an iMac keyboard so I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen in the next couple of years.
 
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Brookzy

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The price increase is a plus for Apple. It's not what is good for the consumers but what the consumers are going to pay for and what generates profit for the company. You are forced to buy it if you want certain models.
You could argue all are pluses for Apple - for example higher repair costs will benefit Apple.

Is the TouchId linked (in the hardware) to the Touchbar? Could they offer just the TouchId perhaps? Or is it linked to the processor in the Touchbar? Similar to the TPM chips in the thinkpads
Yes it is certainly possible and may even be the direction of travel for Apple but as you say would likely require an ARM chip still.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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I would not put together the Touchbar and TouchID.
Touch Id and Touch Bar uses the T1 circuitry, and running a version of watchOS just for Touch ID. I don't see them removing the TB portion, just doesn't make sense to keep all that just for Touch ID
 

Karnicopia

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2015
429
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I actually really like the touch bar, scrubbing though youtube commercials is pretty great. Having controls on full screen content is really useful, better touch tools makes it pretty much fully customizable and I like being able to put what I think is important up there. I really like having all of the audio controls so convenient with scrubbing there as well. I don't think it's a gimmick but they really need to put it on the keyboards for the desktop for it to really be supported. Also better touch tools should have been what Apple implemented from the beginning.

I don't think contextually created content is a joke either, having dynamic filtering on this kind of information based on your current use case is just really powerful. I've been waiting for contextual complications on the Apple watch for ever and they are starting to do it with siri face. When I'm at work I care about my calendar, around 4PM I start caring about traffic and weather because I'm about to drive home, when I'm at home I want my hue app easily accessible so I can control my lighting etc... That's what the touch bar provides as well but with contextual menus and controls. I think there is a lot of power to it but it is early on and Apple has to implement it consistently across their lineup or it will end up as a gimmick.
 
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johannnn

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Nov 20, 2009
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I originally thought Apple would be committed to the Touch Bar for some time yet. But then they debuted the iMac Pro with a standard keyboard, and it looks like they are less committed than I thought.
The iMac uses a wireless keyboard, that's why.
Touch ID button is tied to the chip to make it more secure. You would need a chip in the keyboard, as well as driving the touch bar screen. The battery would be much worse.
 

The Mercurian

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2012
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While I think it is gimmicky, I do believe apple see a purpose with it, and to be honest, this was the best way to implement touchid so they could use their own proprietary technology. If it is a failiure, they'll never admit it, but quietly remove it from being included.
I would not put together the Touchbar and TouchID. Touchbar replaces the Esc + F1-F12 keys while TouchId improves the standard power button.
TouchId is a very nice thing to have, I haven't seen anyone complain about that. It's weird and nice to see such consensus about a feature :).
Touchbar is separate from the TouchId and as such the removal could occur for one while keeping the other
[doublepost=1498905929][/doublepost]
The price increase is a plus for Apple. It's not what is good for the consumers but what the consumers are going to pay for and what generates profit for the company. You are forced to buy it if you want certain models.

Is the TouchId linked (in the hardware) to the Touchbar? Could they offer just the TouchId perhaps? Or is it linked to the processor in the Touchbar? Similar to the TPM chips in the thinkpads
Touch Id and Touch Bar uses the T1 circuitry, and running a version of watchOS just for Touch ID. I don't see them removing the TB portion, just doesn't make sense to keep all that just for Touch ID
I agree that Touch ID and Touch bar are not the same thing. They could easily redesign the Touch ID to be standalone in a machine without a Touch Bar - tough they would have less justification for a price increase.

Although personally - I do not like Touch Id on a mac - so muratura you can put me down as a lonely complainer. I see nothing wrong with passwords frankly. Touch ID on the phone is cool because its hard to type on the small screen - but on laptop with keyboard it simply adds cost. I'd be quite happy to lose both TouchBar and touchID in a high end machine. I suspect many pro-users would feel the same.
 

Brookzy

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May 30, 2010
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The iMac uses a wireless keyboard, that's why.
Touch ID button is tied to the chip to make it more secure. You would need a chip in the keyboard, as well as driving the touch bar screen. The battery would be much worse.
Yes, and is exactly the type of problem that Apple is able to solve. If they thought the Touch Bar was revolutionary then they'd have put the R&D into this. A massive battery, cryptography over Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi using time-of-flight technology borrowed from Apple Watch, and we have a nice Touch Bar- and Touch ID-equipped Magic Keyboard that I'm sure many people would happily stump up for.
 
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Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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I originally thought Apple would be committed to the Touch Bar for some time yet. But then they debuted the iMac Pro with a standard keyboard, and it looks like they are less committed than I thought.
There is this that has come to light since the iMac Pro was announced and there is a suggestion that Apple may be planning to put Touch ID in to the iMac keyboard, no mention of Touch Bar but I think it would be included especially with the patent they have for it.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/appleinsider.com/articles/17/06/22/high-sierra-firmware-suggests-secure-enclave-intel-purley-chips-coming-to-imac-pro/amp/
 
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Brookzy

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There is this that has come to light since the iMac Pro was announced and there is a suggestion that Apple may be planning to put Touch ID in to the iMac keyboard, no mention of Touch Bar but I think it would be included especially with the patent they have for it.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/appleinsider.com/articles/17/06/22/high-sierra-firmware-suggests-secure-enclave-intel-purley-chips-coming-to-imac-pro/amp/
It is interesting that it is in the iMac rather than the keyboard since that would imply a Touch ID sensor on the actual iMac's enclosure somewhere.
 

Strelok

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Jun 6, 2017
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It's not something I feel warrants a premium, but I don't really have an issue with it going forward. Having a programmable portion of a keyboard seems interesting enough. Maybe it's not totally useful right now, but worst case you can just keep it as the function keys.
 

nph

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2005
627
36
To me it gets better and better. just yesterday I found out doing a presentation I can go to individual slides during presentation mode using the toucher which displays them.
It is useful and probably more so going forward. Is it fantastic? Not yet.
 

BenTrovato

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Jun 29, 2012
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Both TB and the function row keys are terrible. At least TB can be improved but it definitely did not warrant such an outrageous price increase.
 
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noteple

macrumors 65816
Aug 30, 2011
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Granted. But as I already noted, I didn't see enough usefulness for the price point. I don't require a slightly faster CPU, a slightly faster GPU, and double the thunderbolt ports and Touch ID.

Again, I can't justify the price point for something I wouldn't utilize the extra features. That said, I'd rather much have the extended battery life on the Non-Touch Bar model.
They heard you and made a non touch bar model with reduced performance in all areas Just-For-You.
And Look You Saved $300 !