Apple, sorry. But there is a new app that will let people basically render the Touch Bar on the latest MacBook Pro laptops completely useless.
It’s called TouchBarDisabler, from Georgia Tech computer science student Kay Yin. It doesn’t just work on the 2016 MacBook Pro; it also does its magic on the aptly named Touch Bar Simulator for Mac, or alternatively in Xcode’s virtual Touch Bar. Just know that you’ll need to disable System Integrity Protection (SIP) in order to get it running.
Many apps have introduced support for the Touch Bar since Apple introduced it in October. Just to name a few: Coda, Dashlane, dJay Pro, Evernote, Sketch, and Tenor.
But sentiment around the component isn’t all positive.
Apple developer Marco Arment and former Apple senior engineering manager Michael Lopp are among those who aren’t fans of the secondary display that’s mounted just above the keyboard of the laptop.
I’m with @rands on the Touch Bar, unfortunately. https://t.co/9MiL21FTzt
— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) April 2, 2017
3 months of the Macbook Pro with Touchbar and it feels absolutely foreign going back to the old style keyboard with no touchbar. I'm sold.
— philwinkle (@philwinkle) April 20, 2017
People have used the word “gimmick” to describe the Touch Bar more often than I can keep track of.
The MacBook Pro Touch Bar is not a pro feature.
I've had one for a couple of months now and I think it's a gimmick, at best.
— Jack Brewster (@jackbrewster) April 16, 2017
a) Touch Bar = ergonomics-sapping gimmick, b) Subpar specs due to obsession with thickness/battery life, c) Too soon to drop ports, d) Bugs.
— Michael Love (@elkmovie) April 16, 2017
So now you have something that literally stops the Touch Bar from doing anything — adjusting volume, adjusting display brightness, hitting the escape function, triggering the Siri virtual assistant, and so on. It’s not like you can even hold down the function button to bring back the F row — it’s just gone, period.
This is a step up from what Apple itself allows you to do from System Preferences. If you’ve always wanted to just make the Touch Bar go away — instead of, say, loading it up with app and website shortcuts — this is the simplest method yet.
VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.