Among other recent rumors, Apple reportedly will remove the Touch Bar in the 2021 MacBook Pro. Ming-chi Kuo, TF Securities analyst, wrote in a research note. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman also corroborated many of the same details in a report.
The Touch Bar was first introduced in 2016. It’s a multi-touch OLED strip on the keyboard in place of the traditional function keys. The Touch Bar adapts to whatever app is running and displays the controls for that app.
The Touch Bar was one of those Apple inventions they tried really hard to push but never took off. MacBook users found it difficult to use and they simply missed the Esc key and the function keys.
In recent years, Apple has notably walked back on its features a few times. This includes 3D Touch on iPhone 6S through iPhone XS and the butterfly mechanism keyboard used in MacBook models.
From the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR in 2019, Apple replaced 3D Touch with Haptic Touch. Apple started phasing out the butterfly mechanism keyboard in 2019 and killed it off completely in 2020.
A lot of people liked 3D Touch and found it difficult to move to Haptic Touch’s long press. Few people are going to miss the Touch Bar, based on a quick search on Twitter. Even fewer people missed the butterfly mechanism keyboard when Apple went back to the scissors keyboard technology.
If removing the Touch Bar is great news, the rumored return of the MagSafe charging port for MacBook models is the icing on the top.
MagSafe charging uses magnets to connect the charging cable to the Mac, so if someone is to trip over the cable, it will easily disconnect and the Mac won’t fall off from the desk.
Starting with the 2016 MacBook models, Apple removed MagSafe in favor of the more advanced USB-C which supports both power and data.
With the introduction of the iPhone 12 line-up in 2020, MagSafe is once again in the spotlight, so it makes sense that Apple is looking at reviving the same technology for their MacBook products too, likely with a smaller form factor.