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2016 MacBook Pro: the Touchbar Already Saving Me Time

Mac wish list all 2016 MacBook pro models at B&H Photoall 15" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models • all 13" Apple MacBook Pro 2016 models. MPG gets credit if you buy through those links.

The OLED display of the touchbar is beautiful to behold, with rich color and crisp detail.

See also Touchbar Notes.

While I have used the touchbar for little as yet, I am already a 'fan' because it is saving me time: every time I am prompted for an administrator password (a lot, when I doing certain things), I just touch the touchbar and my fingerprint instantly takes care of that pesky password dialog.

This is also a security win in one way (potential risks of fingerprint login are beyond my knowledge): there is no need to type a password, hence no one can spy out what is being typed. That’s a good thing in public places, at the least.

Just touch the touchbar instead of entering password

The touchbar is a big win for usability and the learning curve

Insofar as the touchbar merely replaces keyboard shortcuts it is not a win for power users like me, since it is no faster; I can just use the command-key shortcuts.

The touchbar has the potential to unhide functionality and improve ease of use and already MPG is won over to its merits (in spite of certain confusing trade-offs).

  • To the extent that the touchbar makes visible context-sensitive features that for most users would otherwise remain hidden in the menus or contextual menus, the touchbar is a HUGE win. Non-expert users have a big win here.
  • The ability to touch to complete an action brings the ease of use of iOS to the Mac. While this is not a win for expert users knowing keyboard shortcuts, it makes visible things that might have remained hidden in contextual menus or overloaded main menus and/or submenus. Context-sensitive features on the touchbar thus flatten the learning curve.

In MPG’s view, these are big wins which will play out over time in bringing the ease of use aspects of iOS to the Mac, while avoiding the problemetic approach of making the whole screen touchable.

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