So do you buy we'll see refreshed TouchBar 13" MacBook Pro with an M2?

Sorry to contradict you but my dislike of the Touch Bar (MacBook Pro 15-inch, 2017 and 16-inch, 2019) has nothing to do with software. Instead, I find it almost impossible to avoid activating Touch Bar icons by mistake.

Also, using the Escape key on a Touch Bar is awkward to say the least. Thankfully a hardware Escape key was later restored, undoubtedly because so many users complained.

1 Like

It’s not just a glance down. It’s look down, location of desired item, watching while you press it, and then look back up and reacquire where you are on the page, and do that multiple times during the typing.

The central tenet of touch typing is DO NOT LOOK AWAY FROM THE TEXT and this violates that egregiously. It’s terrible UI.

But in any case, I did in fact hate the TouchBar, not the software, which is the point I was responding to.

You’re looking directly at the screen that you then want to read. That’s great UI. Imagine if the face reader was on the back of the iPhone and you had to turn it over to unlock. People would hate that, too.

2 Likes

This is hilarious. :rofl: I love sushi and I love my Touch bar. I’m now going to implement the tools you mentioned and see how it is improved. Better Touch Tool and Aqua Pure, no? Further guidance on how best to use?

Aqua Touch. It comes with a bit of a tutorial. The interface isn’t the easiest thing to master to customize but out of the box most of the major apps are supported.

But play around with it, you can’t break it. Just make sure your customizations don’t go in BTT, because when you update it overwrites your customizations.

I think you customizations will stick in Aqua Touch. You can get a lot of support in the Discord Server of Yuuiko who wrote Aqua Touch.

Please report back your impressions and experiences to the board….

May I ask what software you used with the TouchBar?

Was it from Apple? Like the default System Software that includes “support” for the Touch Bar?

Keep in mind there are no physical buttons on the TouchBar any more than there are physical buttons on an iPhone.

So the software you used determines what shows on the TouchBar which is just a display.

This is the biggest problem I have with the Touch Bar. Since it is a continuous strip, it is almost impossible for me to develop muscle memory with it. Having to look away from the screen breaks my ‘flow state’ which is disruptive and takes a while to get back on track. When typing out lines of complicated loops and nested statements, this is quite a big deal. My finger hurts after hitting the Escape ‘key’ for too long (and sometimes, the key would disappear; and the key is slightly indented), and my brain hurts when I accidentally lock the Mac while brushing my little finger over the Lock button.

On the other hand, I like the Stream Deck much better. Fully customisable much like the Touch Bar, but the keys are fixed in place and I’d develop muscle memory with use. I can also choose to prop it up or lay it flat on the desk depending on the use case

1 Like

A wide variety of business and personal software (Adobe Creative Suite, MS Office, etc.). As I mentioned, for me the software is not the issue, so I don’t understand why you are asking about it.

The discussion is moot. I could write a tome on why Apple shouldn’t have axed Aperture but it does no good and simply adds angst to the situation.

I get that some people love the Touch Bar and they should get that some people don’t. People don’t have to have a reason not to like it although it seems quite clear there are many. Just let people have their own opinions - positive or negative - and let them be.

We’re just pawns in this, Apple is the one who needs convincing and my guess is they have data which suggests euthanasing it was the right course of action.

I am just waiting to pick up a 2020 M-1 with Touch Bar for under $1,000 or less. There should be used ones on places like eBay for a while. Although I did fix my Cpu Load issue that was rendering my computer unusable. So the need for an M-1 has subsided for now. But if I get the 2020 with touch Bar it should be good for at least 5 years.

The application you use isn’t relevant.

What buttons appear on the TouchBar, where they appear, their size, colors, and content are all a function of the TouchBar software. Without TouchBar Software, the TouchBar is black and does nothing.

Apple included basic TouchBar software with the free MacOS. It was primitive, Basically it resembled other software that allows dragging icons onto the menubar of a browser or word processor.

Mostly these were built in system functions like cut, copy, paste, delete, spell check, etc. Apple’s software did nothing to provide touch based control for your application software.

So imagine if you are using Adobe Software and you could program a slider on the TouchBar for brush size. No clicking, no menus, just a finger slide. As you are painting in masks in a photo, you are constantly adjusting brush size and it is slow from a menu or even an on screen adjustment.

This is where the TouchBar shines. And since the TouchBar was an extra cost option, users could try it out in the Apple store or during the 14 day trial period. If you hate it, take the computer back and get the cheaper model with buttons.

With Apple’s awful software for programming the TouchBar the inevitable result would be users hating the TouchBar and claiming it was useless or hard to use.

The TouchBar became useful with Better Touch Tool and Aqua Touch. Because the user can totally customize the TouchBar to their liking. You keep hitting a button you don’t intend to hit. Move it or disable it.

Imagine a great printer, with excellent resolution, color rendition, page control, double sided printing but the only software provided for Apple Mac prints only 8 colors or Black and White, one side only.

So again what TouchBar Control software were you using to allow the TouchBar to interface to your applications? I suspect you were using Apple’s TouchBar software.

Because if you were using Apple’s TouchBar software that interfaced with only the Finder’s basic functions, of course you hated it. You were justified in hating it. I hated it too. And complaining to Apple that their TouchBar software was not fully realized or even useful would have been appropriate. But attacking the whole concept of the TouchBar was misdirected and misinterpreted by Apple.

The TouchBar deserved to live, only Apple’s software needed to die. But in general Apple senior management is simply blind to third party utilities that expand and enhance Apples system. I call it the “not invented by Apple” syndrome.

It is a blind spot and one exploited by some creative and talented developers who have built successful businesses doing things on Apple’s system that Apple doesn’t do or doesn’t do well.

1Password exists because Apple’s implementation of password management using Keychain wasn’t very good. Paste exists because Apple’s clipboard only saves a single clip and cannot do any more than that. Grammarly exists because Apple’s spell check is too basic. Default Folder exists because Apple’s Finder doesn’t have default folders.

Apple makes great hardware and superior operating systems. Perhaps by choice, they don’t make great utility software. The Finder has not been upgraded since it was introduced with the Mac.

Yes, they know all about application software from Adobe, Microsoft, all the games and music applications. The App Store evaluates application software.

They are just not interested in utilities that make the Mac system itself more functional. A TouchBar manager wasn’t developed by Apple to get the most (or anything useful really) from the TouchBar hardware.

As a user, I cannot magically make something go viral. Software is hard to explain in a text based forum. It pains me when Apple makes bad devisions on faulty input.

Getting rid of MagSafe was a bad decision and it took Apple like ten years to wake up to how bad that decision was.

Getting rid of TouchBar entirely is another bad decision. If you don’t want it, then don’t buy it. But don’t take it away from the users who love it and use it.

Apple, and clearly many more, don’t believe it’s ‘entirely’ a bad decision. When it came out I did exactly what you said - I deliberately purchased a machine without it. I had a real concern I would eventually be paying for something I didn’t want if they introduced it across all lines.

You’re clearly passionate about it but the horse is dead and continuing to flog it won’t bring it back to life. I assume there’d be nothing stopping a 3rd party manufacturer or developer from producing a keyboard with a touch bar or even a separate item like the stand along touch pads. The fact there isn’t speaks to the perceived success of such a thing.

You can blame the software, cry foul and criticise Apple but I content, as I mentioned previously, they’ll have data which suggests it was a flop. I still decry them for Aperture which, at the time, was easily the best software of its type in the market.

1 Like

Apple can change their mind. They’ve done it before.

So I don’t think I’m flogging a dead horse. Apple’s information is from their own sales numbers. They do not do any traditional market research. No focus groups, no usability labs. So, yes, maybe they didn’t sell as many TouchBar machines as they wished. But that was their own fault for making such poor software. BTW, the people behind Better Touch Tool think they can make an on-screen tool bar and hide it in the notch. But it will be mouse based, not touch based and for my purposes, a notch based “bar” of any kind has zero appeal.

I still feel that on the Mac (which is like 15% of Apple revenues) the software is mediocre. The best and most talented engineers and product managers do not work on the Mac team. Mediocre is not bad, but it isn’t good either. Like going to a restaurant and finding the expensive food to be mediocre. It won’t make you sick, and you won’t send it back. You’ll grumble and eat it. But it isn’t winning any awards or Michelin stars either. Given a choice, since there is lots of competition in the restaurant business, I’d just choose to dine elsewhere.

But Apple is a de-facto monopoly. There is no other “Apple like” place to spend my money. As I have said, Microsoft and HP could give me $5,000 to never use Apple products again and switch to Windoze and Surface, products that they would give me for free, and I would easily say “no, thank you”.

I wonder how much money it would take to get me to give up Apple and use Windoze? I mean I’m not wealthy. I’m retired on a fixed income. I could use the money. How much would it take to get me to switch??

Good topic for a new thread. How much money would it take to get you to switch from Apple Mac to Windoze? I think I’ll start that topic, this one is exhausted. And none of us are any good at predicting what Apple will do next. I wish I could have 10 minutes to discuss this with Tim Cook and get a straight and honest answer. I’d like to know their reasoning. I’d probably get a more honest answer from Jonie Ivie.

There’s some irony in your post.

You opine there’s no alternative to ‘Apple Like’ but there are many, many hardware and software options beyond MacOS. If the reason you’re still with MacOS is their software you’re making an argument FOR Apple software which is the core of your criticism. From a hardware point of view there’s many compelling PC products available and they all run App stores, MS Office, Adobe, Affinity, Filemaker etc.

Why do you suppose Windows - or any of the hardware vendors - haven’t produced a Touch Bar alternative to Apple’s? Given Windows PCs still maintain around 90% of the worldwide installed base it should be hugely profitable! But perhaps it’s because it simply wasn’t a good idea to start with.

1 Like

Sorry, but no Windows for me. I know enough of how Windows operates and the registry that I know it is a far inferior operating system. The User Interface is a mess.

My complaints are not with Apple’s basic MACH based Unix operating system or their hardware. They use better quality components, break must less often, are more rugged, last longer, have better support, have their own retail stores, and make all around better computers. It as been proven that the overall cost of ownership is less for an Apple product, even though it costs more initially. Their new M series processors are superior to anything Intel makes.

Yes, I can run third party applications on both Mac and Windows. But I don’t do Windows. Never.

Where Apple falls down is in their USER software, specifically their utilities and system control software. The stuff the user works with in the interface. I won’t repeat myself about all the third party utilities that make Apple’s software do more and why Apple doesn’t do it and integrate it into the OS.

Reese Jones made millions foundling Farallon to sell better PhoneNet connectors than Apple offered at the time. If Steve Jobs saw something cool and innovative, he’d steal it and use it in Apple products. That mindset doesn’t exist any more. Died with Steve Jobs.

I don’t think the Windows folks do a TouchBar because, like Android phones, every implementation is different depending upon the hardware manufacturer. There is no real integration. It would be much harder to do on Windows than on Mac.

Or maybe you are right and no one has done a good enough TouchBar to make it a must have. Apple has had their share of failures. The Newton, The Lisa, Airport Base Stations, The Cube. Probably others along the way.

But I’m resigned. I’ll buy one of the last 2020 M-1 machines with a touch bar and that will probably hold be for 4 or 5 more years.

Though I do not own a MacBook or Pro with a TouchBar, I do use my husband’s from time to time, and we both hate it. Like quite a few others have mentioned here, we both hate having to constantly take our eyes off the screen. Using the TouchBar requires this, and it became a problem for Apple rather than a benefit. So is the fact that developers haven’t been supporting it, but maybe this was a big reason why they wouldn’t.

My guess is that the TouchBar could also be more expensive for Apple to implement and support than keys. Add in the fact that app developers were clearly not enthusiastic about it even though Apple did try to get them on board. It was a big loose-loose across the board for Apple.

It’s typical for all types of companies, from personal hygiene, to furniture, food, entertainment, cosmetics, transportation, utilities, etc., etc., etc., to test the market by releasing a limited amount of a new feature to an existing product within a product line. It’s too risky to change everything at once. In this case, it makes any inevitable fade out more palatable.

If the TouchBar was successful I have no doubt whatsoever that MS would have swiftly programmed a version that many Windows box builders would be thrilled to have as a competitive option. I think they were smart enough to realize that a lot of potential customers would not want to keep bobbing their heads up and down between the TouchBar and the screen.

On the other hand, MS developed a Windows touchscreen years ago that has gotten, and continues to get, good press. It seems to have been selling successfully for years:

In the PC world, the most notable example I can think of is Asus’s line of ScreenPad laptops. The ScreenPad is a touch-screen used in lieu of a TrackPad. The ScreenPad Plus is a full second (half-height, full-width) display positioned between the keyboard and the laptop’s main screen.

In either case, you can use the second screen for application launching, for docking toolbars and menus, for specialized ScreenPad-enabled apps, or simply as an extra screen to place windows and full-screen (or half-width or third-width) applications.

I remember Dell launched the new XPS 13 Plus with a Touch Bar-like strip (which is just a row of capacitive function keys) and an invisible trackpad; I wonder how well received that model is (serious question, will read about this later).

I checked it out, and the Dell’s Touch Bar knockoff isn’t getting glowing reviews. However, it does sound like it might be somewhat less annoying than the Mac, and it doesn’t support non MS apps. But you would still have to keep looking up and down. It does not involve partnerships with app developers. And although it hasn’t been getting as awful reviews as the Mac Touch Bar, it’s not getting raves or even very positive reviews:

It was released in January, and I don’t know of any other PC manufacturers that have developed a TouchBar knockoff. But there a lot of positive press about Apple ditching the Touch Bar:

2 Likes