This year, several analysts have already promised us a new MacBook Pro with MagSafe charging and an updated design. However, almost all of them agree that 2021 will be the Touch Bar’s end, the touch bar that Apple added to the MacBook Pro in 2016. Whether you like the touch bar or not, its disappearance is pretty bad. When it first debuted on the MacBook Pro, my colleagues rightly argued that the investment in a new interface for the MacBook refutes the notion that the Mac is a dead platform. What will happen now? You can also read: Apple patented Force Touch touchbar.
What is Touch Bar?
Many people think that the Touch bar – it’s just another small screen on the MacBook. It’s actually a whole little ARM computer running on your keyboard. It interacts with an Intel main processor or M1 chip. The only thing missing on the MacBook Pro touchpad is the GPU. The laptop’s main chip is responsible for this, and it does it so cool that the image on the touch bar changes instantly.
Yes, the touch panel was imperfect. There were many complaints about it – mainly from those who just wanted to constantly see the F1-F11 keys in front of them (however, this can also be customized). But the point is, the Touch Bar has hardly ever changed, despite being presented as something dynamic. Apple has been updating MacBooks, but even in the cool and trendy firmware, the M1 now has the same touch bar as in 2016, when it was first introduced.
The Touch Bar hasn’t changed in 4 years!
Apple has addressed one of the first complaints about the Touch Bar in 2019. In the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the virtual Esc key has been replaced with a physical button, making the Touch Bar slightly smaller. At the time, Apple’s Phil Schiller explained it this way:
Quite a few people use the Touch Bar and see great benefits in some of its features, but there have been some complaints. In the first place where those who like the physical Escape key. For many, it was a difficult adaptation.
We decided that instead of just removing the Touch Bar and losing the benefits that some users get, we could add the Escape key instead.
But times are changing, and Phil Schiller has nearly retired since then.
How could Apple improve the Touch Bar?
Wondering what Apple will come up with instead of the touchpad? Just a function row of keys?
Desired improvements to the Touch Bar include tactile feedback, clearer visuals, better placement to avoid accidental clicks, and perhaps even increased headroom on 16-inch MacBooks, which have much more room. But instead, Apple can take it out.
In 4 years, Apple has never even released a simple macOS update that brings new Touch Bar capabilities. You can’t switch between light and dark modes on a Mac using the Touch Bar without apps like BetterTouchTool or Automator. It feels like the Touch Bar team released it and then never opened the project code again.
Why will Apple remove the Touch Bar?
Apple may have felt that a few percent of users’ convenience was not worth leaving an item that was not in use.
When the Touch Bar first came out, I compared the Touch Bar’s usefulness to physical function keys, most of which I never use, and the Touch Bar is still useful to me. And it’s a shame that Apple sent the touchpad to rest and never touched it again. Four years later, the Touch Bar looks like a product from the past because, oddly enough, it’s still a 1.0 device.