Apple to discontinue touch bar

I'm new to Keyboard Maestro and I've never used a touch bar or BTT. I'm ready to buy an M1 laptop. How useful is the touch bar to Keyboard Maestro? I'd think a touch bar, maybe with BTT, would be fabulous w/KM, but I don't see much on the forum about this topic in general. Should I get the MB Air, or MBP before touch bar is discontinued?

That sound like good news to me : -)

I've delayed replacing my laptop because I wanted to keep the Esc key and avoid the touch bar. Not sure it would be vanishing if it had ever been very widely experienced as a great asset.

If it isn't seen as a great asset on this keyboard specific forum, then I'll ignore it. I was pretty good with QuickKeys in a former life, and I'd love to learn and use KM now.

I bought an MBP with touch bar. Shortly, I found out I need to buy BTT to make the touch bar more useful.
I found that Touch bar + BTT + KM is a very good combination, even with my limited usage.

Wow! So, they are capable of working together! That's great. Is there a serious stigma regarding the esc and/or fn keys among super-fast touch-typing techs? Is the use of "pallets" preferred? Or programmable keyboards? I'd think this forum would be passionate over the touch bar, even if users in general don't use it.

Pretty much all of my usage of Touch Bar + BTT + KM is limited to:

  1. Create a KM macro
  2. Make a Touch Bar item in BTT, and use execute AppleScript to trigger the KM macro.

The advantage of this is that I don't need to set a keyboard trigger and commit it into memory.

First, let’s be clear that it is only rumored that Apple is doing to discontinue the Touch Bar. This has been rumored before. The newest MacBook Pro still includes it, which is stronger evidence that Apple intends to keep the Touch Bar than any rumor to the contrary.

That being said, I tried, I really really tried to like the Touch Bar, but I didn’t. I installed BetterTouchTool, I customized it, I watched YouTube videos from people who told me that the Touch Bar was great and I was missing out. I know smart people like David Sparks of MacPowerUsers fame both use and love it.

After 6 months with a 16" MacBook Pro, I still didn’t like it. It still didn’t find its way into my “work flow”.

When I ordered my M1 MacBook Air, I didn’t really think about the lack of a Touch Bar as part of that decision, but as soon as I had actual buttons again, it felt like a huge relief and a welcomed change.

IIRC Marco Arment said on this week’s ATP that he would never buy another laptop with a Touch Bar.

I think one of the biggest failings of the Touch Bar is that Apple has done almost nothing with it since it was introduced, and since it is only available on a fraction of the Macs they sell, developers have had no real motivation to make it better either, because only some of their customers will benefit from that work.


This is my issue. I think it would be sweet, but it's just not worth the time investment for something I can't use most of the time. My current MacBook is docked at my desk most of the time so I have an external keyboard and I use the global palette to remind me of what's going on. I can't use a Touch Bar when I'm using my external keyboard so why would I spend much time making it work well? Yes, it would be nice, but I'd rather put my money towards an iPad and just pretend the Touch Bar never existed.

tjluoma: thanks for detail on David Sparks, very helpful! The direct link for others wanting instructions is:

I listened to the 2 hour podcast on your ATP link too. (For others, start at 40 min., then jump to 60 min.) Their objections were also vague, other than preferring the physical keys to adjust volume & brightness.

My biggest con so far is not having an external keyboard with a touch bar to continue using when my laptop is closed and using external KVM.


Yes, I also want to buy the iPad Air 4th, and need the savings from a MBAir. I have researched at this decision until I could only find repeating reasons. I still have time until the Covid-19 relief is spent on this, to change my mind. I'm close to deciding for a reason I haven't yet seen online (#3):

  1. I use my laptop away from the my desk a considerable amount.
  2. I plan to use a lot of macros
  3. I will use the MBP to demo software I write, and I will use macros during my sales pitch to clients. The MBP becomes a theater and I want to hide all stagecraft.

I hope we've left a few bread crumbs for others on this decision.