I’m more and more convinced that a major reason some are turned off by it isn’t because of the technology (which I think is great), but rather that Apple has left it half-baked. My dream would be that they bring Shortcuts to macOS, buy BTT and integrate its customization capabilities into the OS, and create an easy UI → Action automation system powered by Shortcuts and AppleScript/Bash.

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@buffaloseven I find BTT’s Touch Bar integration really highlights the great automation capabilities of the Mac. A lot of my custom buttons function using AppleScript and Automator actions. The one thing I can say for sure is that it’s unquestionably made me more productive alongside making so many things just “a bit easier.” Would I buy a laptop *specifically* for a Touch Bar? Probably not, but it can be made into a great addition.

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I was pretty ambivalent about Apple’s Touch Bar on my 2018 MacBook Pro, but after just a couple weeks with BetterTouchTool, I don’t think I’d want to be able to go back to a laptop without one. I’ve been able to create a custom HUD, always accessible iTunes controls, a complete set of widgets to see almost every stat I could want from my personal weather station (with conditional appearances!), and custom application-specific, as well as file-specific, controls.

I've also applied RegEx matches to the 3 main current condition buttons to highlight them if the parameter exceeds a threshold. Pretty nifty.

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I've been playing with touch bar customizations to make it more useful for me, and this is one I really like. I have a personal weather station powered by Cumulus MX and set up a Launch Agent to automatically query the CMX webserver API every minute and write the result to disk (tries via Bonjour address then falls back to my actual external IP). I've then set up a bunch of BTT widgets to show current conditions. Tapping a condition opens a button group that shows an overview for that element.

That said, it’s a device of compromise. It’s thin design makes even the 15” extremely portable, but limits top-end performance. USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 mitigates some of that by allowing you to add performance (eGPU can really help) when you’re at the office, but still have a powerful portable machine. Apple isn’t the only laptop maker running into thermal limitations, and it’s easy to “blame Intel” but the reality is that no matter the die size, portability will be the main goal for laptops.

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@buffaloseven 5. All USB-C isn’t terrible. I bought just a couple adapters and a few USB-C to [USB-A/micro-USB/Lightning] and I pretty much can plug anything in now. It’s really not that big a deal.
6. The trackpad is fantastic.
7. Screen is equally fantastic and True Tone is a subtle but great addition. It’s also easy to turn on/off, but they should add a toggle in the notification centre right next to the night shift toggle).
8. I’m finding better Bluetooth performance than with my 2013 MBP.

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After using a 2018 15” MacBook Pro for a couple weeks, I have a few thoughts as someone who upgraded from a 2013 model:

1. Assuming it doesn’t fail, I really like the new keyboard.
2. Touch Bar is a mixed bag; Apple could improve standard behaviour. Some apps use it excellently, some not. BetterTouchTool makes it awesome. TouchID is fantastic.
3. Blazing fast.
4. The 560X isn’t a terrible laptop card. I’m surprised how many relatively recent games I can play [in boot camp] at 900P+.

Pro tip: If you're running a touch bar enabled MBP, if you want the "Web Inspector" button to work in Safari you need to have developer tools menu enabled.


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