MacBook Pro Touch Bar Update

Post by Mark

When I posted my MacBook Pro review a couple of weeks back I mentioned that the Touch Bar was still new and people were still trying to figure out what it could be useful for. Well I think people are starting to figure it out. One thing I found out since I published that post was that the app BetterTouchTool supported the Touch Bar. I already had BetterTouchTool installed and had been using it for years because it allowed me to customize my trackpad gestures. Now it also allows you to customize the Touch Bar which is useful because some apps like Chrome don’t support the Touch Bar yet.

So using BetterTouchTool I started creating useful buttons for the Touch Bar I could use when in Chrome. Then the developer added the ability to display the date and battery life time remaining information in the Touch Bar. When he did that I realized it would be super useful if I could display my Spotify track names in the Touch Bar while I was browsing in Chrome. So I contacted the developer and requested that feature and sure enough, a few days later, BetterTouchTool got the ability to display what track was playing in the Touch Bar. The picture on top is of my current Chrome Touch Bar setup, I have a button to take me in and out of full screen mode, a button to view my download list, a button for incognito mode, a track play/forward button, track/artist name display area plus my battery remaining time which Apple doesn’t allow you to view anymore by default.

People are still creating interesting stuff for the Touch Bar, one guy for example created a translator, whenever you highlight a word or phrase in the browser, it would automatically translate that text and display it to you in your Touch Bar using a predefined language of your choice. There are also a ton of fun/silly/useless things you could do to the Touch Bar like displaying an infinite loop of Nyan Cat or turn your Touch Bar into Kitt from Knight Rider. You could even install an app that would turn the Touch Bar into a piano or play a game of Pong using the Touch Bar to control the rudder. You can check them all out in the video above.

So yeah, looks like the Touch Bar is getting more and more interesting. If you have the new MacBook Pro Touch Bar, make sure you install BetterTouchTool so you could customize things the way you want.


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16 comments, add your own...


  1. ariston says:

    Hope to get one soon.. thanks for the tip Mark! :)

  2. Sayeed says:

    When I look at that touchbar I wonder is this all Apple could bring as a new feature to the new Macbook Pros? Apple has lost innovatative approach to things after steve jobs passed away.

    • Mark says:

      This is all it could bring? It’s a laptop, name me one new feature any laptop has gotten over the past decade. They managed to make the MacBook Pro as thin and light as the air, added touch bar and Touch ID and a battery life of like 15 hours. I love it.

      • meh says:

        Touch screens
        Swivel screens
        Detachable screens
        Touch keyboard

        • Mark says:

          Yeah… and somehow to some people a touch bar is less impressive than a swivel screen?

          • meh says:

            What’s so impressive about a touch bar?

            • Mark says:

              A lot of things and whats cool is everyone can use it the way they want to, not necessarily the way i use it.

              Personally I like the fact that I can customize my own buttons, shortcuts, and display what i want in the touch bar. i like having my own spotify controls when i’m inside any app and also be able to display track name and artist. i’m looking forward to being able to display outside temperature and maybe even my stock portfolio in the touch bar as well. It’s the secondary information screen I’ve always wanted.

              • Sayeed says:

                Touchbar is a tiny re-implementation of a touchscreen display, it makes no sense to put what is in front of your eyes again on the keyboard.

                • Mark says:

                  I have to disagree with you. You haven’t used the touch bar and I don’t think you understand what it’s meant to do. It’s not a replacement for a touch screen. It’s a customizable secondary display that has touch.

      • Sayeed says:

        Macbook Pro as thin and light as air? Even Apple don’t use those words to describe the MacBook pros !!

        There is a difference between Macbook Pro and the Macbook Air which is much lighter.

        You said 15 hours battery life ?? Official Apple site states “upto” 10 hours battery life (in real life most of the times its lesser)!!

        Are you trying to promote the Macbooks ?

        I own 2015 series 5k iMAC and 2013 series Macbook Retina 15″, The reason why I bought the macbook pro is because I needed a laptop with SSD and at that time there was only Apple selling such a laptop and I was impressed with the Retina display. Those were the solid reasons for me to put 950 KD into a innovative laptop but unfortunately I found working with MAC without windows puts me in trouble.

        Some very basic Applications I use every day don’t work with Safari, I don’t use my iMac much anymore for the same reason, I’ve assembled a new PC for that purpose now and added a 4k screen and I love it.

        Am speaking from experience and I am not getting paid for it rather I paid for all these experiences.

        last but not least, Apple could have simply made it a touch screen it would allow users to touch any part of their application on screen rather trying to get one tiny strip to do multi-function work as if space is an issue on the laptop, Ain’t these tech companies repackaging the old stuff with a new name and selling it to us and we jump with WOW look Apple is so amazing, no they are not, actually those who buy it are being fooled.

        • Mark says:

          Check the specs, I’m not making things up, it’s smaller and as light as my previous MacBook Air 13″. I even had a side by side shot in my previous post.

          Apple always under states battery life, according to Consumer Reports battery life was around 15 hours.

          Not sure what applications you have trouble working with safari, I don’t even know what that means.

          I’m not getting paid for this, I paid for my MacBook Pro.

          Touch screen has no relation to touch bar, they’re both very different things and do different things. You haven’t used a touch bar not do you know exactly what it does which is why you’re saying Apple should have made a touch screen (which I think would have been super dumb and served no purpose). I’m not even sure how you think a touch screen could do what the touch bar does. They’re so different.

          You seem to be hating just to hate instead of offering solid arguments.

          • Sayeed says:

            I misunderstood your comment about the macbook pro being as light as air, I must say you’re right about it.

            Like I mentioned earlier I am using the Macbook Pro 15″ Retina and I’ve never seen it exceeding approx 8 hours battery and with time the battery is holding even lesser juice, 15 hours battery life is still imaginary.

            I’ve looked for a review on battery and found that people have different experiences with battery but nobody gets above 10 hours, Please check this article : https://9to5mac.com/2016/12/15/2016-macbook-pro-battery-life-estimates/

            About the applications issue:

            – Any flash or java based applications don’t work with Safari or Macbook in general
            – I can’t launch Oracle Java Applet with Macbook unless I run Windows Virtual Machine in it.
            – I love many small utilities available in Windows e.g Textpad an amazing app which is unfortunately not available in MAC.
            – Oracle TOAD one of the very important tools I use is not available for MAC
            – I prefer writing documents in MS Word which is available for MAC but doesn’t work exactly as it would in a PC.
            – And the list goes on..

            Touch bar:
            Oh yeah Touchscreen does have a relation to the touch bar because basically touch bar is nothing but a touchscreen on the keyboard, they could have easily implemented it on the laptop screen itself, so its not any sort of invention rather its reimplementation with a new name like I said earlier. No Invention there, it’s just a tweak.

            If you still like it, good for you but nothing amazing about those ever changing buttons which you can’t correctly touch upon unless you look at the keyboard (no more typing without looking at a keyboard, you need to retrain fingers otherwise)

            In other words, you have 2 displays to look at now instead of one.

            I am not hating anything here, I like Macbook Pro Laptops for few reasons and that’s why I own one, my point was that there is no great advancement to the existing great laptop, just repackaging no invention and same goes for iPhones.

            • Mark says:

              I’m not sure why you’re trying so hard to disprove my statements. But I’ll play along.

              The 9to5mac link you posted is old and not accurate.
              Consumer Reports have since backtracked and updated their findings. Here is the proper link with the update:
              http://www.consumerreports.org/apple/consumer-reports-now-recommends-macbook-pros/

              Here are their findings based on THEIR tests which are pretty strict:

              MacBook Pro 13″ no Touch Bar 18.75 battery life
              MacBook Pro 13″ Touch Bar 15.75 hours battery life
              MacBook Pro 15″ Touch Bar 17.25 hours battery life

              So lets go through your complaints.

              Problem: Safari doesn’t play flash.
              Answer: Who cares?

              Problem: Textpad not available in Mac
              Answer: Who cares, use textedit, or text wrangler or a hundred other apps

              Problem: something something oracle something something toad something something
              Answer: ZZzzzz….

              Problem: I like writing documents in MS Word but doesn’t work exactly as on a PC
              Answer: It works exactly as on a PC

              Touch Bar:
              Can you please let us know how they could have implemented the touch bar onto the screen without taking up any screen real estate? If you find a solution you might also want to share it with Apple, they might hire you with good pay and their new campus looks ridiculous so you’ll love working there.

              Nobody here stating that the new MacBook Pro is revolutionary, I’m not at least. I personally don’t think ANY laptop, mac or other has been a great advancement. It’s always been minor advancements and never major. If you compare the MacBook Pro today to the MacBook Pro 10 years ago yeah there is a big jump, but from model to model the jump has always been minor.

              With the Touch Bar I really think you aren’t grasping the concept behind it since you keep comparing it to the laptop screen. The best way to describe the touch bar is as a digital customizable keyboard. Like how you have letters on a keyboard and a trackpad, you now have a third element which is the touch bar and its customizable.

  3. Sayeed says:

    I’m not sure why you’re trying so hard to disprove my statements. But I’ll play along.

    Sayeed >> I am just being myself, its not about you.

    The 9to5mac link you posted is old and not accurate.
    Consumer Reports have since backtracked and updated their findings. Here is the proper link with the update:
    http://www.consumerreports.org/apple/consumer-reports-now-recommends-macbook-pros/

    We can refer to all kinds of tests done under controlled environment but I would like to believe in what I have experieced myself, battery doesn’t last that long.

    So lets go through your complaints.

    Problem: Safari doesn’t play flash.
    Answer: Who cares?

    Sayeed >> I care

    Problem: Textpad not available in Mac
    Answer: Who cares, use textedit, or text wrangler or a hundred other apps

    Sayeed >> I’ve tried a few but none is like Textpad and other windows editors in general.

    Problem: something something oracle something something toad something something
    Answer: ZZzzzz….

    Sayeed >> Yeah when you don’t understand productivity talks this is best you can do, fall asleep.

    Problem: I like writing documents in MS Word but doesn’t work exactly as on a PC
    Answer: It works exactly as on a PC

    Sayeed >> No 2 software on 2 different OS work same, home ground has it’s own advantage always.

    Touch Bar:
    Can you please let us know how they could have implemented the touch bar onto the screen without taking up any screen real estate? If you find a solution you might also want to share it with Apple, they might hire you with good pay and their new campus looks ridiculous so you’ll love working there.

    Sayeed >> You talk too much and don’t stop after making a point, you can implement it anywhere on the screen as a custom strip my preference would be on top of the screen if I ever needed such a touch tab strip which I don’t

    With the Touch Bar I really think you aren’t grasping the concept behind it since you keep comparing it to the laptop screen. The best way to describe the touch bar is as a digital customizable keyboard. Like how you have letters on a keyboard and a trackpad, you now have a third element which is the touch bar and its customizable.

    Sayeed >> Its just a touchable area on keyboard not a rocket science that I would require explanation to understand.

  4. Mark says:

    For anyone that is interested, this is how the touch bar would look like as a stock ticker
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3a9R0oVMAEtBvU.jpg

    You can do it using BetterTouchTool

  5. Sayeed says:

    Was thinking of throwing my money in macbook pro just to have a taste of it, while researching further I found this newly posted review about Macbook Pro, the battery lasted for about an hour while editing videos, shocking !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgN91L_88j0


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