If you are a MacBook user, the biggest effect on you is whether your keyboard lets you type. More than anything else, though, the whole butterfly keyboard saga has been a huge reputation hit for Apple. For those who thought Apple was sacrificing functionality for thinness across its entire product lineup, the butterfly keyboard looked like confirmation. For those who felt Apple was intentionally making its devices harder to repair as a way to further lock them down and also cut out third-party repair shops, it was another data point.
For those who felt Apple had stopped paying attention to the Mac, here was a prime example of a problem allowed to languish to years. How could the company fail to see — or refuse to admit — that it was shipping a bad product? The Mac has serious challenges in front of it. As the iPad Pro gains more traditional computer functionality , more people are considering it a laptop replacement. Through it all, macOS has seen slower development compared to iOS, plus less clear direction over the past few years.
YouTube Instagram Adobe. Kickstarter Tumblr Art Club. Film TV Games. Fortnite Game of Thrones Books. Comics Music. Filed under: Apple Editorial Tech. Linkedin Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email. It was a chance to try something new. Alas, after months of daily use, I concluded that for me, the Touch Bar is far worse than the function keys it replaced. It's an overengineered doodad that caused problems I never had with keyboards, and it offered features I never used. Read more: How to buy Apple's new MacBook , but it may cost you a lot.
I'm a touch typist but, despite its name, you can't navigate the Touch Bar by touch. Controlling screen brightness and speaker volume is far slower with the Touch Bar than a conventional keyboard, requiring me to look down so I can jab the correct spot. Apple promised the Touch Bar would unleash creativity with visual controls for DJs , a cornucopia of emoji choices and adaptive command menus for Photoshop.
None of that came true for me. I applaud Apple for experimenting, and not everyone shares my dislike. My colleague Dan Ackerman isn't a big fan, but prefers the Touch Bar controls for controlling volume and brightness. Still, not everything new is better. Even ardent fans would be dispirited to learn how much the Touch Bar shortens battery life and increases the MacBook Pro's already considerable cost. Especially in its early years, the Touch Bar was prone to false positives.
When typing numbers into a web form, my fingertips sometimes overshot and brushed against some Touch Bar button to launch some disastrous process like reloading the page. To its credit, Apple updates eased these problems.
Still, I find it harder than ever to get the volume and brightness controls to respond quickly on the latest Macs. The only bright spot for me is occasionally scrubbing through video. The Touch Bar handles this function just fine, though it's hardly revolutionary. Another widespread Touch Bar complaint, particularly among programmers, was the sacrifice of a physical escape key for the first three years of the Touch Bar's existence.
The company fixed that problem with its era MacBook Pro models , which also ejected the despised "butterfly" keyboard. It's clear Apple was listening to feedback, a pleasant surprise for a company that can be imperious. Newer MacBooks also benefit from the fingerprint reader that debuted on the Touch Bar's right edge. That's great for logging into your Mac, but it was only a cosmetic part of the Touch Bar.
The Touch Bar might have benefited from haptic feedback like the simulated clicks of Apple's unsurpassed trackpads. In the long run, it could perhaps even have adopted technology to add texture to touchscreens so you could find keys by feel.
I have a hard time imagining any of that would be better than a plain old mechanical keyboard. The Touch Bar's most exciting potential in my view was feature discovery, a way to reveal abilities ordinarily hidden in an app's user interface.
In principle, it could make actions more convenient or teach me something I didn't even know was possible.
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As we predicted, Apple's new MacBook Pro models unveiled today feature a redesigned keyboard with an all-black design, a row of full-size. If no keys work on an external keyboard · Disconnect and reconnect the keyboard. Make sure the connector is completely inserted into the port. · Connect your. The Accessibility Keyboard is an onscreen keyboard that lets you use your Mac without a physical keyboard. It provides advanced typing (such as typing.