A delicious irony with the Touch Bar

It now happens to be roughly the anniversary of when, after considerable effort (and with Björn’s plugin), I completed adding Touch Bar support to my projects. I had been using the Touch Bar Simulator. Soon, I got my own M1 MBP, which was my first laptop to actually have one.

For my part, after getting the M1, the Touch Bar kind of grew on me. As to my work, though, I got a chuckle when, in a matter of weeks, the rumors started that Apple was phasing out the TB.

I can maintain my good humor about it, of course, because one TB model (mine) is still being sold, and millions of them will still be in use for some years. The irony of the timing is just what I found so funny. :slight_smile:


I like the touch bar. Not as a replacement for the top row, but as its own thing. It’s too bad we got one or the other.


I love the touchbar - with BetterTouchTool it makes the best application switcher ever. Hard to imagine life without it.


I nearly always used my MBP with a TB in clamshell mode in my office with an external keyboard which of course did not have a TB. So I never used it enough to really get an advantage from it. I think the concept was intriguing, but I never used it enough to get an infinity for it. I was always surprised that some of my users who WERE on MBP’s with a TB were not attached to it.

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I agree that the out-of-the-box functionality - volume, brightness, “Save”, “Cancel”, etc is pretty lame. But with BetterTouchTool you can make an application switcher with each app’s icon as a button, and it can be configured to bring up only the frontmost window of each app when switching. I used to do the same thing with with the function keys, but having the illuminated icons is a million times better.

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I liked the Touch Bar but have admit I didn’t use it much. I’m now just as happy with the M1 MacBook Pro’s dedicated function buttons.


Sounds like “Like DragThing–but for the Touch Bar!” :slight_smile:

Thanks. I might look at BetterTouchTool. As of now I have SwitchGlass on my screen. For nostalgia’s sake, DragThing still has a home on my Mojave VM. :slight_smile:

I do miss my ability to slide my finger on the bar to change volume.


I have not only apps on the bar, but also one-touch access to the Desktop and Downloads folders.

Better Touch Tool is insanely powerful, I use only a tiny fraction of its capabilities.


I think that goes for most users of BTT. I’ve used it for years and suspect I only scratch the surface. But I do have hotkeys for all kinds of windows sizes and placements on my 40" monitor, and hot keys that were for moving around between displays in multi monitor setup. Plus some app specific hot keys, custom gestures, etc. A real time saver.

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Or to fastforward Youtube commercials (that you can only do with the Touchbar).


It really is - not just for the Touch Bar but for adding gestures to trackpads etc.

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AdBlock removes YouTube commercials.


I think peoples primary grudge against the touch bar is the loss of F-keys.

I think they could have fitted both maybe.

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I also am a fan of TB. I am sorry to see it go and I was sad that it never made its way to the detached keyboards of the iMac. I would like to see Apple work on making it easy to use an iPad as a TB substitute. Nice use for an old iPad or iPad mini.

My #1 complaint about the Touchbar is it’s intrusion when using the laptop on your laptop and you type without looking at the keyboard. All of sudden things start happening that you don’t want because flying fingers slightly grazed it.

Not only do I then have to stop doing what I am doing and revert what was accidentally done, but it most importantly breaks my train of thought, which costs minutes of time to rebuild my mental image of what I am working on and how it all relates to other elements.

Back in 2016, in my massive letter (which was polite, can you believe it?), I raised this with Tim Cook and suggested some improvements for the TouchBar, one of them was to add an option to make it so it required a physical press (or even a long press) before firing an action. Cook apparently sent my letter to the virtual shredder without even an acknowledgement, because here we are 5 years later and Apple made no attempt to fix this fundamental issue, and chose to abandon the TouchBar instead.

I guess that’s what happens when a bean counter runs the company.

I have BTT configured so that pressing the “fn” key brings up the standard function keys F1=F12.

That’s definitely an annoying issue, but I can live with it to get my app-switching function. There’s nothing like being able to jump back and forth between apps with single keystrokes, without your fingers having to leave the keyboard to go to a pointing device.

Also, BTT offers a “long-press action”, which I guess could eliminate the issue, but I’ve never tried it.


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