Apple has officially removed the MacBook Pro Touch Bar, marking the end of a feature that was once hailed as revolutionary but ultimately failed to gain widespread popularity. This decision was highlighted during Apple’s recent “Scary Fast” virtual event, where they announced their new silicon lineup for 2023, including the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips.
Why did Apple Kill the MacBook Pro Touch Bar?
- Introduced in 2016: The Touch Bar was first introduced with the 2016 MacBook Pro, alongside an all-USB-C design and the butterfly keyboard.
- Concept: It replaced traditional function keys with a multitouch display, offering dynamic controls based on the active application.
Features and Integration
- Functionality: The Touch Bar displayed controls like play/pause and seek for movies, emoji in Messages, or Tabs and Favorites in Safari.
- Third-Party Support: Microsoft apps like Office, Outlook, and Skype quickly added support for the Touch Bar.
- Limited Windows Support: Under Boot Camp, it displayed a static row of functional keys.
- Acknowledgment of Demise: Apple acknowledged the Touch Bar’s demise in 2021 with the release of new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros.
- Replacement: Physical function keys, including a wider escape key, replaced the Touch Bar.
- Last Device with Touch Bar: The 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro was the last model to feature this secondary display.
Reasons for Failure
- Lack of Support: The Touch Bar’s failure is attributed to insufficient support and development from Apple.
- Limited Accessibility: Its use was restricted to the Pro models, limiting its potential user base.
- New Products: Apple’s event showcased the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips powering refreshed 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and a new 24-inch iMac.
- Availability: These new Macs are available for pre-order and will start shipping on November 7.
- Removal from Website: The 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro, the last to continue the Touch Bar legacy, has been quietly discontinued and removed from Apple’s website.
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