The MacBook Pro's Touch Bar Was 'The Right Thing to Do'

Matthew Panzarino for TechCrunch, on why Apple was right to add the Touch Bar to the new MacBook Pro:

Having a discrete bar that can update with context, allowing you to take those dozen daily actions makes total sense. Far more sense than bolting a touch screen onto a non-touch-optimized OS and forcing you to poke at tiny buttons meant for a mouse.

This is the money use case for the Touch Bar, especially in context of accessibility:

(As a side note, I think Apple is doing future generations a great service in sublimating the importance of keyboard shortcuts, which are arcane and difficult to discover and use.)

A candidate for a Touch Bar shortcut (with some exceptions) should meet the following tests:

  1. It saves some sort of Dr. Strange-style physical finger contortion to hit a shortcut combo.
  2. It saves you more than two clicks of a trackpad.

When I saw the Touch Bar in the demos and in the hands-on area, the initial impression I got was it was going to be great for replacing keyboard shortcuts. From an accessibility perspective, the Sticky Keys feature already helps in using shortvuts, but the Touch Bar can potentially lessen user reliance on Sticky Keys. This could be a huge win for those who, like me, find shortcuts a pain in the ass due to physical motor delays.