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Sampler for Mac Touchbars (synthtopia.com)
376 points by anigbrowl 28 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 195 comments



I guess this HN post will inevitably turn into about the MacBook Touch Bar, so I would like to contribute my opinion on this:

I've said this multiple times here now, but the Touch Bar is really a joy to use and very useful if you're not the person who's always using only Vim. My personal feeling is that the people who dislike the Touch Bar heard the bad things about it, tried it for a time and two, decided that it's not something good, and spreading the word.

Text suggestion is super useful, the emoji selector is useful very much, text formatting controls are very useful, debugging controls are super useful (and much superior than fn keys), moving between tabs are super useful, etc... Really I can't understand all of the hate that the Touch Bar gets on HN.

And yes, you can touch-type on the Touch Bar, it's not context-sensitive enough to develop muscle memory. You can just reach out your finger from your keyboard without seeing when you're using a particular app. You get muscle memory on how to trash the files on the Finder, comment out a line or rename a variable in Xcode, control display or volumes, move between videos... (And you can type esc super-reliably without looking at all, so really 'You can't use Vim with the Touch Bar' is a bit exaggerated.)

One tip for all of the Touch Bar MBP users - you might want to install the app HapticKey[0], which is a very super useful app that provides haptic feedback on every Touch Bar touch. I consider this the biggest mistake on Apple's part - with haptic feedback it's much easier to develop muscle memory (although I did develop muscle memory without this app too).

[0]: https://github.com/niw/HapticKey - or you might like 'brew cask install haptickey'.


I never comment, and I appreciate your view, but suffice it to say that I hate the Touch Bar enough that your comment has spurred me to post.

My company-issued laptop has a Touch Bar, and I can only imagine that it was invented and distributed by some kind of malicious clique of saboteurs within Apple who hate both (1) users and (2) Apple and want both to fail.

Brushing the Touch Bar accidentally with a finger leads Siri to interrupt me, silencing whatever video call I'm on or music I'm listening to. Instead of being able to adjust the volume manually or pause what I'm listening to with a key that I can press without looking, I have to flatten and retract my hands, peer down at the touchbar, and then poke through several options just in order to do a simple operation, all the while terrified that Siri will interrupt me.


You can remove Siri from the touchbar, which I've done on my own Macbook. But I otherwise still trip over the touchbar enough that I always have to have it in the back of my mind, just a bit.

I've been using the touchbar for over a year now, and I still find that I get nothing out of it that physical keys couldn't have done better. I like that I can figure out which keys are for volume or brightness without having to look down. I need that at night when I'm playing something on my laptop but I want to gradually lower the volume and brightness without my contacts in or my eyes shut. If my personal Macbook had a touchbar, I could never do that reliably.

It sort of baffles me why they went with a touch bar and not with keys that have OLED in them that are easily tweakable. Or how about add some bumps to it so that my finger can know where it is without me looking?

No. It's got to be a flat bar.


I recently learned that if you tap the volume + or - and just start dragging left/right the volume will adjust. I used to think you had to tap then grab/slide but that is not the case. Made a difference to me anyway.


You can also (at least in Big Sur) tap and swipe right/left quickly and let go right after and it'll bump up/down the vol/brightness 1 bar, depending what icon you tap and swipe on. If the brightness/vol expands then you've held it down too long.

I do wish Apple would improve media controls on the Mac in general (and touchbar). So often the media icon just doesn't show (e.g. Spotify), or I've had several media apps running and macOS gets confused and the media icons no longer do anything for what's currently playing. It's soo buggy.


That's a nice trick, thank you! Although even knowing _what_ I had to do, I only managed to learn this after couple tries.


I think it has worked that way since day 1. At least I was using it on Mojave


I don't mean to pick on you in particular, but I continue to be flabbergasted by the number of people who claim to suffer from the presence of the default touchbar interface.

MTMR (My Touchbar My Rules) took me all of 15 minutes to install and configure to my liking. Then another few minutes to tweak it (adding brightness and volume buttons on either side of their respective sliders) when I realized I wanted both control mechanisms available.

In the time it takes to complain about the default config you could have fixed 100% of the things about it that bother you.


Unfortunately, my touchbar removed my escape key. Yes, I took a few minutes and remapped the caps-lock key to escape - but, I now have a single mb that has a different key configuration than every other mb and mac keyboard that I use.

This is a perfect example of why Apple is cool at reimagining and reengineering, but it is not an enterprise company. That may not matter to some, but it does to many.


Not to belabor the point, but you could easily configure the touchbar to put an esc key in the top-left corner.


Thank you.

The tb came that way, but it wasn't correct in placement or how many it had to be touched when the tb was dark. The tb isn't good for programmers when quickly typing text. It's also a complete change for changing volume quickly. This comes into play when switching multiple times every day between full volume meetings on headphones and full or medium volume on speakers. The tb doesn't act the same as original keys just by adding virtual keys.

Yes, these are first-world problems, but this was completly needless and makes the keyboard less useful than all of the other mac keyboard I use daily. It's like Apple thinks that people have one and only one computer they ever use.


I hear you, but - again - using a tool like MTMR allows you to create a huge, persistent esc key in the top left corner, and volume and brightness sliders and buttons, etc.


I'd recommend removing Siri (or just disabling it entirely if you don't use it) if you're activating by mistake.

Also with volume/brightness you can press and slide instead of tapping and then adjusting. Hope that helps!


How do you remove it? I have it always disabled but still run into the parent's problem that I'll randomly touch the stupid Siri button...


When Finder is active click on the View menu, press the option key and select "Customize Control Strip", then you can just mouse down to the touchbar and remove the Siri button.


In Preferences under the keyboard settings you can customize the placement and presence of every single button on the TouchBar. Preferences also lets you disable Siri


Also you can make shortcut for "Customize Control Bar...", it helps to quickly adjust Touch Bar in new program or for experimenting


If you often listen to music/watch videos and need to adjust the volume, have you thought about adding a physical volume knob? Something like this: https://www.droking.com/USB-Controller-USB-Volume-Audio-Adju...


I want to get something like that, but designed well with media keys and separate vol/mic sliders for specific apps. Like Discord.


Jesus christ


Just remove Siri from the TouchBar then?


I’ve removed every control besides volume and mute... and I still accidentally brush them every now and then. The Touch Bar is way too sensitive.


If the Touch Bar was adjustable sensitive to force, it would be almost perfect in my book. My biggest objection to it is that it establishes a different UX between laptop and desktop.


Yeah the only time I notice it is when I brush the mute which is a key I rarely want to hit. Also when I want to hit escape I often miss because it is oddly indented.


The escape button is actually quite large. At least on my 2018 MBP, the whole empty left also acts as the escape button so no need to try and hit the escape in the middle of the label.


I used to have this, that I could tap anywhere on and to the left of the esc touch button and it would trigger esc. But after one of the OS updates (i forget which) it stopped working, now I have to hit the etc touch button, if I hit the blank aria to the left, nothing happens anymore. It bugs me so much!

Just curious, what OS version are you using? I'm on Big Sur (but same issue in Catalina). I've got the 2017 MBP 15"

EDIT: I should add, I mean that I could hit the far left blank aria of the touch bar any time in any touchbar mode and it would trigger the esc action. They "fixed" that in an update. I can still press to the left of the esc and trigger esc when the esc button is visible. But often I'll have spotify touch bar "app" open and the esc key won't show, so I have to close the app just to access the esc key, super annoying.


This is the wrong audience to ask about the touch bar, however there is an entire population of computer users out there for whom standard function keys are less than useless.

>About 90 per cent of computer users don't use CTRL-F to search for a word - as they don't know such a keyboard shortcut exists, a Google survey found. The results stunned Google's Uber Tech Lead for Search Quality and User Happiness, Dan Russell.

"I think we just all assume that we all know it, but no one actually does."

https://www.smh.com.au/technology/only-one-in-10-know-what-c...

For the 90% of users who don't know that Ctrl-F is find, having a row of contextual command icons for the foreground program instead of a row of useless function keys is a step up.

I think they should just continue to make standard function keys available for the minority of users who find them important to their own workflow.


So put the Touch Bar on the MacBook Air for non pro users, and the function keys for pro users. They put the training wheels on the Ferrari.


Developers that use Vim aren't the only "pro users" to exist.


The Macbook Pro is a "professional" tool in the same way you can buy "professional" hair straighteners: It's the same thing, but a bit better for a bit more money.

True professional-only tools are things like Jira and Oracle Financials, and you can recognise them because the users hate them.


I always wondered why we don't have keys for Copy and Paste.

We have "Print Screen", which is a function I don't use that often.

(Not a Mac user, so I'm talking about regular PC keyboards).

In the old days I had a Sun workstation with Copy and Paste keys.


Up until the very early 1990s, computer keyboards had a place to position a cardboard (or sometimes plastic) strip, documenting the meaning of the function keys.

The computer (or OS) might come with one, but commercial software would also include a cardboard strip in the box, along with the manuals.

Many examples: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/shift-happens/issues/as-clos...


It's like upvoting is not enough, here. I've witnessed that some users love their Macbooks' Touchbars, at the same time I'm surprised so few users recourse to these extremely low tech tricks. Just like the camera cover thing that's also trending on HN best: pen and paper and other thing just (almost) anyone can use can still benefit proper use of rocket tech :)

edit: Plus thanks for the link! I've not read the article but the pics are great up to the end! So much inventivity on how to upgrade bona fide keyboards with relatively low tech all through computer history!


I should also take advantage of the occasion to mention that I find it a pity that we don't use keyboard keys as 101 complementary buttons for the mouse/trackpad :D


On the one hand, that's entertaining and it's easy to laugh at people who don't know those shortcuts. On the other hand: to this day I don't know if iOS Mobile Safari supports finding text on a page.


Select the address bar, and start typing. At the bottom of the search results it will say “on this page”


> My personal feeling is that the people who dislike the Touch Bar heard the bad things about it, tried it for a time and two, decided that it's not something good, and spreading the word.

That's a very roundabout way of saying "people tried it, hate it, and told others: UNFAIR." In essence that argument can be used to dismiss anyone who dislikes the Touch Bar because they MIGHT have read something negative about it at some point, and therefore have been corrupted from forming their own first-hand opinion (???).

I'd love to ignore the Touch Bar, but since they stole the F key row for it, I cannot. I am forced to use it to interact with software that once worked fine. Since there's no physical feedback, and the virtual keys aren't correctly aligned with the physical ones: it is a frustration. At least we regained the escape key.

As to why I don't actively use it: I look at the screen, not the top of my hands. The content is on the screen, if you can touch type you shouldn't ever be looking down, so the Touch Bar is an anti-feature put in completely the wrong location (i.e. above the keyboard, instead under the screen) for people who struggle to type.


I think he just means some people just spend little time with it, and with whatever reason, maybe it cannot enhance their productivity like their trusty automated scripts or keyboard macro - said aloud that it sucks. Honestly, the most loudest voice against Touchbar is usually us geeky people and not really general users.

I think the touchbar is superb for general non-techie users who are not keyboard shortcut wiz, and there are A LOT of them.

The thing I found sad is the lack of push from Apple, to make it more useful and versatile. It's nearly the same since its inception. People have to rely on 3rd party app, say, BetterTouchTool(which is excellent) to make Touchbar more useful.


> That's a very roundabout way of saying "people tried it, hate it, and told others: UNFAIR."

Hmm, I'm not a native English speaker so I might have not exactly conveyed my intentions. I'm definitely not trying to argue that other people are unfair, but more just that people should try it out a bit more.

> I'd love to ignore the Touch Bar, but since they stole the F key row for it, I cannot.

I'm genuinely curious about this F-keys every time I write about the Touch Bar - I've never encountered use for those keys that are really useful.

> Since there's no physical feedback

Yeah, that part I agree. If you're still suffering about it (regardless whether you use Touch Bar regularly or not), you might want the HapticKey app that I've mentioned it previously.

> The content is on the screen, if you can touch type you shouldn't ever be looking down

Well, because the Touch Bar's layout is pretty stable, I find that I can touch-type the Touch Bar without looking down the screen. It becomes muscle memory, just like a usual keyboard.


> I've never encountered use for those keys that are really useful.

There are some very common operations across apps (Linux/Windows) that I use all the time and can be stabbed without thinking:

F2 - rename

F5 - refresh

F11 - fullscreen

If you are programmer then it's kind of essential during debugging:

F5 - run / continue

F9 - insert breakpoint

F10 - step over

F11 - step in

Not having physical keys for navigating would be a nightmare.


Well, aren't that basically the use case for the Touch Bar?

I've never used any of them you've listed (except for F5-refresh, which I avoid and use Cmd-R). The fn-keys are as context-dependent as the Touch Bar and it's even more opaque than what it does just by glancing the buttons.

For debug tools, Xcode unfortunately doesn't provide Touch Bar buttons for them (which I think is a pity), but IntelliJ IDEA seems to be providing them.

With this example I'm firmly thinking that having fn-keys just for the sake of people who do know a bit of key shortcuts would be a nightmare.


I think it was a good idea to rethink function keys it's just that for their current uses, the touch bar is worse. Things like steering a debugger is an eyes-on-the-road activity benefiting strongly from physical keys.

I would be much more supportive of ideas like "keys with displays" or a non-interactive strip to act as labels. What I dream of is physical pixels for tactile displays or a fleet of magnetic microbots that can swarm together to form switches, knobs and sliders at will.


I hear you.

However, there's also a class of users that _do not look at the keyboard_ (if only, for very specific complex actions which only require lookup and execution, not reflexion).

For this class of people at least, the _visual_ touch bar introduces an uncontrolled* modal change to the keyboard which is a true nature change of the role and expectations one can have of the keyboard.

That, in turn, may be a good enough reason to be very frustratred with it, and not use it at all.

As for me, I'm happy for, although I don't understand, people that appreciate the touch bar. And I don't use it. And I expect to get my next laptop without one.

* uncontrolled, because not triggered by the user.


Yeah! If they were to have a Touch Bar, put it at the bottom of the screen. You are already looking at the screen. Keyboard is for keying, screen is for looking. It would have been cheaper to make, instead of having two screens. They were really proud that they could angle the pixels on the Touch Bar to face the user. THE SCREEN IS ALREADY FACING THE USER!!! Anyway, I still wouldn’t use it :)


> My personal feeling is that the people who dislike the Touch Bar heard the bad things about it, tried it for a time and two, decided that it's not something good, and spreading the word.

Well then your personal feeling is really an untested assumption masquerading as a feeling.

I'm a long-time developer, and more recently, a designer of interfaces and graphics. Aside from my 20 years of muscle memory with vim, the primary reason I hate the Touch Bar is the same reason I hate touch screens in cars: if I have to look away from where I'm supposed to be looking because my controls provide no physical feedback, then that's a design failure. If you're going to provide this as an unobtrusive addition to the current features, then super... but they replaced standard functionality with something that was worse in many ways, and kinda neat in other, much less important ways. Much like when they suddenly replaced Google Maps on iPhones with Apple Maps before Google had their iOS app ready. Apple Maps had a much-touted gimmicky 3d flyover feature, but the users lost street view, transit, and bicycle directions and the directions themselves were significantly worse. Sure, it looked cool and the flyover feature was really neat... but who gives a damn if you're losing core functionality.

Within months of having my first MacBook Pro, I could turn the volume up and down and mute the audio without looking. Same with the screen brightness... I can't do that anymore. Not only that, but the interface for changing the volume— a core system function— changes depending on the current application's context, making me have to hunt for it. Maybe you don't run up against that, but it's inexcusably poor design.

In addition, the Touch Bar isn't big enough to be useful for any serious professional use in media editing apps, which seems to be what it was originally designed for. I can't use it to easily scrub through video clips with any precision, or large amounts of pictures, or anything like that. Sure, it might be a nice-to-have for a less intensive user, but it's certainly not a PROfessional tool for my MacBook PRO.

On top of that, it's totally useless for accessibility, it's easy to accidentally touch and do something unintended, and makes simple tap-n-times motions into awkward tap, wait, drag motions.

All set. Throw it away. Give me my buttons back.


> Well then your personal feeling is really an untested assumption masquerading as a feeling.

I felt this 'tried it for a time and too, decided that it's not something good, and spreading the word' from your comment. Maybe it's not, but the content doesn't really suggest you've used the Touch Bar more than a few times.

> Within months of having my first MacBook Pro, I could turn the volume up and down and mute the audio without looking. Same with the screen brightness... I can't do that anymore. Not only that, but the interface for changing the volume— a core system function— changes depending on the current application's context, making me have to hunt for it. Maybe you don't run up against that, but it's inexcusably poor design.

I can, my friends that use the MBP can, and even friends that don't have an MBP but occasionally use mine also don't need to look to control the volumes or brightness. I can't buy that argument.

Also, in it's default state the buttons are always displayed in the same place - I can't understand about your argument about context-sensitive core system functions, as that's the reason why the control strip is there in the right.

(And usually apps that use the Touch Bar strikes the right balance on context sensitivity - you can expect the same functionality on the same place if you're using the same app, or doing the same action, like text editing.)

> In addition, the Touch Bar isn't big enough to be useful for any serious professional use in media editing apps, which seems to be what it was originally designed for.

> it's certainly not a PROfessional tool for my MacBook PRO.

It's big enough to provide shortcuts that allow professionals to be more productive in apps that the user thoroughly knows in-and-out. That's it's purpose, and media professionals as well as programmers can use it very usefully.

> it's totally useless for accessibility,

Why?

> it's easy to accidentally touch and do something unintended,

I've personally found that's not the case, but well I'm seeing others that also feel like this so...

> and makes simple tap-n-times motions into awkward tap, wait, drag motions.

I can't find any example where that's the case - I've never seen an Touch Bar action that need a tap-wait-drag. It's usually drag on the button or just a tap, or two successive taps if you're doing something relatively complex like setting the color of selected text or something.


I accidentally tap it all the time. All it takes is a key press that’s slightly too high and the edge of my finger grazes the Touch Bar and BAM whatever shortcut was there runs.

I wanted to like the Touch Bar. I actually did for the first two weeks. Then I slowly grew to hate it once I realized I accidentally touched it more than intentionally.


Can it be disabled completely?

I know I'd miss the F keys, but since you don't have them anyway...


You can turn on F keys for displaying in Touch Bar


I never accidentally tap the Touch Bar. I guess I’m perfect


I agree. Shameless plug, but I made a small utility that I use everyday. It let's you create a few handy shortcuts that you can use to paste text.

https://github.com/thomas-alrek/TouchMemes/


I despised the early incarnation of the TouchBar. I live in Vim, and while I use a 'jj' binding for most Esc scenarios, I still need an actual Escape key. Beyond that, I had three brand-new MacBooks die in the first year with TouchBar failures. It also coincided with the disastrous new keyboard (multiple failures there too). It was enough to make me buy a ThinkPad and swear off literally all Apple products for a few years.

My new job just sent me a new MacBook, and I was dreading it. I'm happy to report that it has a physical Escape key (smaller and imperfect, but sufficient), and the keyboard feels better overall. I still don't want the TouchBar, and still get no use out of it, but it no longer enrages me. I'm open to accepting and even embracing it if I ever see a good use case. One thing that continues to bother me is that it changes as I'm typing, and I don't want that. But I can see a path for apps to use it in a positive way.


ctrl-[ can also be used as escape (I think escape sends that control sequence in the terminal).

With caps-lock mapped to ctrl, typing it is not too far off from the home-row.


I mapped caps lock to escape.


I have 20+ years of muscle memory that pushes my pinky into that upper-left-hand corner. No way that's going to change.


If you want to try it, grab https://karabiner-elements.pqrs.org/

Activate the complex modification called "Change caps_lock to control if pressed with other keys, to escape if pressed alone".

Now you have a capslock key that doubles as control and escape and your pinky can begin recovering from the decades of abuse.


That's where Control belongs!


FYI there are various utilities (Hammerspoon and Karabiner Elements, off the top of my head) that can make caps lock act as escape if pressed and released, control if used in conjunction with other keys. This took some getting used to, but thanks to the Touch Bar, I got used to it and now I find it invaluable. YMMV of course.


I agree with both of you :)

https://karabiner-elements.pqrs.org/ has an option that maps caps lock to control when press in conjunction with another key and as escape when pressed alone


Thank you!


> [0]: https://github.com/niw/HapticKey - or you might like 'brew cask install haptickey'.

This is great, thanks for posting.


The touch bar is too sensitive. When just slighly brushing over it activates it then it is useless. Those are keys. And when I want to backspace and accidentically start some other action then this is a design flaw.

It needs to have a force touch, so that just hovering or touching it won't activate it. you need to press down. Until this is implemented the whole touch bar is just annoying.

Oh and when you need to use BetterTouchTool to actually make the touch bar useful then something is really wrong.

Alos use th same too to map fn+<> for volume up down and other things. just because looking for that on the touch bar is just ... stupid.


" My personal feeling is that the people who dislike the Touch Bar heard the bad things about it, tried it for a time and two, decided that it's not something good, and spreading the word."

I have tried to for two years and still find it useless...

With Better Touch Tool I have basically recreated the old Fn key layout and now it's half-ways bearable. If they at least hadn't made it pure touch but something with resistance I wouldn't constantly hit it by accident...


Thanks for this contrary opinion. :) I have been using a Touch Bar MBP for about 18 months. I have my Touch Bar configured for function keys all the time. I touch type fairly quickly, so I rarely look at the keyboard. I spend all day in the terminal, Emacs, Vim, or my browser (which I navigate using the Vimium extension). Unlike you, I run into problems with the Touch Bar on a daily basis:

* I still hit the function keys at least a half dozen times a day by accident.

* I still manage to not register fast key presses to the Touch Bar at least half a dozen times a day by accident.

* About once a month, it seems, the Touch Bar gets stuck on its volume or brightness widget. Previously the only way I found to fix this was to reboot. Last night I may have discovered that touching other, seemingly blank parts of the Bar may get it out of this state, so at least the Touch Bar may no longer force me to reboot.

Text completion on my laptop usually slows me down, but in any case, my editor offers that for me inline, without me having to look down at the keyboard. I know all the shortcuts to delete files in Finder, comment out lines, rename variables, control volumes, change tabs, and control text formatting.

All this is to say that I guess I am not the target demographic for the Touch Bar—and, since all the new MBPs seem to have it, I guess I'm no longer the demographic for the MacBook Pro? I am inclined to agree with the comment from 'GeekyBear that I am probably in the vast minority of users, and most people will find use for the Touch Bar.

I am glad you find the Touch Bar useful. For my part, I hate it, and it's one factor that's got me looking for the exits on macOS.

I would like to second your suggestion to add haptic feedback to the Touch Bar. I use BetterTouchTool for this, and it helps me to know when I have accidentally hit the Touch Bar.

Also, I hate the Touch Bar, but Sampler looks really cool.


Interestingly enough, my experience has been the opposite. I liked the concept of the Touch Bar at first, then got one with a new macbook. I liked it at first, but the more I use it, the more I hate it. Yes I spent time using it, yes I customized its icons, yes, yes, yes. It's been more than 2 years I use it all day long. My next macbook will be the Air one, just so I don't have to use the Touch Bar again.

And I'm not even using F keys on regular keyboards.


> My next macbook will be the Air one

Beware of overheating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IULkXAHjL_s


For me it's not Vim (remapped caps lock to ESC, plus newer MBPs have a physical ESC key again), it's JetBrains.

The number of frequent operations that use F-keys makes the touch bar a truly frustrating experience.

I switched to a Matias keyboard to avoid the touch bar. An added benefit is their placement of the fn key, which is really nice if you use various OSes.


As a guy that started to use vim since 15-year-old and use it all the time, touchbar is still a joy to use. It took me less than half an hour to get used to the virtual esc and I hardly fail to press it correctly. iterm2's support of touchbar is charming and helps a lot even when using vim


I love the touch bar.

I did find I had to customise the Firefox touchbar shortcuts so I don't brush them accidentally.

But I love things like how VS.Code puts common shortcuts as buttons instead of trying to make me remember them. I have better things to do with my memory than remember keyboard shortcuts.


> I have better things to do with my memory than remember keyboard shortcuts.

Actually you can memorize unlimited number of shortcuts. I remember roughly 500 shortcuts for different programs and OS, it's just a matter of time. As touch typing, this investment pays off very satisfactory over time


Easily explained: It's a keyboard, not a screen. I don't look at the keyboard when I use a computer, so a random, context-sensitive action which occurs when I randomly miss the number keys is extremely distressing.


It's neither, and both.


the emoji selector, yes. everything else you’ve said is downright wrong. all of those are better with keyboard shortcuts and fn keys are better than the touchbar for that.

i specifically want to call out moving between tabs. in absolutely no way is the touchbar better than keyboard shortcuts. there is one app where it might be better: safari. because they chose such poor shortcut for switching tabs.

i guess there is one more good use case. if you allocated rarely used and hard to locate MS word buttons to the toolbar, that might be perhaps better than monkeying with the ribbon.

i have a streamdeck i use for IDE shortcuts. it’s far far better than the touchbar.


I like it so much that I want an Apple Keyboard with it. I hope that happens one day.


As a result of the touchbar I changed caps lock to escape so I could keep using vi. I now make that change on Linux too. Never missed capslock.


I use Vim and I still like the touchbar. lol


For Vim use, I map caps lock to esc. This is built into osX under settings -> keyboard -> Modifier Keys...


Touch Bar is great for sliding, but terrible for button presses as it often rejects very quick button presses and of course you can't use it by feel.

90% of what I want out of the Touch Bar is the ability to slide up/down brightness or volume. For some reason they don't implement it that way - its either a double action of tapping to open sliders then sliding, or buttons that take several taps to adjust how I like.

Maybe my use cases are crazy... I just don't get it though. Glad to see someone trying to use it for what it offers.


I don't understand why anyone would prefer a volume slider to discrete up/down buttons. I almost never want to quickly slide to a specific volume, it's always "this is a little too loud" or "I didn't quite hear that."

The action I want is a quick relative tick up or down, then listen again to see if the improvement is adequate, then repeat as necessary until it's perfect.

Sliders are good for quickly moving by a large amount to a rough absolute position. But they're utter crap for fine adjustment.

Am I the only one who gets infuriated when trying to get to the exact spot I want by rolling my finger ever so slightly to get a slider to move by half a pixel? It takes forever and it gives you RSI!


>I don't understand why anyone would prefer a volume slider to discrete up/down buttons

Blows my mind how an interface I can operate with my eyes closed on touch alone would ever be considered inferior to one I actually have to engage directly with with and change modes to access sliders.


You can 'flick' the volume or brightness button on the Touch Bar to the left or right to turn down/up respectively. It even works holding down Shift+Option to enable more fine control of either.


> It even works holding down Shift+Option to enable more fine control

So now I need to use two hands and look at the control to use it when the previous worked fine one handed on touch alone.


Fine grained control (+0.1 "dots") still required two hands before I think?


Can be done one handed (opt+shift+vol) but it wasn't needed to fix inaccuracy in the default interface as the post I replied to suggested


I missed Shift+Option fine control and didn't know that. Thank you!


> they're utter crap for fine adjustment

I think if you'd make this suggestion to audio engineers they'd throw their consoles at you


Sorry, I specifically meant touch sliders, not physical sliders, and especially not physical sliders with nicely tuned damped physical resistance like on expensive audio equipment.


> I don't understand why anyone would prefer a volume slider to discrete up/down buttons. I almost never want to quickly slide to a specific volume, it's always "this is a little too loud" or "I didn't quite hear that."

Have you actually used the slider to get used to it? It requires a significant-ish slide to increase/decrease a full dot. And by significant-ish I mean it is easy to adjust it less than one dot.

That being said I used to think the same until I got used to it, I slide more than a few dots up and down all the time. I would not want to go back to taptaptaptap.


Sometimes I just want to do a slow fade to set the mood you know...


You can tap and immediately slide without lifting your finger to do that! I feel the same way and this is the closest thing the touchbar has to a killer feature.


I can just tap/hold F1 and F2 to control brightness, and same for F11/F12 for volume. Isn't it more effort to tap the correct spot on a touch screen and slide than simply press a key?


That's personal preference! I've found the sliding to be faster and more precise in my day to day usage but I wouldn't expect everyone to feel the same way.


maybe i am misunderstanding you but to change the volume, or brightness sliders, you don't need to lift your finger to adjust the slider. Once you click the volume button you can slide your finger without ever picking it up. only realized it myself after a friends told me - it never seemed that obvious


Yeah volume and brightness are just a press, hold for a split second, slide. I must be in the minority, I figured it out immediately and have used the Touch Bar quite extensively. It’s especially useful for presentations. Control spotify, volume, and switch slides back and forth all in one interface without leaving the presenter view.


Try Better Touch Tool-Golden Chaos. 3 finger slide does screen brightness, 2 finger slide does volume (you can customise them too)

https://community.folivora.ai/t/goldenchaos-btt-the-complete...


A free alternative to BTT-GC if you don't have BTT is MTMR. Has the 3/2 finger slide too.

https://github.com/Toxblh/MTMR


Dang, that utility looks insanely good


I found the Golden Chaos package to offer too much and instead just spent a bit of time setting things up to my liking, and now I couldn't do without the Touch Bar!

- dock widget that shows open apps and allows me to switch quickly.

- Spotify widget that shows current track/album (with art) and controls.

- a custom date/time display that also shows the week number.

- battery level with 'time-to-full-charge' indicator.

- mute button.

But even more useful are the swipe gestures I added: two-finger swipe anywhere turns the entire bar into a volume control, and a three-finger swipe does the same for brightness.

BTT offers a ton more though.

I have a few gestures configured for the trackpad. three-finger up and down for brightness and shift + three fingers for volume if I'm too lazy to go for the touchbar. And I use a weird four-finger tapping gesture for mute and to lock my laptop ('rap' my fingers from left to right to mute, and from right to left to lock).

Then there's window sizing and, if not for Keyboard Maestro, app launching via keyboard shortcuts.

Anyways, I occasionally miss the function keys, but what the Touch Bar can do now provides enough to offset that.


Volume control taking 2 taps is a bit crazy to me, but I'll bet in testing they found that people brushed against the volume bar too much if it was always there. I accidentaly graze the "play" button often. I'd love to see if "buttons with screens on them" might work out better for me, then I could lock the top-right ones to the media controls. Maybe leave a small slider on the top-left or middle.


Honestly I've just picked up a cheap(ish) audio interface (mine is an M-Audio 192|4) and now I have a giant knob that I can use to get the perfect volume, and as a bonus, it disables the volume keys on the touchbar so I don't keep bashing them when typing.


You can just press and slide on the volume/brightness buttons without needing 2 taps.


This may be the first interesting/good use for the Touch Bar many HN'ers have seen.

But the touchbar was designed primarily for AV professionals from the beginning -- sliding controls for filmstrips, audio sliders, colors, etc.

It's just that most developers have never needed to do any work like that, and have never used the creative apps that expose this, so don't see the point.

But it's genuinely for the "professional" part of Pro. Not develop professionals, but creative professionals.


> This may be the first interesting/good use for the Touch Bar many HN'ers have seen.

I've only recently started using a device with the TouchBar, but as a developer I've really enjoyed having debugging controls on it. It is nice being able to have the main screen focused on the running application and having the secondary debugging tools on the TouchBar.


How do you mean? More than the usual start stop step-in step-over? With physical keys you can “home” your finger and press without drifting or looking down at the bar, and I find that much easier.

About the only thing I’ve found useful is when plugging in a projector and getting the “mirror or extend” buttons directly rather than having to remember which symbol it is. Every other case it’s felt inferior and gotten in the way (like display/sound/volume access in an app that uses it)


> With physical keys you can “home” your finger and press without drifting or looking down at the bar, and I find that much easier.

You can also develop muscle memory with the Touch Bar as I've mentioned in my comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23786774


Can you consistently activate things on it without looking and also know for sure whether or not you activated it?

Is there some kind of force feedback?


Well, I do use an app called HapticKey which provides haptic feedback, but yes I was able to consistently activate things on it without looking even before I started using the app. Most actions I used provided direct feedback on the screen (e.g. deleting, opening a tab, opening an info window, etc...) so feedback was less an issue.


I've found it really useful to be able to stop an app without doing anything that would require it loosing focus. Without this I need to do run something like

  sleep 10; kill -STOP `pgrep app`
in the terminal and then scramble to get the app in the state I want.


Do you know about Cmd+Alt+Esc?


No but thank you, I do know :) I know UXs are supposed to be discoverable these days, but FFS, do I just press random combinations of meta keys to find out what they do?


If you click on the apple logo top-left, you'll see "Force quit apps" with the relevant shortcut next to it.


I mean, I know that you can force quit apps from it…


The parent's post is spot on IMHO. The analog possibilities of the touchbar can really help in doing creative work, and I never thought of it this way.

But it's still overblown though, since the same interface is available on the xxl touchpad and would be better served with a gesture (so that aiming a narrow spot is not necessary).

As a dev I would never replace regular function keys. You certainly didn't lack shortcuts for debugging without a touchbar. But I definitely see the point it being an accessibility feature (in that case though, my thought goes to something like this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimus_Maximus_keyboard instead)


debugging imo is terrible via the touchbar -- but was also terrible with function keys!

Binding a two character keystroke (cmd-shift-c for step next for me) is vastly superior ux than a function key or touchbar provide ...

i think the location of the touchbar above the useable space in the keyboard is a huge issue with it -- it's just not a useable space. it was hard to use function keys as well for this reason.

the touchbar would be kind of interesting for the creative uses i think if it was a separate physical device that you could put where you want it. a thing with a magnet maybe that you can attach to the bottom of the keyboard beneath the touchpad ... it's there when you are in an editing mentality and wanting to use those sliders -- relax and leave your fingers down close to you rather than raised and prone and stretching ...


I agree I think is a good intended set of use cases but I don't think only a single bar was a good idea at all. If I was doing stuff like Ableton or an Adobe product with sliders, I'd want an iPad sized group of sliders, knobs and other settings.

I've found my only real use case is using Poc and launching apps. I find the text auto correct / smilie suggestion useless and borderline distracting and annoying while I'm trying to type (too much flashing).


A programmer is a creative professional. But now I'm just splitting hairs lol. I get your point but I'm annoyed at the "real professionals" bit there. :)


If they developed an actual touch screen laptop you wouldn't need it though.

I fully expect it to be removed from the upcoming touchscreen ARM MBP.


Have you any reason to expect a touchscreen ARM MacBook Pro? I have heard of no credible rumours to that effect (though I don’t follow the space). I know a few people misinterpreted something from WWDC (can’t remember what) to think it meant touchscreen Macs were coming, but that was definitely a misconstruction.


The Big Sur UI being more spaced out hints at it. The fact it runs iOS apps unmodified only really works flawlessly if the user can touch the screen otherwise there will be some multitouch functionality only phone users can use and would require devs to put in extra work.

Most of the rumor mill close to Apple (John Gruber, atp.fm etc) all believe it's coming.

The devices (iPad/MBP) are clearly starting to converge and I think the next MBP is going to be genetically closer to an iPad than it is todays MBP, you can tell they've been leaving a ton of enhancements out of the current lineup waiting for an evolution, MBP lags behind all other premium laptops in webcam quality, LTE, touch support, pen support and screen bezel and the ARM transition is definitely the time to push this evolutionary update.


UI spacing: I’m not at all convinced.

iOS apps: but consider how Apple added (is adding? I don’t use the ecosystem) a pointer to iPadOS. That’s heading towards apps not requiring touch for interactions.

Webcam quality: I dunno, most expensive laptops I’ve seen also have lousy 720p webcams. (I have a Surface Book, which is more like a tablet in this regard, having both a front- and a rear-facing camera, both fairly decent.

LTE: not particularly common in laptops. It’s always been niche functionality.

It has always seemed weird to me how much of a schism there has been between tablets and laptops in things like cameras and LTE. (Microsoft are the ones that started tearing down the dividing wall of partition in the Surface line of products; but it’s still mostly intact.)

I’ll be interested to see what comes of it (though have no plans to ever acquire any Apple gear).


Lack of tactile feedback and fat finger issues (even while typing) make this unlikely to be true.


Well, regardless of how unlikely you think it is... it's still true.

You don't need tactile feedback when the feedback is real-time in the image on the monitor or the sound in your headphones. It's audiovisual feedback in the actual creative product you're creating.

And the touch bar is definitely tall enough to handle the fattest fingers. ;) Not sure why you bring typing into it.


You don't need tactile feedback when the feedback is real-time in the image on the monitor or the sound in your headphones.

It's not as "real-time" as the feedback from the key itself.

There are physical keyboards without tactile feedback, but studies have shown that most people will drastically slow down when typing on one.


I constantly fat-finger it while typing in numbers. Bad enough that I just removed all the application-specific controls. No big deal if I accidentally adjust the brightness one notch, but accidentally tapping Quit was obnoxious.


Site has been hugged by HN; here is the video that is embedded on the page.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fMlmzTBF_LE


It's interesting to me that this is the first really interesting use of the touch bar I've seen in the years I've owned a laptop with one.

I'm also sad that it requires Catilina, I'm stuck on Mojave for the time being thanks to a number of 32 bit apps I depend on.


If you're a fan of customization, BTT-GoldenChaos [0] has made the Touch Bar indispensable for me; I don't like using a laptop without a Touch Bar because of this app.

[0]https://community.folivora.ai/t/goldenchaos-btt-the-complete...


Little apps like this demonstrate why the touchbar really is a useful user interface for certain things.

Had Apple had the good sense to introduce it without removing an entire row of keys used heavily by the developers tasked with writing software for it it might have actually worked out.


Even if Apple could demonstrate clear value for certain niche applications, those applications could have been served by a successful add-on USB peripheral (not unlike replacing an in-box device with a better mouse or keyboard).

Instead, they saddled every one of their users with this thing, where it has remained at best in limbo between “occasionally useful” and “worse than the original”. I can say without a doubt that the only reason I finally broke down and bought a new laptop is because (1) they finally came to their senses with the physical Esc key, and (2) BetterTouchTool exists.


> those applications could have been served by a successful add-on USB peripheral

Or you know, shipping a touch screen like almost every other $2000 laptop on the market.


Doesn't this demonstrate why the touchbar isn't very useful?

Every part of this UI would be better without it--physical keys to play the samples, a big touchpad to use slider controls with, the hi-def screen to see it all happen.

(It's a really neat demo)


Just a thought. Instead of replacing the f keys and escape, they should have just replaced the whole area under the keyboard where the trackpad is with a touch screen. It is a win-win. Imagine a huge touch interface where we already expect one, with haptic feedback AND visual feedback.


We can already imagine that. Apple increased the size of the touchpad for no good reason. And palm rejection constantly fails causing the cursor to jump as you're typing or pressing key shortcuts.


I can see them expanding the cursor behavior in iPadOS into macOS, where its magnetic and it's more like a touch surface.

If there was any trackpad to pull that off its the macbook trackpads.


Why would you ever want that in a desktop OS?


It depends on the execution.

It feels super nice on iPad and if you're running a Catalyst app or such on macOS that's designed for it, it could be cool to be able to toggle between the cursors.


> It feels super nice on iPad

Because it's an iPad.

> on macOS

That's a desktop OS with an entirely different ... well, everything. Including precision positioning of the cursor.

I can only see it as an accessibility option (in this case it might work well).


I would agree on the macOS point right now, but big surs design style leans heavily towards a style that would probably work quite well with it.

I would only want it as an option, I would in no way want it to be the only option. I just think the different cursor types could benefit different types of applications.


Asus ZenBook Pro Duo has a huge secondary display on top of the keyboard.

Alternatively Macbook already has big touchpad, add a screen like Asus ScreenPad.


> Every part of this UI would be better without it--physical keys to play the samples

There's one part that wouldn't be possible with keys since it loops the part of the sample between two fingers (41-48s).

> a big touchpad to use slider controls with

That'd be the iPad version of Samplr.


Not fair - apple may have not made great use of their own touch bar, but better touch tool and the plugins users have made makes it really, really good.


You ever played synths?


I don't own a Mac, but I've heard of the touchbar. I just never imagined it replaced the function keys. That's insanity! (But I'm still stewing over modern keyboards removing the right Win key, so I can't lock my workstation with one hand any more, so don't mind me.)


Apple has downplayed the existence of the function keys for much longer than the TouchBar though. On prior generation MacBooks the function keys provided actions (volume, brightness, etc.) as their primary function, requiring you to also press the Fn key to access the true F1-12 keys.

TouchBar MacBooks are much the same. If you press the Fn key, the TouchBar shows F1-F2.


The keyboard settings allow users to switch the behavior so that the function keys behave as such without holding down Fn. For me Minecraft is the driving reason for wanting physical function keys and a big part of why I still use my 2015 mbp.


Right hand thumb to win key + pinky to "L" as I am getting up to walk away still works for me.


My hands are pretty big, but I can only do that on non-full-sized keyboards. And to make matters worse I need an ergonomic split keyboard due to issues with my hands


I always thought the Touch Bar would’ve been better between trackpad and keyboard.

Essentially an extra input for use with the thumbs. Bit shorter than the touchbar but also more focused on just extra application specific things and not all media/F-keys

Probably couldn’t get things like palm rejection right.

One example interaction is similar to the iOS keyboard: swiping along the space bar will move the cursor. Being able to type and very quickly swipe underneath the space bar to reposition the cursor could be great. And so much more useful with specific buttons or “swipe stops” to jump to opening or closing bracket when for example working on code

The point is, for me the placement of the Touch Bar always meant that only very deliberate And manual actions should be triggered through a touch on the opposite side of the keyboard. Everything that is to happen often or quickly is better served with a normal keyboard shortcut

So essentially the bar is placed in a way that prevents it from being integrated into normal, productive processes and this leaves it as an expensive and unnecessary toy (with a handful of exceptions in creative applications)


This is a really interesting point of view.

I use better touch tool and I get more use out of the touch bar than someone who doesn't use btt does, and placing the touchbar between the touchpad and keyboard makes a load more ergonomic sense, but it's also likely it would accidentally be triggered a LOT in that position.


It took courage. ;-)

I only want the Escape key and it’s back. I’ll trade in my 2013 MBP for an ARM laptop next year.


I’ll probably get downvoted to Hades here but I finally upgraded my mid 2012 retina MacBook Pro to the latest model and I quite like the touch bar. Yes I know pure keyboard commands are more efficient but at this point in life my available bandwidth for memorizing too many app specific keyboard chords is limited. It’s nice to just tap “leave” when in a Zoom call or “pause” when playing music.


That's the idea but IMO the major issue with it is that the touchbar is dedicated to the currently in-focus application. That's basically the opposite of what I want, if Zoom is already in focus I can click to leave just as fast as I can use the touchbar to leave. If I have switched over to a browser tab for taking notes and zoom is in the background, that's when it would be useful to be able to leave the zoom meeting from the touchbar.

Edit: Music apps are somewhat privileged and play/pause can be done more globally, but it's still multiple taps, and there are other cases I would like to be able to use.


Easily solved with Better Touch Tool and its config or plugins.

Yeah, it's an extra expense but it makes the touchbar truly useful.


I just wish they left the F keys alone and added the touchbar right above. It might be cool but i find it somewhat gimmicky and redundant for a software developer. I guess apple always pushed the limits. Lets see how this fares in the next 10 years and whether it is adopted outside of apple


So cool! If you're into that kind of stuff I strongly recommend trying out this little gem https://urbanlienert.com/miditouchbar/ It's a touchbar midi-keyboard, it displays two full octaves and also has some other controls like volume and panning for the current channel and some others. But I mostly use the keyboard only and it works great with Ableton Live. Much better than one octave on your computer keyboard when you want to play while laying on a couch with your laptop! I'm really happy I've found it and it makes the touchbar really useful for me.


For me, only Pock [0] comes close to a possibly or passingly ergonomic use case for the Touch Bar. (Not hating on vim.)

Hard-wired function keys as abstraction are cognitive overhead even if mechanically efficient.

Touch Bar ignores ergonomics (screen to bar to screen) and what should be up (interface queues) is down (enemy of touch-typing). Cognitive overhead and mechanically inefficient (no muscle memory).

Not worse than QWERTY but still...

[0]: https://pock.dev (no affiliation)


Pock made the Touch Bar usable for me. I added relevant real estate to my screen, as I could now be fullscreen by default for all windows and not miss relevant notifications from active apps on other screens.


I've just started using a 2020 MacBook Pro. I was previously very apprehensive about the touchbar (in fact, it was a key reason for me avoiding getting one for some time).

A few days in, I'm super impressed with it, and think it is able to offer subtle but effective workflow improvements within applications. (I think I'd find it frustrating if I had an older version with no hardware escape key though).


I still just press it randomly and issue commands to applications constantly that I dont want, and that's after disabling half of it because I touched it too much :\


I regularly fat-finger the paste key on the touchbar (eg in Office apps, it sits just above the [3] key) when typing a key on the number row. Since you get no tactile feedback, it took me a few days to understand why random bits of text appeared spontaneously under my cursor!


I don't have a MacBook, but one thing that comes to mind reading the discussions about this is the complaint of the function keys going away, and whether there's a way to improve the default experience anyway. I use a 60% keyboard, so if I want to hit f1 or f2, I'm hitting an FN key + one of the numbers. I've used this keyboard for years and I really like it. Can you do this in software on Mac OS? Add a bunch of FN+key actions so that you could use the keyboard more like a 60%? Then the touchbar would be more like configurable macro keys and less like a daring replacement of core functionality. I will say it probably wouldn't work as well on a laptop keyboard. I can hit my FN key on my Pok3r with the side of my hand because of there being a drop in space below the keyboard, which you don't get on a laptop because the body continues and there's an area for a trackpad. Same story for hitting things like the ctrl key.


If you press fn, the whole touchbar switches to the F1-F12 keys, or I didn't read your comment too well and you already know that.


Question for someone who works in music/audio: is this actually useful as a workflow tool, or is it just a cool tech demo/toy?


From the article: Alonso describes the app as “a demo of Samplr for the MacBook Touch Bar.”

Samplr is Alonso's full featured iPad app.

From the website: *This free app is distributed as is. No support is provided and no future updates are planned.

That said, I'm sure a talented and adventurous person could off pull using this. You define your limits =)


Professionals actually do use the Touch Bar. Oak Felder seen here using it back in 2018 to produce on the go:

https://youtu.be/FUHcYX1-9Y8?t=178


I'm not a proffesional, but I use Garabe band to brainstorm ideas for songs, and often I use the software piano keyboard and it's annoying because you can hit other keys that are not assigned to notes but to shortcuts, and you have to show/hide the piano window that ocuppies space, so I can see having a piano in the touch bar (and other plugins for that matter) being super useful.


Minor nitpick, but it's "Samplr" and not "Sampler". Samplr is a fairly well known sampler application for the ipad. When I clicked the link I was wondering if it was Samplr, or someone copying the same idea.

Very awesome idea though. Samplr for iPad is an absolutely amazing app which is both a great musical idea and great demo of using a touch-screen for innovative musical usage. I don't have a touchbar Mac, but have to agree with all the other comments here saying this is the best usage I've seen of the touch bar so far.


For those us without touchbars (or even an apple machine), but who might have been wondering just how far you could go if you really tried to make the mouse into an expressive musical instrument:

DiN is Noise:

https://dinisnoise.org/?what=screenshots https://dinisnoise.org/


An aside, but I always thought "din" was only a Scottish word - does it mean noise/racket elsewhere?


Yes, it means noise/racket everywhere—though it is primarily used in the UK/Ireland/Australia and fairly uncommon in the US.


The Touch Bar should have been right below the screen, where I actually see it. Otherwise I need to interrupt my flow by looking at it. I’ve made it somewhat more useful with Pock (using negative spacing) but still not blown away by it.

This kind of application and many other uses would be so much better if it was like a part of the screen instead of the keyboard.


If it was on the screen the screen itself would slowly get pushed back with each interaction.


I mean that it should be at the top of the case instead of above the keys. If the bottom bezel would be reduced they would almost touch, making it "a part of the screen" instead of a part of the keyboard.

The current strip is out of sight all of the time so I cannot anticipate on it's changed context without taking my eyes off the screen.


> The Touch Bar should have been right below the screen

So…an extension of the screen? :P


I didn't mind my MBP's touchbar until it randomly stopped working two years in. Now it just sporadically flashes an annoying bar of bright white light, so it's completely covered in electrical tape to block that from view. So, my experience with it has overwhelmingly been negative.


- Given $2000+ laptop by company

- Complains

I get that a lot of folks here are engaging in what they view as "healthy design criticism," but, as a creative professional who does not have the budget for such a machine, it's hard to see most of the complaints here as anything more than privileged whining and failure to adapt to changing tools.

Laptops (and more broadly, personal computers) are designed as general purpose machines; no knowledge of the end-user is assumed. There may be a pool of activities a hardware designer may expect to take place on the machine, but designing for any one of them in particular is likely to come at a detriment to the others.

Special purpose tools exist for a reason, and perhaps such is needed in the "Programmer's Laptop" space, but criticizing a general purpose tool for not being purpose-built for a specific application is ridiculous.

Edit: because i English bad


I did not know the touchbar was that capable. Great job.


Damn, too bad it requires Catalina. I've still been hanging on to Mavericks for the 32-bit app support.


Mavericks? Do you mean Mojave? Because I don't even think Mavericks runs on the Touch Bar MacBooks.


This is the best thing I’ve seen so far on a TouchBar.

I wish Apple would offer a version without the TouchBar.


The MacBook Airs do not have it but.... I agree


this would have made a really cool demo the day the touchbar came out.


Well, I remember one demo being a DJ scratching and so on. Not that far off.


This demo was so ridiculous it was funny. I don't know why they decided to have such a demo and approved it. I'm sure the DJ wished he had a bigger touchscreen.


Kind of wish I stole my MacBook from my last job now


Seems like an app better suited for the iPad than the touchbar. The Touch Bar is meant to complement a desktop app, not be one.


There's an iPad version! This is a fun mini demo of the full-featured iPad app on the Touch Bar.


Nice! Thanks for making it free!


Will pay money for next Mac to have no touch bar. It's awful.


I stopped using my MBP 16 solely because of Touch Bar. The way my hands rest on the keys causes accidental presses on Touch Bar and it drives me crazy.


The only way I found around that was to set the Touch Bar to function keys. So it's basically an inferior function key row in every possible way.


I did that too and now it ruins my work in other mysterious ways rather than simply locking the computer.


I used to be able to refactor my code by pressing shift-f6, but now that I have a touch bar it feels more natural to just use my mouse to click on a menu and scroll to the option I'm looking for (if I can even find it). It's so much slower.

The only progress happening here is my steady progression into madness. Why don't you just take away our keyboards entirely and give us circles and squares to push, Apple? And then we can giggle as drool runs down our faces onto our shirts. Are you happy now?!

That being said, I like what you've made here. I refuse to purposely touch my touch bar so I won't actually use it, but it looks fun.

Edit: Toned it down a touch. The touch bar is a sensitive issue for me...


I don't know if you know this already (I didn't), but you can go to Settings > Keyboard, and in the first tab (Keyboard) you'll find two selects.

On the bottom one, labeled "Press fn key to show", you can select "Show F1, F2, etc", so your function keys will always show up when you hold Fn.

Also, on the top select, I suggest you change the default setting to "Expanded Control Strip", since I find "App Controls" totally uber useless.

Sorry if my labels don't match yours exactly, I'm on pt-br and did some literal translation here.


Yeah, I know that you can show images of the function keys, and I've tried to use them, but it just doesn't work for me. I've learned that I rely very much on tactile response from the input devices I use.




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