Opinion: The problem with Apple reportedly killing the MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Zac Hall, 9to5Mac:

Ming-Chi Kuo, a reliable supply chain analyst for TF International Securities, predicts a bold new class of MacBook Pros this year with MagSafe charging and I/O ports that won’t require dongles. What Kuo doesn’t forecast is a future for the Touch Bar, the strip of touchscreen panel Apple added to the MacBook Pro in 2016. Love or hate the Touch Bar, that’s a bad thing.

What follows is some fascinating discussion of the Touch Bar, including this bit quoted from John Gruber:

You’ve got this little ARM computer running on your keyboard, and it communicates with the Intel side. One of the things that the iOS device on the Touch Bar doesn’t have is a GPU. So the Intel side does the GPU rendering and has to go back, but it’s all done securely and there’s a whole bunch of electrical engineering going on there and you’d never know it. It’s 60 FPS just like iOS and it’s instantaneous touch.


To me, it’s example number one of whatever else is going on with the Macs, and some of the machines that have gone way too long without being updated, it’s clear that Apple is invested in the Mac. I really think that Touch Bar is proof of it

And back to Zac:

Now the Touch Bar appears to be dead, and the Mac couldn’t be more alive.

I’ve been living on my M1 MacBook Air for some time now, all without a Touch Bar. I don’t miss Touch Bar terribly, but I do miss it.

I suspect if I lived in an app that actually made extensive use of the Touch Bar, I’d miss it even more. But as is, I miss the autocorrect/emoji suggestions, and I miss the video scrub bar (which actually lets you scrub through YouTube ads).

I think the Touch Bar was an interesting concept, and I hope it will continue to appear, in some evolved, more customizable form, in future Macs.