On The Touch Bar

I created a bit of a buzz earlier this week with this tweet:

I’ve been using the MacBook Pro for nine months now and the truth is, I haven’t found much of a use for the Touch Bar. There are many reasons for that. First, I’m fairly proficient with keyboard shortcuts and I find most things I can do with a Touch Bar can be done more quickly with keyboard shortcuts. Additionally, a large amount of the time my MacBook Pro is docked at my desk and I use an external keyboard and mouse. That takes the Touch Bar out of direct sight and easy reach.

There were several people who came to the defense of the Touch Bar. Mike noted that he uses it often for Final Cut Pro. There are probably many applications, notably music and video apps that can benefit from the Touch Bar. There were also several people like my friend Jean MacDonald who preferred the volume and brightness controls as well as quick access to the emoji keyboard on theTouch Bar  

Most notably, Evan Kline shared his article on how to make the Touch Bar useful by using BetterTouchTool.

Even though I personally don’t use the Touch Bar, Apple put a lot of time and resources into the technology. I also am not sure I would go so far to say that I regret the purchase of a  MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. I frequently use TouchID, a feature that is only available on the Touch Bar enabled modes. I regularly use three out of the four Thunderbolt ports on my MacBook. Models without a Touch Bar not only have less processing power (which may or may not be a big deal depending on your use) but also come with fewer ports.

All things being considered, I wouldn’t buy a Mac for the Touch Bar technology alone. If you are in the market for a new MacBook Pro you should take a look at the lower end models (as Marco Arment has dubbed it, the MacBook Escape) and compare features and specs carefully. You may find you can save a few bucks and opt for an non-Touch Bar model. You may find a Touch Bar model makes the most sense for features and specs.