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Seanm87

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 10, 2014
1,702
2,989
I don’t have a MacBook myself so this is genuine curiosity. My understanding is that it changes context depending on what program you are running and can be customised as well. This sounds pretty cool to me and quite handy. So I’m curious as to why everyone seems to hate it?
 

iObama

macrumors demi-god
Nov 16, 2008
831
1,207
My issue with it is that it replaces the Fn keys. If it were in addition to the Fn keys, I would embrace it. However, it changes depending on what app you're in, thus removing the ability to change the volume, change the brightness, or trigger Mission Control without looking at it every. damn. time.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,709
2,134
Pennsylvania
My issue with it is that it replaces the Fn keys. If it were in addition to the Fn keys, I would embrace it. However, it changes depending on what app you're in, thus removing the ability to change the volume, change the brightness, or trigger Mission Control without looking at it every. damn. time.
Thus, forcing touch typists to slow down. I program for a living, which means I'm using the function and especially the escape key on a daily basis. This means that I can't do my job without constantly flicking between the monitor and keyboard, erasing years of learned typing skills.

So instead I have my touchbar set to be the function keys, all of the time... which pretty much just turns it into a worse version of the function keys on the 2015 MBP.
 

Donnation

Suspended
Nov 2, 2014
1,686
2,081
I can see those who use the function keys all the time that it would be a big nuisance. I myself like it very much and even more so with Better Touch Tool where it becomes a really awesome add on to the keyboard with a ton of useful information right in front of you at all times.
 

Velin

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,658
1,154
Hearst Castle
It's improved with the 16-inch Macbook Pro, because the physical ESC key is back, and the new touchID / powerbutton combo is awesome. Plus they repositioned it a bit. With this redesign, I think they'll be a little more love for the Touchbar.

I'm going to have to check out Better Touch Tool, as this is my first Touchbar Macbook Pro.
 

poorcody

Contributor
Jul 23, 2013
1,070
940
The one nice thing about dying will be that I won't ever have to read another thread about whether the Touchbar is good or bad.

Unless I end up in the bad place, in which case I think it will be a daily chore.
 

ryansebiz

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2008
82
28
It doesn't solve a problem.

If you learn to type you learn not to look at the keyboard. You look at the screen.

It also adds a few hundred dollars to the price. When Apple sold separate 13" MBPs (one with Escape and FN keys, and another with the Touch Bar) the Touch Bar model was around $300 more. If they cut the Touch Bar they could lower the price of the 16" MBP to start at around $2,099 or $2,199.

The Touch Bar software has barely evolved since its debut three years ago. It's clearly not a priority for the software engineering team.

Adding a physical Escape key in the 16" solved a problem (hello Vim users).
 

Quu

macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2007
3,133
5,746
I literally just got my first touch bar Mac and already hate it haha it's just so annoying and makes simple things like changing volume or screen brightness an annoyance. Having to look at the bar instead of relying on muscle memory each time I want to alter something etc
 

ipponrg

macrumors 68020
Oct 15, 2008
2,268
2,044
The Touch Bar really is a gimmick. It’s useless albeit less so with BTT but for most applications you can get around without it. It was suppose to be something you can incorporate into your workflow, but it’s just another reason for Apple to charge more for what people don’t want. 3 years already with this useless invention.

I ended up removing all the crap except for the volume and brightness slider. I’ve added modifiers to enable the function keys, but it is such a nuisance especially when you’re touch typing or stepping through code.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
6,940
9,526
NC
It also adds a few hundred dollars to the price. When Apple sold separate 13" MBPs the Touch Bar model was around $300 more.

That's not entirely true.

While the TouchBar model did cost more in 2016... it also had a processor upgrade, TouchID, twice the Thunderbolt ports, faster RAM, and faster Intel graphics.

Function Key MBP 13" - $1,499
2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz
8GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3
256GB PCIe SSD
Intel Iris Graphics 540
Two
Thunderbolt 3 ports

TouchBar MBP 13" - $1,799
2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3
256GB PCIe SSD
Intel Iris Graphics 550
TouchID
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

So again... the TouchBar model did cost more back then... but it wasn't just the TouchBar. It had other upgraded specs too.

There have always been upgraded models in previous MBPs. This one happened to also include the TouchBar.

I can't believe after 3 years I had to dig up old Apple web pages from Archive.org to disprove this false narrative that people keep spouting today.

If anyone says "the TouchBar added $300 to the price" please link this comment. :p

Also remember that all 13" MBP today have the TouchBar with no supposed price increase. So this entire discussion is null at this point.
 

CloudsNeverDie

macrumors member
Apr 11, 2015
73
47
You can’t adjust the brightness of the Touch Bar and you can’t turn it off. Those are my two biggest issues with it.
 

jinnyman

macrumors 6502a
Sep 2, 2011
670
584
Lincolnshire, IL
You can compare however you want, but when touch bar was introduced in 2016, the price of MBP in similar class compared to 2015 rose significantly. From that, many people suspected that Apple was trying to justify its raised cost by introducing touchbar.
 
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Glenny2lappies

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2006
510
125
Brighton, UK
If there were a row of function keys with the touch bar above, it would be great. However, the touch bar's no replacement for physical keys.

Thankfully Apple haven't added a touch bar to their external keyboards which retain the function keys just as God intended touch typists and developers to use without looking at their fingers.

As for all the whizzy guff that Apple push about the touch bar, it's a great big pile of Meh. Can't help but suspect it's because they're being somewhat pig-headed about not using touch screens.

Do quite like to have the screen lock as a quick key. But I could just type control+command+Q.
 

macintoshmac

macrumors 603
May 13, 2010
5,334
5,964
I don’t have a MacBook myself so this is genuine curiosity. My understanding is that it changes context depending on what program you are running and can be customised as well. This sounds pretty cool to me and quite handy. So I’m curious as to why everyone seems to hate it?

Touch Bar is different. It changes things. It breaks your usual ingrained workflow ever since you started interacting with a computer. It changes how you work on and with a computer keyboard since it is an augmentation that is also contextual.

To me, that contextual nature of Touch Bar is its biggest asset as well as the bane. I rarely ever use the top row of keys on my keyboard. However, with Touch Bar, I used to customise apps and that helped me use my keyboard space better since now there were contextual buttons I could use for apps. So, my muscle memory only needed to get accustomed to the placement for a while, and then it had become second nature to me. Personally, for my multidimensional use case involving both productivity and entertainment, Touch Bar made interaction with apps better for me since after a while, I could just press a button on the Touch Bar instead of using my finger to drag the pointer to the intended interaction.

One of the reasons people seem to abhor Touch Bar is that it requires you to look down for a while before your fingers become habituated to the placement of "virtual keys". In today's world where patience is rarer than the rarest mineral on earth, this is a problem, since people do not take well to change and definitely not when that change is so drastic.

Also, I sincerely suspect that save for a section of users whose workflow would be better off with haptic feedback (say, of an Escape key, that now stands resolved), most users only cringed at the Touch Bar since at launch the software was not optimised for it and is still not as optimised as the potential is, coupled with the price. Had these users, in 2016, found that Apple released notebooks with Touch Bar at the same price-point as the 2015 notebooks with no Touch Bar, I do not think a large portion of users who mostly upgrade or buy notebooks just to have the latest and greatest would have been so vocal against the Touch Bar.
 
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rick3000

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
622
215
West Coast
For the consumer/prosumer side, the touch bar is "cool." But in terms of being functional for pros, it is slower and requires looking down at the keyboard to use. Even if you set it to just show normal function keys, you don't get any tactile feedback and you can't "feel" which key you are on. I use the function keys all the time, so this is something I hope Apple fixes before I upgrade my personal MBP.

It's the same problem that happened with the iPod and the iPod Touch. With the iPod clickwheel you could play/pause/forward/back from your pocket without looking. With the iPod Touch you have to look at it to use the controls. The iPod Touch does more than an iPod, but it doesn't do music playback quite as well.
 

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,581
319
Tatooine
It also adds a few hundred dollars to the price. When Apple sold separate 13" MBPs (one with Escape and FN keys, and another with the Touch Bar) the Touch Bar model was around $300 more. If they cut the Touch Bar they could lower the price of the 16" MBP to start at around $2,099 or $2,199.

The Touch Bar model had more than just the Touch Bar, though. As I recall, the Touch Bar was packaged along with a better CPU, GPU, and two more ports. These are major differences. And in any case, these features are not things that Apple just adds up to arrive at the price of the machine. You can't expect that they would actually charge less if they got rid of the Touch Bar. They would find other ways to differentiate between the higher and lower models.
 

booksbooks

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2013
639
555
TouchBar: useless. Why?

Because it is completely superfluous. You don't need a small band screen on the keyboard when those functions are available on the bitmap screen. Having to take your eyes off the screen, coordinate your arm/hand to hit one of the fuzzy little digital targets, and then place your arm/hand back to its starting position and then position your eyes back to the screen is not only superfluous, but egregiously flawed and an affront to any sensible usability.
 
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