In 2016 Apple introduced a new MacBook Pro that contained a touch bar. Apple said it’s the future, but in the 2021 release MacBook, the touch bar is gone.
I bought my Mac in 2019 with the touch bar, and honestly, I can understand why they removed it.
I’ll express my personal opinion, and I will add facts and statements from Apple and list all the Macs that have the touch bar in this article.
Why Apple Removed The Touch Bar?
It wasn’t practical. It was counter-productive, and it slowed you down. They definitely were some use cases where it was nice to have and even helpful, but overall, people believed it wasn’t worth it, and developers definitely thought that.
Key reasons why they removed it:
- Companies weren’t adopting it
- Increased battery consumption
- No one liked it(according to Apple)
Apple said to Wire in an exclusive interview – no one liked it. It was a great idea back in the day, but it never caught on. Apple is confident that its users love the full-size, tactile feel of those function keys.
Do I agree? I can understand both sides. It can be annoying at times, but the touch bar has its moments.
Apple was relying on third-party developers to utilize this feature in their devices. Touch bars were only available for MacBook Pro models; it’s quite a costly and inefficient way how to spend your developer’s time for many companies out there.
Spending extra time just to have the potential to benefit a couple of users didn’t make sense to developers.
What Are The Use Cases of MacBooks Touch Bar?
I was really curious how someone could like the touch bar, I couldn’t really find any valuable use cases for the touch bar, and I’ve been using this Mac for 3 years now. I dug deeper, and I actually found some cool use cases that I didn’t know about. This made me think maybe I’m an idiot who didn’t know how to take advantage of it.
1. Quick Access To Emojis
If you chat a lot using social apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Discord, Slack, etc. You have quick access to emojis. Nice to have, but I don’t see the value, but some others did.
2. Skipping Ads
This is something I didn’t know, and it actually works still in 2022. Every time a YouTube Ad pops up, I can skip it with the touch bar.
You need to press the forward button once or twice, depending on how long the ad is.
I found some conspiracy theories that Apple removed the touch bar due to this reason, that many people found out about this glitch, that you’re able to skip the ads, and that’s the reason why they removed it. I doubt it.
3. Screenshot Destination
Command + Shift + 4 that’s how you create a screenshot. No big secret there, and by default, your screenshot is saved on the desktop, but when you are creating the screenshot, your touch bar offers to change that destination to any folder you like.
4. Add Dock To Your Touch Bar
You can hide your dock on your desktop and put it on your touch bar. How cool is that? You will need to download a Pock App. And it’s free and super straightforward.
Many artists and photographers use MacBooks, and they use software like Lightroom, Photoshop, and others, and the touch bar has the potential to increase their productivity.
How To Edit Touch Bar on MacBook Pro
You can edit it and add shortcuts that you find valuable.
Apple > System Preference > Keyboard > Customise Control Strip…
Open it up and choose whichever shortcuts you find the most useful.
To add these to your touch bar, you have to click on them and drag them to your touch bar. You can add Siri, Brightness Slider, Do Not Disturb, Screenshot button, etc. There are quite a few options to choose from.
This is helpful because, if you’re like me, you have probably pressed the Siri button by accident 100+ times.
List of MacBooks with Touch Bar
|Model||Release Date||Touch Bar|
|MacBook Pro 13-inch||2016, October||Yes|
|MacBook Pro 15-inch||2016, October||Yes|
|MacBook Pro 13-inch||2017, June||Yes|
|MacBook Pro 15-inch||2017, June||Yes|
|MacBook Pro 13-inch||2018, July||Yes|
|MacBook Pro 15-inch||2018, July||Yes|
|MacBook Pro 13-inch||2019, June||Yes|
|MacBook Pro 15-inch||2019, June||Yes|
|MacBook Pro 16-inch||2019, November||Yes|
|MacBook Pro 13-inch||2020, May||Yes|
|MacBook Pro 13-inch||2022, June||Yes|
I’ve been using my Mac for 3+ years, and I never liked the touch bar. I decided to write this article, and of course, I allowed the benefit of the doubt.
After researching it and finding some great use cases, I just realized that I didn’t know how to take full advantage of it. If I had to choose between a touch bar and a full-sized keyboard, I would choose a full-sized keyboard, but after my research and all the fun use cases and options the touch bar gives you, I find it less annoying.
Some people loved the touch bar. Some didn’t. A few years back, some people loved the headphone jack, but Apple removed it anyways.
The point is that things change. Apple will do what they think is right, and you can say your opinion, and if enough people agree, Apple will probably listen. They brought the keyboard back, didn’t they? So one day, they might bring the touch bar back too.
I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.