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, and 2022 released MacBooks have it again. Apple is really indecisive about its touch bars.
I bought my Mac in 2019 with the touch bar. At first, I didn’t really find it useful until I looked up some use cases for it, but now I like it. You need to know how to use it. There are some practical use cases, and you can customize 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.
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 (M2)||2022, June||Yes|
What Are The Use Cases of the MacBooks Touch Bar?
Let’s list down all the use cases for this narrow touch-sensitive strip that sits above the keyboard. It provides quick access to a variety of features and functions, and it can be customized to suit your personal preferences and needs. Some common use cases for the touch bar include the following:
- Quickly accessing and controlling system-wide features, such as volume, brightness, and media playback
- Accessing and controlling app-specific features, such as tools, filters, and settings
- Displaying and interacting with notifications, alerts, and messages
- Providing context-sensitive options and controls that change depending on what you’re doing on your MacBook
- Providing quick access to your favorite apps and tools, and allowing you to quickly switch between them
Other use cases that I found online:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Overall, the touch bar on the MacBook Pro is a versatile and convenient feature that can save you time and make it easier to use your MacBook. It can be customized to suit your specific needs, and it provides quick access to a wide range of features and functions.
I was inspired by DailyTekk from YouTube. If you want to take full advantage of the touch bar, I suggest you take 10 minutes and watch his video:
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.
Why Apple Removed The Touch Bar? In 2021?
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 advantages.
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.
Some people liked it. Some people didn’t. I personally believe most of the people that didn’t like it didn’t know how to take advantage of i
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 touch bar back in 2022 didn’t they?
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.