I'd buy a non-touchbar model if it had the same hardware as a touchbar model in a heartbeat.
The biggest problem I see with it is Apple's hate of developers who touch type. Surely there's enough room on that unit to include both the function row and a touch bar? If so, it'd be pretty neat to have for presenting misc information. (It looks nice enough!)
Lenovo tried something similar with their 2014 X1 Carbon (I have gen 1, would like to upgrade to latest). Not anywhere as nice looking as the MBP's touch bar, but equal in that they messed up something good. https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/thinkpad-x1-carbon-2014-s...
Fortunately Lenovo saw the errors of their ways and quickly reverted to what I would say is the all-superior layout of the current model (i.e. the one that went before).
I realise that whilst just about everything else I do on the keyboard is proper touch (based from F-J), I have to move my whole hands to use the FN keys. I will nevertheless hit F5, F9 etc for compiling / break points / step debugging without looking down at the keyboard.
I'm listening to music all day. Changing the volume and skipping tracks without looking is great to keep the flow going.
I never realized all of the complexity that developers were required to deal with.
You warmly, and strongly screamed "do that again please" with a big heart shape.
A. can scream money for nerfed hardware with F-keys
B. can scream money for nerfed TB with serious hardware
C. can't scream money for F-keys with serious hardware
D. can't scream money for TB with nerfed hardware
You'll spend much less, and won't be supporting practices you don't approve of.
For many, dropping macOS would be a much larger disruption than having less usable F-keys. That does not mean we can't complain about it.
If you don't like the hardware you shouldn't be buying it.
Which is literally the reason why OSX is that good/stable.
>> High Sierra patch released, breaks file sharing
>> High Sierra patch re-enables passwordless root access on certain machines
Given that we don't know whether or not you can live with non-Apple hardware, I think it's reasonable to at least float the idea.
It's worth it, trust me. I dropped it almost twenty years ago, and I've never looked back. My computers are less expensive, more powerful & more flexible. My computing environment is customised to my needs, not those of some generic 20-something in Cupertino. If I want to, I can dig deep in the guts of my system and fix bugs or add features. Or I can hire someone to do it for me. Or I can just rely on the work of others (which is ultimately what Apple's customers have to do anyway: rely on Apple to fix & extend — and as their recent spate of crippling security bugs indicates, they haven't been doing a great job).
I bought my first Mac in 2009 (still kicking and alive) because I was tired of tinkering with Linux (I have abandoned Windows years before). I do look back at these systems every day at work so I do know quite well how my life would be if I really had to use them for everything.
Just one example of why I like macOS - it has a copy/paste shortcut that really does work everywhere. From Vim running in a console to my vector based drawing program of choice, out of the box.
My family, friends & colleagues all use Apple computers & phones, so I believe that I've had pretty good exposure to them. There are a few things which macOS does better (system-wide copy/paste is clearly one), but overall I stand by what I wrote. Linux is great, and I don't thinking I'm missing anything by avoid Windows & macOS.
Endure an objectively terrible keyboard with a massive failure rate if you stay.
(Ironically my £3K touchbar MBP return key failed to register a press right on cue when typing this comment)
The new keyboard is usable for me but is absolutely worse than the old models.
High-density ("retina") screens are a standard feature in high-end laptops. Asserting that it's an Apple exclusive feature proves your ignorance.
Many companies now make good touchpads, probably better because they actually have a physical click, which Apple has removed.
Many companies make much better keyboards today, while Apple makes worse. Even my Lenovo Yoga's keyboard, which retracts into the body of the laptop, is better than what Apple offers.
Operating systems are more subjective, but consider whether you really think and operating system whose developers have entirely abandoned it for the better part of a decade is really likely to be the best.
I mean I don't have a side in this convo. But if you are gonna put up a argument at least make it not sound fanboyish.
Plenty of laptops with similar ppi (what makes retina...retina) and plenty with good touchpads.
Many reasons to choose different laptops including Apples, but those you listed the competitors have themselves. Apple just markets their retina displays as 'special' when its all about pixel density and most laptops have moved in the direction of offering comparable ppi.
> Plenty of laptops with similar ppi (what makes retina...retina) and plenty with good touchpads.
If you're going to put up an argument at least make it sound informed. The best trackpads I've used in any other laptop manufacturer was "acceptable", and that's Microsoft's. Plenty with good touchpads? Not even remotely close.
As for retina displays, plenty of laptops with higher PPI, also plenty of laptops with scaling issues up the ass.
Equally annoying is when the palm rejection kicks in because I'm trying to press too close to an edge or something, and the lack of tactile feedback makes it feel like i just stubbed my finger.
Keyboard-nub-mouse-thing for life! How do MBP users survive without it? ;P
- Linux applications have a lot of trouble with the HiDPI screen
- Coil whine
- Shitty battery life
- Shitty touchpad
So as whatever is Apple doing is annoying faddy bullshit, it's still the better option, especially considering the XPS 13 cost as much or more than MBP.
> - Linux applications have a lot of trouble with the HiDPI screen
Honestly haven't noticed a single thing.
> - Coil whine
None of that.
> - Shitty battery life
What's shitty? It lasts 5 hours of me working with VMs. I don't think expecting more is reasonable. It's much less laggy than my collegue's MBP, which leads me to assume that Mac just throttles the CPU down to achieve longer battery life? I don't want that.
> - Shitty touchpad
Not at all. It works nicely. Much better than most touchpads I've used.
And as an added bonus, it doesn't get burning hot to the touch when doing actual work on it. Nor does it sound like it's about to take off. And it was like 1.5K EUR vs 3K EUR for a macbook pro.
> Honestly haven't noticed a single thing.
I've got a coworker sitting right next to me with a HiDPI main + non-HiDPI secondary screen. X or Wayland, it's a thousand cuts of hell: set native resolution and render scaling to 200% and you get some (most) apps at 200% on the non-HiDPI screen. Drag an app from HiDPI to non-HiDPI and notice how the overflow is wrongly scaled. There's no way to render at 200% on a non-native resolution then downsample to native, you have to set a non-native resolution, upsampled by the GPU/panel, which results in a useless blurry mess.
> it doesn't get burning hot to the touch when doing actual work on it. Nor does it sound like it's about to take off.
Early '13 and mid '14 13" rMBP here, VMs don't lag, slightly warm, but in no way "burning hot". Early '13 is dead silent thanks to dual fan design, mid '14 slightly less so, and only when I peg all cores for long enough.
I have quite literally both sides of this problem on my Windows laptop at work. Either the 4K display on the laptop renders everything really tiny, or the 1080p displays make everything huge. I haven't found a decent solution, so I just end up using the 4K display only for Conemu because it's the only thing that doesn't render in some goofy way. Even then, the toolbar icons for it are tiny, and any windows it spawns (e.g. warning that I'm about to paste something with newlines) have tiny icons.
I stick to 1440p displays at home for now. Those work great with everything.
One handy feature you can use though is to place a manifest file  next to the exe with a bit of XML in it tellings Windows to render it at a bigger scale.
The world became a better place when I swapped ubuntu for Debian and Unity for Gnome. Shit just works now...
Yea, I did have to set scaling at 200%, and tweak font scaling once. But it's been set and forget.
I don't know any specific macbook models as I'm not an apple user and there is like no visual distinction between them. All I know is that I have two coworkers who use macbooks, and theirs are incredibly loud & warm.
The latest generation of Macs definitely run cool, fwiw. I've never once noticed the heat
My guess is that it’s more effective to simply upvote a comment that is getting downvoted “unjustly” in your opinion. At least that’s what I’ve started doing. Even when it isn’t a comment I would normally upvote.
My use of „crappy“ in the very first comment? Did that hurt someones feelings because they love their non-Mac system? That i state i think most other hardware is bad?
I dont know, unless I’m told...
I also agree that the trackpads are very poor, and that's still one of Apple's main strengths. Although quite why the trackpad needs to be quite so enormous on the current models is a mystery to me, so many people catch it when typing.
I‘m based in Germany by the way, so my choice of products here might be different...
Unless you tell more about what you like in the one and what not in the other it’s hard to get a value from your experience report.
There are countless examples where it isn't true.
I guess I'll keep using my 15" MBP (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) for now... If it breaks before they fix their MBP lineup, I'll see if I can buy a 2015 version ( https://marco.org/2017/11/14/best-laptop-ever ). Or I'll look at Thinkpads.
I'm still happy with that move.
First, they introduced the touchbar, which is a feature that is clearly not designed for me (programmer, vim, etc.). In fact it isn't just useless for me; it interferes with the way I work.
Second, using the touchbar as justification, they raised the price to nearly $3000 if you want a 15" screen and a 500G hard drive. Upgrading every 3 or 4 years becomes incredibly expensive.
And third, they deliberately crippled the non-touchbar version of the macbook and will not let you spec it high enough to be competitive with the touchbar versions. You can't even get it with a dedicated graphics card. If the touchbar is so compelling then it should be a feature people choose. Intentionally crippling the machine to force people into an upsell is just maddening. Especially when I'm a developer that contributes to their ecosystem and what they're trying to upsell is completely irrelevant to me.
Not only am I no longer in their target market; they won't even accommodate my needs.
How Apple has destroyed their high end product (at least as far as devs is concerned) is baffling to me, as the rest of the design is exquisite - at least if you could get use to the short key travel. The 4:3 display is especially a highlight, and so is the unibody with that titanium colour.
I develop on a new, non-touch MBP. Even though it's a basic model, I struggled to believe the price of the unit when compared to a high end Dell XPS 15 or X1 Carbon. I would have preferred the (much) faster touchbar model, as I just use it with an external keyboard/mouse anyway.
(I'll give Apple bonus points for forcing me to boot into OSX before rebooting with Bootcamp to Windows 10 to get CPU virtualisation / Docker enabled.)
To be fair it's not the TB itself that bumps the price but the addition of a second TB controller and a beefier CPU.
I would almost assume that if they ever make a new model without the touch bar, there would be no price reduction for it.
Apple's hardware is just a total farce.
Loss of MagSafe, carrying around a dongle, Touchbar—In the end it just added too much complexity to my life that I didn't need.
I decided to purchase an iMac instead. For everyone else I hope Apple produces a decent non-Touchbar model this year.
Power users have begged for a desktop between the iMac and the Mac Pro for years. Apple has totally ignored them.
The iMac Pro (the similarities in the name are probably deliberate) will then take over in the same slot, with the difference that you already have the built-in screen that you have to pay for. Whether this is an advantage or not depends on your studio setup. If nothing else, the starting price of the iMac Pro is significantly (25%-ish?) more than the machine that /should/ be higher level than it.
The iMac Pro has proprietary SSDs, and although the RAM is still upgradeable, it requires almost complete disassembly of the machine to get to it. It's a step backwards from the current iMac in this regard, ostensibly because the cooling vents got in the way. The GPU is built in, despite being the component most likely to become obsolete the fastest, and although upgrades are possible through an eGPU box, that means you won't be able to use the built-in screen for output.
The model desired to slot in between the iMac and Mac Pro would have been a PowerMac G3/4-style tower with user-upgradeable components - CPU, optical drive (for those who need things like BR discs), GPU etc. Apple's attitude is that you should spec your machine at the time of ordering, no later. They offer no upgrades to their proprietary SSDs after purchase (although third parties do, but that probably voids the warranty).
So no, I would argue the iMac Pro is not the middle slot we've been hoping for :(
† in a real, makeshift, or conceptual rack.
And FFS, the number of USB-C adapters I need to keep on hand is a joke, at least you can plug things directly into a Retina without a dongle!!
Not a lot has changed in the past few years. Macbook Pros are NOT easy to mod/change or swap parts. This is very clearly the intention of Apple.
I don't think they've done it on purpose, this is just how it has ended up because of other priorities. I think their priority is tight packaging - across every hardware line they have, doing that well has allowed them to ship more hardware features (and/or more battery life) in a smaller package that anyone else. Designing in user servicability would get in the way of this.
They may be happy that not being able to swap parts is a side effect of this, but it'snot the priority.
But: 15W TDP CPU; RAM&SSD not soldered; USBA, USBC, HDMI, SD, SmartCard and even Ethernet(!).
Or the HP Elite X2 1012. Surface-class tablet/convertible with similar specs, but...well, 10/10 on iFixit.
Sure, those devices may have other issues (that trackpad on the Lifebook...), but tight packaging is not an excuse for unmoddability.
Of course, but that hasn't completely stopped determined people from trying (and succeeding) --- look at the link I posted to where someone added a headphone jack back to an iPhone.
As long as the dimensions are vaguely compatible, the guts of the touchbar model might fit into the non-touchbar case. Some machining and creativity required.
The only downside is the cost (unless you somehow find salvage parts), but someone who really wanted to could do it.
And high stress tolerance. I mean, if - per recent HN thread - people obsess over putting a CPU into their PC because it feels like breaking a piece of expensive electronics, I can only imagine what a Macbook owner feels when applying a lathe to their prized possession...
Just you wait for the class-action lawsuit when people's logic boards start failing and there is zero hope of pulling any data off the dead drive.
It's all USB-C. Virtually nobody else supports USB-C, not even Apple.
Oh, you want HDMI? €100 please.
I also have an iPhone 8 which is on the Lightning connector. The audio jack is gone and guess what, there's no Lightning connector on the MacBook, so you'll need 2 pairs of headsets or an adapter.
The glowing logo is gone. And the Touch Bar is a clusterfuck. In an ironic touch, the default Touch Bar setup shows the Siri button at all times. I guess if you have multiple clusterfucks you make them link to one another.
I still have the 2015 at home. I think that was the best MacBook Pro made thus far and looking at the differences I'm now contemplating a move to a Linux laptop — not the same polish, but it won't be this expensive either and I won't feel bad about supporting a company that's getting increasingly hostile towards work laptops and touch typists.
I don't mind so much being part of the forefront here. It's a pain to dongle, but that's the price of progress, dammit!
> In watching the evolution of USB-C over the last few years, it seems like it's extremely hard to implement correctly with the huge number of modes, alternate modes, and power delivery in the spec.
> When you connect two USB-C devices today, you have almost no idea what is actually going to happen, which device is the master, and which way power will flow.
I'm very happy with my 2015 MBP though, and will just push it through this particular iteration of upgrades for another year or so.. that is, assuming the thermal paste survives, lol, curse you Apple!
I recently purchased a new non-touch-bar MacBook Pro and I find it to be the best machine I've ever owned -- super reliable, fast, all the ports, incredible 12 hour battery life, even with all day coding in either Java or C++, the magsafe adapter, and all quite reasonably priced too. I hope Apple considers keeping these in their lineup.
If you are doing multithreaded machine learning or some long running intensive tasks across all cores (which few applications do but developers often do), then the fan does kick in and you can hear it. Not really been a problem for me though.
that out of the way, their airpods work well across all Apple products I own. used for output only their battery life is good for most of my work between get up and walk around sessions. they have been sufficient for me to nearly stop using corded headsets.
with regards to touch bar and their keyboards. I end up with replacement keyboards for my desktops as I want separate volume/mute and screen brightness controls.
More like €25: https://www.amazon.co.uk/StarTech-com-USB-HDMI-Adapter-Thund...
Apple really should be including an HDMI 2.0 adapter with every USB-C only laptop. Instead they're selling an HDMI 1.4 adapter for $69. Kind of insulting.
Not that other manufacturers are better. Dell's new XPS 13 is USB-C only and I'm sure there's no adapter in the box. They sell a "mini-dock" which includes Ethernet and VGA (!) in addition to HDMI (indeterminate version) for $59.
My 2 biggest issues are:
- It turns off after 1 min of inactivity, and find it infuriating that I have to wake it up by before using it. Effectively making everything 2 interactions away.
- No haptic feedback. Even having the trackpad click would be useful, since it can be felt throughout the Macbook.
Man, its just .. like .. such an 80's feeling.
None of it can fix the horrible keyboard though.
If those overlays would jump off the keyboard if you didn't stroke them every 59 seconds.
It'd have to time out because otherwise it would eat even more of your battery than it already does.
HapticKey fixed this for me: https://github.com/niw/HapticKey
I'd been waiting for them to release this laptop, but ended up going with a lightly used Mid 2015 after Apple announced the specs and price. It was just a misfit for my needs especially after trying the keyboard. The powering-down of the TouchBar sounds like a horrible user experience.
...that’s why Apple’s adoption of it surprised me the most: I saw how it on the ThinkPad added no value, and while Apple has greater integration and will undoubtedly encourage third-party devs to use it - it will still be too fiddly and complicated.
I think Apple’s too proud to kill it off in just one project cycle - but I can’t see Apple’s management justifying continued investment of time into maintaining it. The fact they didn’t include it in their latest desktop keyboard (for a Pro users no-less!) says something.
Huh? One of the defining features of e-ink is that it's easier to read in bright light, compared to a regular screen...
With regards to touch feedback, MacBooks come with a pretty hefty “haptic engine” already so it should be possible.
Except they didn't use e-ink. Pebble used transreflective LCD's. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transflective_liquid-crystal_d...
Based on cursory research I believe the most important aspect of the LCD used on the Pebble time is that it's a "Memory in Pixel" or "Memory LCD" – a technology specifically built for screens that may show the same thing for a sustained period of time.
Memory in Pixel seems to be a feasible alternative to e-ink if you want a low-power display that tends to show the same thing for extended periods of time. And it would probably work well for the use case of Apple's Touch Bar (assuming you can get a good pixel density with this technology).
 https://www.sharpsma.com/sharp-memory-lcd-technology and https://www.sharpsma.com/products?sharpCategory=Memory%20LCD
Most e-readers were only 167ppi in 2012, with 212ppi just starting to hit the market in premium models.
This is easily done with Karabiner Elements and a simple rule you import and enable.
handles part of it and
xcape -e 'Caps_Lock=Escape'
does the rest. xcape is in the ubuntu repos, for fedora there's a copr (dawid/xcape).
But - you can always map <C-c> to <ESC>, so that it'll work exactly the same.
I could't care less about this, but...
> even love, at a visceral level, the balanced symmetry of ESC and ENTER being opposite each other.
now that you mentioned it, I absolutely HAVE to do it!
This is what I believe: the touchbar is for people like me... people who never learned to use the F keys, people who aren’t obsessive about shortcuts but appreciate them when discovered. In short, it’s for the 90% of software users that float between general public and pro users. It works.
Then they should have not called it a “MacBook pro” there is nothing “pro” about touch bar, it’s something useless that I have to pay extra for and I don’t need it at all.
Because I use vi.
Because I am a professional and theoretically the target audience of $3,000 premium quality laptops.
The MBP keyboard buttons aren’t too great for typing all day every day.
Don't care about the touchbar and it's never bothered me.
It's when you bring out Photoshop or (gasp!) Blender or Unity, or doing something else that requires serious memory, when things start getting dicey. It's a specific sort of professional they mean, otherwise almost every employed person would fit.
Not that that makes the touchbar good, but at least you can remove a useless key in favor of a useful one.
As far as I'm aware, Apple doesn't and hasn't ever explicitly targeted its higher-end models at developers. They just happen to have been good developer machines, and so developers confused that for "I am explicitly the target market of this".
Not only do people not know what the F-keys do, but they have no ability to determine what an F-key might do in any given situation.
Not so with the touch bar. The touch bar will do what the touch bar indicates it will do, which is displayed on the touch bar itself.
Other 'Professional' software such as video editing or music production usually sticks to key combos rather than F-keys. This is traditionally why the F-key row is used for things like brightness or volume, and why Macs use these as the default function.
computers have gotten easier and learning what F5 does is not in the realm of necessary things that people should have to know to operate their work device
If you are not memorizing the keys, then you will need to look down at the touchbar to figure out where to tap to do what you want to do.
If you need to be looking anyways, why is it better to look at the top of the keyboard, instead of the screen where your eyes are normally located?
Replicating a touchbar style strip on the screen is a much better option than anything on the touchbar.
That's actually pretty sad (and should be remedied with some education, starting with emphasizing the fact that tools have a learning curve and you're supposed to follow it). I mean, look at non-professionals working with computers daily, like e.g. shop clerks. They have every possible shortcut used in their sales/inventory management software in muscle memory.
But the problem is, there's a huge difference between a cool idea and actual execution, just like Apple's Newton flopped but decades later iPhone succeeded.
I use Ableton pro to make music, I use final cut to make video. I'm pretty sure I fall into the "creative class" of people you're referring to, but I never use any of the touchbar features that ship with the apps unless I'm forced to. It's much faster to use keyboard shortcuts, and I'm sure most "pro" users are already much better with the shortcuts that they don't need the touchbar features.
I'm not saying the idea is bad. It's just a horrible execution.
Since you say you're a creative professional, let me ask you, do you actually use any of these features and think these really improved your life significantly? I'm not talking about imagination, i'm talking about actual product. In my case it's much more of a trouble than any real benefit.
They just made a good laptop, and developers used it because it was a good laptop. If anything, developers bought and used Apple's laptops in spite of shortcomings (as developer machines) which have been present for at least the twelve years that have elapsed since I first used one.
Meanwhile, I'm writing this comment on a 15" MBP with Touch Bar, and I use it as my primary dev laptop. And... well, it's still a good laptop. I would be less happy and less productive using one of the "equivalent" PC builds (regardless of whether running Windows or Linux) people always recommend. And I know that because I switched to Macs from one of those "equivalents" (a Thinkpad running Linux).
Add in that the people who are complaining about how this is the death of Apple are almost always posting while clearly indicating they've never actually used a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and I don't put this down to Apple somehow "shifting away" from "influencers". I put it down as the same kind of foaming-at-the-mouth hate that every Apple product in history has attracted, due to those products committing the unforgivable sin of being Apple products. Company seems to've survived that.
And for what it's worth, the Touch Bar took some getting used to, but now it's fine. Some apps do useful things with it. Some apps don't. About what I expected.
Pro doesn't even imply computer power user. It just means the opposite of home/personal.
My partner on the other hand enjoys using it and is always looking to see what the current app displays.
I see it as a way to expose useful items that usually buried in the menus. Non-technical people like this
Also, it makes it easy to discover features for apps that support it .
* I can't customize what's shown on the touchbar when the screen is locked.
* I can't pin ESC and the volume/mute keys to their respective (previous physical) positions and let apps use the remaining area in between
* I can't have it default to my custom layout by default but have the Fn key show app-specific widgets, or have certain apps show app specific widgets (like you can have certain apps show the F-keys).
* I can't have it show my custom layout by default but show pop-up dialog buttons when appropriate.
I know a LOT of people who are not tech savvy and still could write without looking at their keyboard.
(p.s. there were devices who had a keyboard before computers even existed and people learned to use them without looking every second at the typewriter/keyboard)
So basically the touch bar basically removes that flow completly
These are "obviously" bad interaction designs yet they come out of a company having almost infinite resources when it comes to design. What is going on here?
Is it the marketing department taking over? Is it "we have created this chip and now we have to use it somewhere otherwise the money is lost"? Is it particular individuals whoes silly ideas are promoted beyond their merits like the anecdote that the paper clip got in Windows because the project was run by Bill Gates' wife?
The touch bar I agree is major marketing hype.
I'd say it's growing in fact, younger people growing up with the internals of their devices more hidden from them than ever, they will have less technical literacy than their older peers.
I expect that it'll play a larger role after the next major redesign of iOS in a couple years.
I'm betting on a force-sensitive iPad sooner than later, probably the next-gen iPad Pro.
I'd argue force touch is more discoverable because it's very common for new users to press hard enough to accidentally activate it. Then you kind of play around for a few second until you realize how to do it intentionally.
A couple Macbook users I know have never once right-clicked and are amazed at how handy it is once demonstrated to them.
BTW, I have 3d touch on, just don't ever use it. It's on because I'm preparing myself for the inevitable future of variable force touch gestures.
hard press keyboard to get a cursor ->
drag around keyboard to place cursor ->
hard press on word to start selection ->
drag around keyboard to place end of selection
it’s a phenomenal way to select text, and everyone i know that i show it to uses it every day from them on. it’s not discoverable, but DAMN it’s handy
> hard press on word to start selection ->
Perhaps I misunderstood though - is this hard press when the cursor is on the word.
I guess I just don't really see the problem it solves, it's just moving my thumb over the text I want rather than three distinct actions just to start the selection. Then I guess two more to change the selection and end the selection process? Whereas to select text I just long press -> move. Or for one word, long press.
Precision seems fine as I test it here, and if I want sub-word selections (rare) then adjustments seem like a reasonable approach. If the selection on iOS snaps to words anyway (second force press selects whole word?) you'd need this on both platforms.
I don't really understand how the android approach requires more interaction. Press & drag is surely less interaction than press (get cursor), drag (position cursor), press (select word), drag (move cursor), press (finish selection).
The only selections I generally want without moving "off" the keyboard is deletions, and that's accomplished just by dragging from the backspace.
I was a heavy force touch user, but I did not miss it on Android. Oreo even shows it's possible to have jump lists without force touch (gasp!) which was really the only particularly useful feature.
- Moving the cursor
- Opening Incognito mode for Safari
- Requesting Desktop version of a site.
- Turning on/off tethering from the control center
- Setting brightness on the flashlight
Some of them are not even force touch, but a long press :)
And funnily enough the most useful feature for the control center, turning Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off, are not even available there.
So all in all force touch is next to useless (and it's nearly impossible to discover what it will do or not do in different situations)
I use this all the time; it's much more precise than the old direct touch way to move the cursor.
I am pretty sure that Apple had plenty of design people (or just people with common sense) pointing out the flaws of the touch bar and 3D touch. Yet these big expensive projects are put forward. What drives that?
A lot of people think that, if a feature or function is not immediately obvious to a new user, Apple did a bad job with that design.
But actually there is no way to build a powerful piece of technology and have it all be obvious. Trying to do that has resulted in a lot of really bad design over the years.
What product designers need to do is curate features--make the basic elements of interaction obvious, so regular folks can use the platform in the most common ways without too much thought. Then provide powerful tools for more sophisticated users--but by necessity they will be harder to discover.
Yeah, the person above didn't know about 3D Touch, but the point is that they have already been using the iPhone just fine without it! It is an enhancement, not a core function.
I'm sure there are other 3D Touch interactions that I don't know about, but that's fine. The iPhone is super powerful and it would be very hard (and probably pointless) to try to learn all the power features and little tricks.
Delighted because this just turned force touch from a super annoying feature that makes it a lot harder to click-hold into an extremely useful tool.
Angry because Apple totally failed to communicate the feature to me in all the years I’ve had iPhones.
I don’t even mess with the keyboard on my MBP, unless I’m actually mobile. Even then, I often drag along my preferred input devices.
It’s very hard to guage the relative weight of these different potential target markets. But, really, I’m dumbfounded at how many people I know don’t even know that the function keys are a thing!
This seems to be the cases with Windows 10, also.
No one I know complains about the Touch Bar except people on Reddit and HN and I know tons of people with the new laptops. I also don't understand the hate for the new keyboards but that's a whole other rabbit hole to go down.
> As a machine, MacBook Pro is great. But not because of the Touch Bar. Touch Bar is an inflamed appendix, the same dumb shit as Siri. If Apple had implemented it as an additional row and not the F-keys replacement, everyone would forget about it in a couple of days.
At least Siri doesn’t get in the way of productivity.
> Once again. I hate sliders on Touch Bar. Changing them to buttons was the first thing I did. Now I can tap them blindly. Guess, even my stress level significantly dropped when I stopped trying to put the sliders in the desired position. It was same to adjusting hot water in a shower — you're never gonna get it without burning yourself.
Those sliders are the worst, now requiring TWO high precision taps, while looking at the keyboard, to tweak the volume. I find myself reaching for the physical volume controls on my headset more often.
> Starting from MacOS High Sierra Play/Pause button globally controls the system sounds. It is not a problem on iPhone, but on Mac it controls every ad that pop-up with more priority than Spotify. You tap the button and don't understand, why it doesn't stop the music. Thanks, Apple. Very convinient.
Unreliable play/pause button, very annoying.
> Imagine, you want to drag a picture to a browser to upload. You click the Finder, but instead opening a new window at the same screen, it carries you away somewhere. Just because there's another Finder window opened there. And it's fucking impossible to fix that with standard MacOS tools.
Not related to the TouchBar, but I don’t understand why Apple won’t improve on the Spaces feature. Why does it force me to use one space for an app.
Yes, this is actually one of the few things I actively like about the touch bar.
I love that Apple is trying something new with laptops, but sadly it's been mostly a dud for me too. I'd take Face ID + a T2 chip (like iMac Pro) any day. The fundamental problem is you don't tend to look at the keyboard when you're using a computer; there isn't enough incentive to do so, so it always feels a bit like a chore to use.
I think there's a kernel of a good idea here, but the current implementation isn't it.
Edit: Reading this article, I've realized all I really want from the touch bar is a permanent Dock. The Dock is important enough to always be on your screen, and it'd be really useful to have at a touch.
This is a nice shortcut for adjusting the volume. However compared with non-TouchBar keyboards, adjusting the volume now requires you to look at the keyboard and precisely slide your finger around on the TouchBar. Whereas on the non-TouchBar you could rely on finger memory to instantly and without disruption from looking at the keyboard adjust the volume.
I'm thinking I might be misunderstanding this part, but here's a few tips for you:
* Open Mission Control however you invoke it, top right corner there's a + button for adding a new Desktop. You can drag any windows you like into the new desktop or even force an entire app or multiple apps into that particular desktop.
* Hold down the fullscreen button in the title bar of any window, you'll have the option of dragging it to the left or the right. All the windows in the current desktop will go into expose on the other side and you can select one of them to take up the other half of the display. I use this for Mail and Calendar, or two browser windows, or sometimes a text window to take notes and whatever I'm reading on the other side.
Maybe I misunderstood you after all, but if I didn't, then I hope this helped.
I miss the Apple that did things like letting you right click a document's title bar to access its parent folders, or letting you drag that icon right off the window to manipulate it. They used to understand the principle of direct representation and manipulation. Not a single new OS X feature has made it worth upgrading in recent years.
Why? These aren't features that your average, every day pro users would ever need. You're complaining about discoverability for an advanced feature that maybe 10 or 20% of the user base will use.
I actually stuck with Snow Leopard on my personal (not work) laptop for many years, and well, I did a fair amount of work on it too so obviously it was good enough, before I upgraded to Sierra when I bought a new laptop, so I completely get where you're coming from on this.
That said, when we stop nitpicking every detail to death there's still a fair amount of flexibility in the OS, the window management now is light years ahead of where it was on Snow Leopard and the improvements that have accumulated over time while individually not a big deal, make for a really nice package. It was worth upgrading from Snow Leopard even though I was overall pretty happy with it.
Here's another little improvement that Apple made over the years. I am also a long-time Firefox user and one of the more irritating missing features of Firefox has been the lack of Dictionary panel support. In pretty much any Cocoa app you could look up a word from Dictionary.app in any content view and it would show in a nice panel. Not so with Firefox, because while theoretically possible to support, their priorities have always been elsewhere. Mac OS X integration just isn't a high priority for them, and I can live with that. I had an add-on that filled the gap, it didn't support the panel either, but it would send the word over to Dictionary.app which was good enough.
Turns out that at some point after Apple introduced multitouch trackpads they also added the ability to three-finger tap any word in any app and look it up, and it turns out that in spite of Firefox not really supporting the Dictionary panel, this will work just fine in Firefox. You just don't have it in the context menu.
The Services menu will also work just fine in Firefox now, you just don't have access to it from the Context menu (which also would have replaced my add-on just fine had I noticed this sooner).
There is a lot of depth and history to Mac OS X. Apple really only shows off and advertises the newest features, and there is no real user manual for anything, not one that is particularly useful. Apple could write one themselves and provide it free of charge in iBooks pushing delta updates whenever they update the operating system, but the system as a whole is much more flexible than you give it credit for and still retains those little features like being able to right click a document title and get the directory list. You can actually use a dark-themed menu bar now and create Tags in the Finder, and they haven't taken anything out like the Graphite Aqua color scheme I've always preferred.
Yeah they kind of shot themselves in the foot ditching the Software Update utility in favor of App Store updates, and the Mac App Store is trash that I avoid, but on the whole I would say Mac OS X today is much more useful to me than Mac OS X 10 years ago, even as the number of unique apps I've used has dwindled down to about nine or so, three of which are cross platform and all of which are replaceable. I could honestly replace my whole operating system with any BSD, 9front or MINIX at this point without losing anything too substantial, but I would lose a lot of the small touches and refinements that have built up over the years that I'm used to and comfortable with and there's no sign of those going away.
Thanks, I'm aware of these features. I was typing on my iPad in this small (non-resizable) comment field so was a bit short in explanation here. What I meant is that whenever I'm working inside a space, I don't want any other Space to interfere. So when I cmd+tab to an application, or click it in the dock, I want that app to open in the current Space, possibly spawning a new window.
But the inverse as well, say I have two Spaces each with a Safari window. When I cmd+tab to Safari, I want to open the most-recent used window (possibly switching Spaces), instead of opening the window on the current Space.
> Hold down the fullscreen button in the title bar of any window, you'll have the option of dragging it to the left or the right.
While a nice new feature, when working on my 27" iMac this isn't very useful to me. I usually switch between ~5 apps and having two full-screen doesn't fit my mental model. Maybe I still need to get used to it.
I think ideal for me would be:
1. If I am in a Desktop space (i.e. nothing is fullscreen), then ⌘⇥ ought to remain within the current space unless the app I am switching to is pinned to a particular space or the only instance of it is fullscreen. Switching to Firefox when the only extant window is on my other desktop should switch to the app without switching to my other Desktop space, that way I can open a fresh window. Clicking an http:// link should open a new window in the current space. Switching to NetNewsWire though should take me to the fullscreen app, for it is always fullscreen in its own space.
The reason for this is the whole point of Spaces for me is content separation. A web browser or file browser is a general purpose tool, I might have multiple windows of each open pointed to different resources related to different projects. I want to maintain that separation, and if I want to change what I'm working on, then I can do so through Mission Control without ⌘⇥ taking me out of Space I'm in. I want it to be an app switcher, not a Space switcher.
2. If I am in a fullscreen space, then ⌘⇥ should go to the most recent window of that app that I was looking at. If I was looking at a Firefox window in Desktop 2 and I have 3 fullscreen windows of Firefox and 5 more open windows in Desktop 1, then ⌘⇥ ⌘⇥ ⌘⇥ should toggle between that window, the fullscreen app, and then back to that window again.
#2 actually happens though, but #1 does not unless I keep a (often blank) Firefox window on all of my desktops, and then I have to do the same for each app that I would want that behavior. That is to say, Spaces needs some work, but for the most part apps that you click on in the Dock should launch in the Space you are in unless you have them pinned to a specific Space.
> While a nice new feature, when working on my 27" iMac this isn't very useful to me. I usually switch between ~5 apps and having two full-screen doesn't fit my mental model. Maybe I still need to get used to it.
It isn't for everyone, which is fine. Having my Mail and Calendar open side-by-side was something I picked up from a friend. He has the same setup except he has a multiple monitor setup with Mail and Calendar occupying the screen of his laptop. There's much to be said for not trying to incorporate each thing that exists on your system into your work if you simply have no place for it. It will be there if you need it.
> Not related to the TouchBar, but I don’t understand why Apple won’t improve on the Spaces feature. Why does it force me to use one space for an app.
Uhh, it doesn't? You can put multiple apps in a space.
Escape, slow as hell. Brushing the touchbar and bringing up the man app on some random argument, useless and annoying.
It’s gotten a lot better now that I’ve switched it from context to function keys, and am using an external keyboard 95% of the time.
It’s really my third favorite laptop to use in the house, behind a 2012 MBA and a Thinkpad t410.
It's bad enough that I have to disable tap-to-click (which I greatly preferred - much more elegant) and it still mis-clicks if I rest my hands on it.
I used to think the MBP trackpads were a cut above everything else - now they're too big and the palm rejection is not good enough.
The crazy thing is that the "full" click is entirely simulated. I don't use MBPs anymore but the only place I had to turn off that feature was there as well.
Plus the touchbar, though stupid and useless, does at least succeed in making all the other laptops look old and crappy now.
Not true. The new MacBook screens are LED backlit. The shining Apple would show through the display if they kept it and it literally offers nothing of value except a visual and a battery drain.
Aren't they already discontinued? I can't find them except (very rarely) in the refurbished store.
There isn't even an option to make it emulate a standard keyboard row of ESC & F-Keys permanently (with the alternative functionality when you hit Fn, like on a Magic Keyboard).
This "feature" alone has sealed the fate of Apple computer hardware for me. I will not buy another Mac until it has a full developer-level set of features and a full keyboard, one that doesn't cost $700 and five days to repair when it keeps breaking.
I literally don't use my MacBook Pros anymore (one personal, one work) without an external keyboard except when simply impossible. I will literally put a magic keyboard on top of the internal keyboard when that is the only option I have.
Look under keyboard preferences. You can set the default display for "control strip"
it would be bigger so they could keep the 'real' Esc key etc and avoid most of the problems people encountered
My Late 2013 15" MBP is starting to fall apart in its old age - its battery is broken, its feet are starting to come off, it's got a ding in the display... it's just barely sufferable, but not for much longer. At this point, I don't see myself replacing it with a Mac. There's nothing compelling about these Touchbar machines.
However, I'd buy this same machine again if they updated the processor (maybe one of those six core i9s that Intel just rolled out) and bumped the RAM to at least 32GB. More local storage would be nice-to-have, but these days I just don't have much locally on my laptop - it's all on NASes/Desktops. I don't care at all about Thunderbolt and probably can go another 5 years without caring too much about USB-C given how slow peripheral redesign cycles are now. So that's it. That's the only two (or three) upgrades I'd care about. All of the rest would be superfluous to me.
Sadly, I don't see that happening. I'll probably break down and replace the battery in this machine and try my damnest to ride this machine out of the decade...
You'll probably have to wait for Cannon Lake to do that; they're previously said they're not interested in using non-LP RAM in these.
> the Touch Bar still remains the useless shit and there is no hope Apple will fix it.
> The reason is simple — that's how you see your laptop 99% of the time:
This is exactly how I feel about the Touch Bar.
If it had been an additional row I would not have minded. I don't dislike sliders to change the volume and I would prefer to see track title there than as notification (notifications create a pavlovian response where I think they are alert for something important, so it is very unpleasant for me to see one popping up for play music).
However, since it is taking away the functions key that I use all the time and replace them with a screen, I strongly prefer using my 2015 MBP over the more recent one.
Exactly. I would have configured it to be blank, stay off, and remain off. Give me my physical ESC and F-keys.
For some software like Intellij IDEs, function keys are used very often. Since that where I spend 90% of my time on my work MBP; it makes the Touch Bar very painful.
ESC is still my top button there; but just getting it back would not be enough for me.
too much touch, not enough tactile
(Now, please please please don't do all of your programming on a MacBook).
I actually love the touch bar. I'm not in love with esc and f-keys not being physical but lots of the other stuff it does is pretty great. Like, the brightness and volume sliders he hates so much? I love them. Greatly prefer them over buttons. I've been developing on MacBooks for about 7 years now and I do almost no system configuration at all besides installing requisite apps. So yeah, I do love that developing on a Mac doesn't require me to configure it.
My takeaway is that most people probably DON'T do all that much configuring of their systems. But they aren't writing blog posts about how much they love their touch bars because there's no meat to that. It's not a useful article to write. But for people who do dislike the touch bar, this article is super useful to them.
Prior to the touchbar I simply wouldn’t use the Fn buttons ever. Now I actually use them.
First, you don't need to spend hours configuring the Touch Bar for it to be a functional machine, like you would trying to run Linux on a laptop... But some people do, because it's there. The Touch Bar works just fine without this article.
Second, having a myriad of workarounds for its problems is a positive not a negative. Everything has problems; I'll take the platform that has a myriad of workarounds over the one that has a handful.
Be my guest to use something else for all of your programming. I'll keep using my MacBook Pro.
Anyway, I don't mean to rag on anyone's preferred OS. More just taking an opportunity to grumble pointlessly about a particular unconvincing argument people like to use for it. (Unfortunately, that argument is convincing for the people who buy the hardware I have to put up with at work).
Also to remind people about ergonomics, because we mustn't forget these things. Please don't be too drawn to the shiny touchbar, it is still attached to a keyboard which encourages squishy hand position and which is attached to a screen that is not at eye level.
Also, those are characteristics of laptops... Not specifically Macs... And I do need a mobile computer...
But wait, this is not all you get, there is more. You can choose which desktop you want to run, you can install application software at the same moment, you can either start working or start tinkering, whatever fills your need or desire.
One thing you generally do not have to do: start tinkering around to get a working Escape key. OK, I said generally, those who bought a computer without one may have no other choice than to join the article writer in his quest for sanity.
Did I mention all this comes for free?
Did I mention this all comes without official support for a lot of commonly used software (Adobe Suite, Office Suite, etc)?
Probably not a good idea to try to make the argument that it's somehow easier to run Linux on some generic laptop than it is to run MacOS on a Mac...
Also... Being able to install software while doing other things is not a unique thing in 2018...
Also... The escape key works just fine out of the box. I can open my MacBook's box for the first time and be working in less than 20 minutes (and that's being very generous). That's simply not something you're doing with Linux.
As to whether you'll find commercial software (which seems to be what you're after) to your liking depends on what business you're in. If you're doing video production, animation, software development or engineering the chances of finding something are higher than when you're in graphic design. Do mind though that the non-commercial alternatives (e.g. Inkscape, Krita, etc) are often on par with the commercial offerings.
And yes... I actually do make the argument that running Linux is easier than running MacOS on a Mac. I don't say running it 'on a generic laptop' is easier, as said the choice is yours. I can install it anytime, any place where I have access to the 'net or happen to carry a USB stick with a distribution, on any supported hardware. I can run it as a live distribution on other hardware. I can run it on a Raspberry Pi, on a laptop, a server, you get the picture.
Try it for yourself, it actually works on Apple hardware. Don't believe what you hear from those who feel they need to defend their decision to invest in other platforms.
Doesn't having to write several paragraphs qualifying your previous statement make you question your position? Choosing the right hardware, being in the right industry, etc...
I'm also not just "[believing] what I hear". I've used Linux (and do pretty much everyday in some form) on multiple primary machines, and I also currently use my Mac.
Most of the time you choose a distro and desktop that fits you and then install for rest of the time. And in 2018 driver support is generally quite solid.
In System Preferences > Touchbar I manually added all the applications I normally use into the "always show Fn keys" mode, so now the touchbar basically always shows Esc and the Fn keys.
Then, add Apptivate to tie each Fn key to my most used apps (F1 = Finder, F2 = Slack, F3 = Chrome, F4 = Sublime, etc), and I can easily switch among my most used applications. It's not quite touch-typeable like with hardware fn keys, but close enough.
I briefly looked around for a utility but didn't find one, but basically my goal is this: a static touch bar that never changes, which switches to or launches a set of specified apps. Is that possible?
I really hope another company out there makes a superior laptop. Apple has too much of a monopoly on the dev laptop market, and they clearly don't have the competency to be trusted with it.
It's really sad that Lenovo for some reason refuses to make laptops that actually match the macbooks; they are either huge or lack a proper GPU. And others just aren't of comparable build quality in the first place.
Biggest advantage Macbooks have had until now in my opinion is the trackpad. Shouldn't be that tough for competitors to match.
Apple seem to be going out of their way to break the usability of their devices. All the Touch Bar seems to do (and the Apple guidelines themselves demand, which this article deliberately tears up) is replicate keyboard shortcuts. Things that most existing users have by now memorised. It creates a distraction and makes it harder to interact with your computer.
It's not just hardware, but software too - one thing that really stuck out at me in this article is this:
>Starting from MacOS High Sierra Play/Pause button globally controls the system sounds. It is not a problem on iPhone, but on Mac it controls every ad that pop-up with more priority than Spotify. You tap the button and don't understand, why it doesn't stop the music. Thanks, Apple. Very convinient.
Why would you do that? On every platform, the media keys control the current media player application. Opening it up to a web browser too is asking for exactly this kind of trouble - breaking the usability of media applications by something completely unrelated hooking into previous functionality.
The best reasoning I can come up with is the iPad. It's often touted that even your great-grandmother can pick up an iPad and learn to use email, Facebook and search for things online. That same person would panic (I know my grandmother does) if you ask her to try using a laptop. It seems like they're trying to market these phenominally expensive machines to a small subset in the hopes of turning them into a new market, at the great expense of their existing user base. Rather than an already heavily-marked-up iPad, they would reap the profits from even greater markup on their laptops, which the target market would use for exactly the same things as the tablet, but with a considerably greater repair bill when the cat accidentally knocks it off the table...
I got a 2014 Retina machine this year. That's usable. It has buttons. It has ports. It does exactly what it appears it will do. People would happily call me a dinosaur for rejecting the current lineup and getting one of these instead. Thankfully, I could not care less.
Here is what they could have done:
Right hand side: a regular power button that doubles as finger-print.
Left hand side: a regular esc key.
Replace F keys with a touch oled screen.
I could actually live with that.
Apple hardware isn't that amazing, and even if it is, who cares. "Build quality" is just an excuse to spend more money on a luxury designer laptop that is becoming more and more hostile to its end users.
I dont need a thinner laptop or a dumb touch bar or a"minimalist" os design. I need decent Docker impl and ports to plug my phone and monitor into and to not spend $3k on a computer with mediocre specs.
The OS everyone loves to harp on about isn't as revolutionary as people like to pretend. Windows has better Docker support and that is a huge win in my book. Also windows doesn't make me enter payment info when I'm trying to install tools I need to compile my code.
For a few years I worked for a consulting firm. The laptop I chose was a $500 Lenovo with a decent processor and 1080p screen. I bought 32 gigs of RAM and an SSD and upgraded it. The cost of a comparable Mac is laughable.
Installed Linux on it. Used it for years, never had any issues, even with external monitors. The thing is still running to this day, though now I have it sitting under my TV as a media PC.
Ctrl+cmd+q = lock screen. Display will dim/sleep shortly after that. (Found this out myself not too long ago, I think because of HN).
Incidentally, I just switched the touch bar to the standard function key display with fn switching to the buttons just like the keyboards of old. I found I almost never look at the touch bar and there's absolutely nothing I found that it added that I couldn't already do with the old setup. I hate that the escape key is no longer where it used to be (fully left-aligned). I also hate on the new keyboards that the left and right arrow keys are so big. I use the space on the smaller keys of my old keyboard as a tactile indicator of where my hands are (perhaps it's finally time for vim?).
I decided I'd rather have a larger degree of control over the machine I use for work, so I took the plunge and installed Linux on a ThinkPad. It took some tinkering, but I don't really miss anything from my Mac now. Also, I can finally run a proper tiling window manager!
One bit of feedback:
> RAM usage: Useless. In modern OS it's always nearly 100%. That's natural.
A good ram usage indicator is still really useful, and along with cpu and network usage it's one of the first things I install on any machine.
The issue is that your indicator needs to show you not just "how much is used vs free", which is indeed useless. It needs to show you the breakdown of wired, active, and inactive memory. This makes it clear when some app is starting to blow up and consume a huge amount.
I use https://member.ipmu.jp/yuji.tachikawa/MenuMetersElCapitan/
edit: on linux. I would assume Mac and even windows have enough granularity to distinguish.
And how often does that actually happen anymore, really? Yes, Chrome and friends are memory hogs, but a constant RAM indicator? If a MacBook (or any other device for that matter) starts swapping, you'll know right away.
I use iStat Menus for that stuff. Working without various monitors seems to me a lot like doing without speedometers and gas gauges.
Pretty often, especially if you open an app that decides to allocate a lot of memory very quickly (Xcode, VirtualBox) or when you switch to an app that causes a lot of memory to be swapped in.
Every few weeks to a few times a week depending what I'm working on/with.
> If a MacBook (or any other device for that matter) starts swapping, you'll know right away.
1. not necessarily, SSDs make swapping way less problematic than it used to be
2. ideally you want to nip the problematic process before it locks up the entire machine
I wish macOS had a built in TOTP system.
If that’s your threat model, move to a safer country. No authentication system in this class will protect against coercion and for 99.999999% of people the risk is much lower than the risk of not locking their device.
Not that I'm worried about someone pulling this spy operation on me but if my laptop is lost or stolen, I won't have the peace of mind.
Many people would consider an iPhone keyboard to be this…
The home button on the new iphones feels _weird_, almost as if there's this strange, unnatural delay to the click actually occurring. For something that purports to be "just like real life" it does a poor job.
The click on the mbp trackpads is not too bad though.
Honestly I'm not sure what problems people are generally having with it.
Seriously though, I don't look at my keyboard and therefore have no idea what is on touchbar at any moment. I am not offended as some by its existence, but I also don't find it useful except touchid bit.
Then tbh they could just fix the areas to make it cheaper, so it's always say 15 equally sized tactile button areas.
And further, they could really just skip the dynamic display bit and just put fixed labels on them such as F1...F12 and let the user remember what button does what.
They removed all ports, replaced keyboard with a noisy one that stops working unless you clean it daily, reduced battery life to make the thing a few millimeters thinner.
The touchbar is the worst part: a solution in search for a problem.
Source: I also made the switch to capslock-as-esc when I got the TB MBP and it made me decide to switch the keyboard on my other two macs as well.
I've been meaning to get the status line from Atom and have it displayed in the touchbar.
Anti-feature vs. anti-feature!
What with this, the mouse which cannot be used while charging, removing the headphone jack, AirPods &c., one wonders if Apple computers are made to be actually used or just win design awards.
I admire the author for finding ways to make the Touch Bar somewhat useful, but to me it's just too much work and just reminds me how stupid and ill conceived it is. When you remove useful things and replace them with useless crap, it will make people angry. Don't get me started with the port situation.
The best experience I've had is Fedora with Gnome. Red Hat employs many developers working on desktop Linux, and most of them are working on Fedora.
That being said, you'll have a better time with macOS if Photoshop is one of your requirements.
I think it's super useful to do this with any keyboard if you use vim.
Does anyone actually work with their laptop on their lap?
MacOS/OSX doesn't really have a history of using function keys, so pretty much the only software which does is stuff which was "ported" from other unices where relying on function keys is more standard.
Of course, your set can be completely different, we all have our preferences and there's nothing wrong with that.
Apple should ditch it entirely, or at least make it optional on all MacBook Pro models.
I enjoy having an Apple laptop to complement my Windows and Linux desktops, but if the touchpad doesn't go away by the time I decide not to wait any longer, I'll probably grab something else. Maybe a Chromebook with a replacement OS, maybe an Ubuntu or Fedora laptop. Probably not Windows as it's mainly for games and hobby game development for me. But whatever it is, it won't have a touchbar.
EDIT: In fact I didn't realize that it's significantly different spec wise to the 13 inch with touch bar. Only going to a 2.5Ghz base clock speed on the non-touch bar. And this is with only intel integrated graphics and a dual core cpu only, compared to the 15 inch models. This can be a big deal for anyone who wants to do even basic video editing or many other content creation type activities.
I've seen some fan renders where the trackpad is being used with the apple pencil, definitely something I could see apple doing.
Actually, this was introduced midway through macOS Sierra; https://developer.apple.com/documentation/mediaplayer is available in macOS 10.12.1+.
> Buttons rock. It's always faster to tap, not slide.
If you press Fn, the slider will go away and the "normal" function buttons will appear.
> I want to have instant access to Finder, anywhere. Default Touch Bar can't do that. Weird.
Why is this weird? Finder is always in the Dock for every user.
> E.g., the eyedropper tool, to take the hex color code from the screen.
/Application/Utilities/Digital Color Meter.app
> Standard Touch Bar will never support the most useful feature — to display the name of track playing.
Slide out Notification Center.
> Would be cool to display the name of the YouTube video on the Touch Bar, right?
> You have a script running once in 20 seconds, and praying it won't overload the CPU.
Don't do this. Use AppleScript to watch for changes, instead of polling.
> I decided to steal this feature and make the "coffee break" button. It locks the laptop and switches the screen off.
Press the power button.
Not offense, and I'm sure you enjoy your setup, but I really think it would do you well to learn a bit more about why your computer was designed that way rather than writing a rant online and spending time making it "just right".
EDIT: it looks like this comment is pretty controversial, since it's flip-flopping between ±5 points rapidly. Let me give a more detailed response.
Personally, I don't have a computer with a Touch Bar. I have, however, used one a borrowed one for a couple days. Personally, I would be fine switching (there are other issues with the MacBook Pro that are preventing me, but that's a story for another day).
I don't use the function keys that often, so I don't feel as if I'm "losing out" on them. Many of the supposed grievances that I normally hear are easily solvable ("oh, I didn't know I could control the volume slider without lifting my finger", "I didn't know I could add sleep to the Touch Bar"). Really, I think the main issue with the Touch Bar is people view it as a second screen rather than an extra set of controls as it's supposed to be. The Touch Bar is meant as a place to have surface extra controls that would be nice to have at your fingertips; what it is not is a place to show you data or be a Dock or menu bar or Notification Center or Activity Monitor. Why? Because you're not always looking down at it. There's no point putting any significant information there.
That being said, Touch Bar is not perfect, of course. It's a nice idea, but it could be improved if it provided more tactile feedback (e.g. haptic feedback, some sort of dynamic change in texture). And given that it's new, Apple's guidelines, while good, may end up changing as real-world usage influences them. Overall, though, I feel that much of the Touch Bar criticism is based on knee-jerk reactions or issues that are not difficult to resolve. Yes, there are some deeper issues, as I've outlined above, but I think the concept as a whole is interesting.
So, something that used to be a simple that could be done from muscle memory is now either (a) a slider that requires change of focus or (b) a multi-key combination which is totally the same thing as the thing you miss, and in summary, everything is fine.
> I really think it would do you well to learn a bit more about why your computer was designed that way
Maybe this highlights Apple's ostensible vs true value pitch these days:
Ostensible: "You aren't going to have to think about it too much because it just works."
Actual: "learn a bit more about why your computer was designed that way and we're sure you'll find that any complaints and frustrations are actually just wrong"
No. I only suggested the buttons because the author of this post thought that the slider was "bad". I don't buy their reasoning; you don't even have to look down to see the slider's progress because macOS will mirror it smack-dab in the middle of your display.
I really think that the author's complaints show that they really haven't been using macOS the way it's normally used. The Touch Bar is not your Notification Center. It's not your menu bar. It's not your Dock. It has a very clear purpose, and I feel that the author is just trying to give Touch Bar functionality that they wished it had because they just don't know about the other built-in features. My guess is that they haven't really used macOS (i.e. they're coming from another OS, and are used to what that provides), but take this with a grain of salt because I have no evidence to back it up.
Progress isn't the issue. Input is. To operate a slider, your pointer/finger needs to be where the handle is. The location of the handle is variable. The touchbar could potentially handle this smoothly by displaying sliders in such that they always appear with the handle underneath the finger, but this is not the behavior the touchbar was displaying when I tested it out -- sliders opened out to the side of the target you tap to open it, which means you then have to move your finger to the location of the handle, which requires a visual reorientation.
And none of this is an improvement on quick taps with well-defined change increments for stuff like adjusting brightness and volume. Not to mention the value of tactile feedback.
> To operate a slider, your pointer/finger needs to be where the handle is. The location of the handle is variable. The touchbar could potentially handle this smoothly by displaying sliders in such that they always appear with the handle underneath the finger, but this is not the behavior the touchbar was displaying when I tested it out -- sliders opened out to the side of the target you tap to open it, which means you then have to move your finger to the location of the handle, which requires a visual reorientation.
The location of the slider actually does not change, interestingly. What actually happens is the touch target for the slider changes to include your original tap point when you tap it, even if it shifts visually. This means all you have to do is slide, and this works even from the original location.
This is an improvement over the choice I thought they'd made, but it's an improvement in utility alone, and also even more of a headscratcher of a choice when it comes to the UI. It means they realized you want the handle right where the touchdown happens, so they can't plead ignorance, but they chose to have the in-touchbar visualization the user is interacting with appear elsewhere. It's not just non-obvious and therefore a failure of spreading the news, it's actually misdirection. Not having any visual feedback in the touchbar at all would have been better UX. As you pointed out earlier, the screen does fine for independent visualizations.
Interesting, it's got a lot in common with one of the complaints around the escape key -- the actual touchable area is different than the outlined area (which is positioned farther in from the keyboard than it's historically been).
Laptops have long had a display surface and a touch surface. If marrying them is worth experimenting with, getting the visual feedback connected with touches correctly is a crucial idea.
Where is this power button? I've been searching for it since I got this laptop.
Edit: Wow thanks, don't know how I missed that.
Open the lid.
> leaving you with zero feedback when you start the laptop for an eternity
1. Startup doesn't take long.
2. There's a progress bar when booting.
> knee-jerk reactions
Anyone who doesn't like the Touch Bar is ipso facto deluded and/or irrational. Fantastic.
My main means of input to my computers is touch-typing on a keyboard. I never look at it (I already have a peripheral for looking at: a screen!). Replacing an entire row of keys with a miniature screen would represent a fairly profound change to how I operate a machine I use for 5-8 hours day, for no benefit.
Furthermore the application I use for 50-70% of that time is IntelliJ Idea, with tweaked default keybindings. I probably hit F keys hundreds of times a day. I would need to either do some substantial keybinding remapping, or start using part of my keyboard as a mini-screen.
I don't either like or dislike the Touch Bar. I just have no interest in it, as it makes the new MB Pros quite irrelevant to my professional requirements.
You're putting words in my mouth. The root issue is just a lack of information; there's nothing wrong with the people themselves as you're trying to claim.
> My main means of input to my computers is touch-typing on a keyboard. I never look at it (I already have a peripheral for looking at: a screen!).
I agree, partially. When you're using the keyboard you're not looking at it, and for the most part that's also true for the Touch Bar. When you're doing something with the function keys or escape, you don't have to look down, since those are always in the right place. Even some with dialogs fit into this category. You do, however, look down when you're trying to perform some annoying operation that the Touch Bar surfaces easily.
> Furthermore the application I use for 50-70% of that time is IntelliJ Idea, with tweaked default keybindings. I probably hit F keys hundreds of times a day. I would need to either do some substantial keybinding remapping, or start using part of my keyboard as a mini-screen.
I'd make the argument that using the function keys as shortcuts is not the idiomatic way to use macOS, which relies heavily on the modifiers at the bottom of the keyboard, but I get that this is a weak argument since it requires you to change your behavior. Ideally Idea would just ship with nice shortcuts…
> I don't either like or dislike the Touch Bar.
My comment may have come off as a resounding plaudit for the Touch Bar; it is nothing but. I'm also not completely sold on it; I really think it needs to be improved so that it's more useful. However, I do think it's an interesting direction to go in, and as it currently stands, I'm slightly in favor of having it instead of function keys.
In older macbooks I've used, this also would put the system into suspend mode. That's fine, but it would also disconnect any terminals on remote systems because the system would no longer be on. Is this still the case or has that changed recently? For a coffee break button I wouldn't want to have to reconnect to everything I was working on before, or have to worry about any long running processes (say ML training, copying a file, etc.) that were going on when i'm just walking away for two minutes to fill my water up.
Could you provide more info about this, or even better, an actionable code example?
I'd much rather put time in a decent Linux desktop. You don't need neuromancer-syle cyberpunk interfaces to make a really nice Linux system. And you can pretty much do whatever you want, rather than have to break Apple's "standards" for something that doesn't resemble brushed aluminum dogshit.
(psst, look at username. I'm even somewhat OK with Windows, given some of my 3d design workflow is there. My last job was a linux shop with Macs.. Hated the macs every second.)