It’s true. If you have a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, it’s an absolute no brainer and here’s why…
Ironically, the only useful feature of the base TouchBar — emojis!
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover
I bought my MacBook Pro back in 2016 — when most people thought the Touch Bar would be ‘revolutionary’ and ‘the next step in laptop innovation’! Unfortunately, the Touch Bar turned out to be none of those things. It did (as some people estimated), turn out to be a massive gimmick.
Don’t get me wrong — you still get a ‘that’s really cool’ comment every now and then, but I think that’s more based off of not many people owning one rather than it actually being good or useful. I won’t go into too much detail, but the Touch Bar just isn’t practical. As it turns out, reaching your hands above the keyboard when typing to complete an action that can be easily done with a simple and quick keyboard shortcut, isn’t efficient or productive, even though it may look otherwise. It just slows you down.
You may be wondering at this point, if I’m telling you that the Touch Bar is useless, how could a program possibly resolve that? Well, say hello to BetterTouchTool.
Remove the rubbish — Add what you need
In short — BetterTouchTool is the ultimate Touch Bar customisation program to help you remove any unwanted rubbish and too add pretty much whatever you want! To start off with, here’s an example of what mine currently looks like…
It looks pretty different huh? Each element of my Touch Bar is specifically tailored to my workflow.
Firstly, I chose to keep the Esc button just because I often find myself using it when coding etc. The next button is the BetterTouchTool logo and this hides your custom Touch Bar temporarily. But these buttons aren’t the important bits.
The initial three buttons switch to or launch Finder, Sublime Text and Chrome. These are the three programs I find myself switching to most often when I’m working. The next bar display’s my currently playing Spotify song and artist name. It also has a handy hidden feature — when you tap it, it skips to the next song!
You’ve then got your standard volume and brightness sliders which I find myself using more often than any other button on the TouchBar. Then finally, I’ve got a Play/Pause button, a Coffee Break button for quickly locking my laptop or putting it to sleep and a clock.
It’s like decorating a Christmas Tree…
Buying the Christmas Tree is nice, but the tinsel, lights and chocolate is what makes it special. The Touch Bar is the Christmas Tree, and BetterTouchTool is the decoration.
What you’ve just seen is my Work configuration, however, BetterTouchTool supports multiple configurations which means I can switch out my Touch Bar buttons depending on the situation. I currently have one for work, one for listening to music and one for browsing the web. This suddenly makes both my laptop and myself way more versatile than before.
BetterTouchTool also has a large community in which people build and share their own custom Touch Bar’s — all of which can be added into TouchTool with ease, to give you the chance to use others.
Apple missed a trick
Apple, you really missed a trick here, but it doesn’t matter. Alas, Andreas Hegenberg (the creator of BetterTouchTool) has created something pretty damn incredible that I really think you should consider using.
It’s not just used for Touch Bar features either. Pretty much any input device (Mouse, Keyboard, Trackpad etc) can be fully customised just like the Touch Bar.
Download BetterTouchTool here — https://folivora.ai/
If you’d like to know how I got my Touch Bar setup — head over to the link below where the GitHub user vas3k has uploaded plenty of example presets to help you get started!