MacBook Pro Touch Bar - making use of it

This is a bit off topic, but I would like to learn about others experience with the MacBook Pro Touch Bar. It has been announced with great fanfare by Apple a few years ago and it is now question, if it will survive in upcoming iterations of the MacBook Pro.

Apple-issued apps make good use of it, like Safari and Mail. Some 3rd party apps like Zoom make use of it, too.
FMP does not provide Touch Bar functionality out of the box. The MBS plug-in caters for that, offering a host of functions in order to supply Touch Bar functionality to solutions.

Admittedly, I never used the Touch Bar in FM-based solutions and would like to learn more about it. Do you make use of it and how would it add to existing point-and-click or keyboard shortcut functionality?

I never use the touchbar. I've bought a MacBook Pro that has one but I didn't buy it because of that feature. I love the fingerprint sensor and that's it. But maybe I would have adopted some features if Apple had sold an external keyboard with a touchbar. 99% of the time I use an external keyboard because I'm faster and more used to typing there. So for me the touchbar is nothing more than a gimmick.

The touch bar nearly put me off the purchase of my M1 MacBook Pro. It is every bit as useless as I thought it would be and is totally distracting if working in low light. As a business owner and software developer, do I really want to repeatedly see emojis appearing in front of me?

Can’t wait for the release of new models that ditch this completely useless feature that is thrust upon Pro model users ( :pray: - and I did not use the touch bar for this)

1 Like

I got rid of all the button clutter with BetterTouchTool : https://folivora.ai/
This is how my Touch Bar looks now in every single program:


Screen and Keyboard Brightness are controlled with two or three finger swipes. That's all I need.

1 Like

I'm a touch bar fan. I don't understand the criticism? I only hear it from men with beards :hocho::grinning:

As I'm typing directly into discourse it provides me with an esc button, an emoji selector (used above to put the knife in and provide a smiley), a type-ahead word selector (which I use), the reveal arrow to get the full default function bar buttons displayed and the shortened bar: screenshot, sound, mute, and quick-actions keys, which I have filled with utilities to generate MarkDown text from a selection.

When working FileMaker - or anywhere that I need the function keys - I simply hold the function key to display the F1 - F12 keys on the touch bar. That's great for debugging.

I like the way that it provides access to user input actions that are fiddly to get to otherwise. It's really well thought through, it provides an extra layer of tools in a context-sensitive way.

@harvest
I also plug my laptop into a larger monitor and larger keyboard and I still reach across the big keyboard to use the touchbar on my laptop.

1 Like

I see, there is more the Touch Bar can do than I am aware of. I recently started using it for adding addresses to emails. Most times it offers me the right addresses, even for people with multiple email addresses.

I guess it depends on the keyboard usage. There is pretty much a keyboard shortcut for most things that appear on the touch bar, or if not it is mirroring a button on the screen.

To each their own (but in my opinion it is a complete waste of real estate and time). Apple’s response to being outdone by Microsoft and their Surface (and I am a Mac fan from over 35 years).

If you have questions about our TouchBar functions in MBS FileMaker Plugin, please let me know.

We may even improve a bit there. e.g. you can install your own commands there to use in the script workspace, e.g. to show/hide debugger.

2 Likes

That sounds quite interesting!

P.S. Just loaded the sample file for Touch Bar configuration in FMP. The toggle buttons for Data Viewer and Debugger are great!
https://www.mbsplugins.eu/component_TouchBar.shtml

I find the touch bar cool in some way (if an application supports it) - but in general, I do not use it - mainly because a MacBook with TB is rarly found in our 'customers-environment'. So, it makes no sense to build habits on that...

1 Like

No use in a Win environment. With its uncertain future, it is a difficult choice to integrate it in user UI.
For developing on Mac it can be a great feature.

I hated the Touch Bar on my Mac until I found a System Preference (see screenshot) that made it behave the way I wanted. When working in FM, I've got the function keys I want for script debugger, and everywhere else I can control volume and brightness with one click instead of multiple. YMMV as to your prefs.

Mike

3 Likes

Addition to the OP:

Apple just started selling an updated Magic Keyboard that now (and finally) has a Touch ID button, but no Touch Bar.