Few of us would disagree with this statement: " Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ." Does that mean " functionality is in the eyes of the user ?" Again, the answer is an unqualified yes (unless the user is a doofus ).
It may seem like most of the our stuff these days has user-friendly functionality, but along with tools come features that many, or at least some, can consider gimmicks. Can you think of a few gimmicks? Here's one. Apple's touchpad on the MacBook Pro.
Here's the deal with the much malformed touchpad on the 1
Touch Bar replaced the Mac keyboard's function keys. Unlike function keys, the Touch Bar is context sensitive and can be used on a different way depending on which Mac app on the front of the screen. Or not used at all. I've been a Mac user for more than 20 years and never got to use the function keys.
I use the touchpad. Why?
It works. The bar itself is a 2170 x 60 pixel touch screen. It is an input device. Touch it and it performs specific functions – far more than the F key's function keys. In essence, Touch Bar is a dynamic strip of keys, but like the keyboard on iPhone and iPad, it is not limited to the physical limitations of a plastic keyboard.
The right side of the Touch Bar is the control strip that functions like the regular MacBook function keys and displays options for system volume, screen, media playback and so on. The majority of Touch Bar is application-specific; which means that apps can use it to define their own shortcuts or add tools. It can even display QuickType keyboard suggestions – similar to those found on iOS keyboards.
How is it not good? How's that a gimmick? It. Is. Not. Think of touch fields as touch controls that add features to the on-screen app.
The problem with the touch field is not the gimmicky assessment, but the learning curve. Each app has a different Touch Bar tool, which means you have to learn something new; It takes time and effort.
Gimmick? Of course not. Useful? Far more than the old F-key function keys.
What about Touch ID? Which pops up at the other end of the touchpad and works just like it did on older, non-iPhone X iPhones and iPads. Touch ID seems doomed on iOS devices that have already moved on to Face ID. I expect Face ID to appear on future Mac models. So, what about the touchpad? Touch ID or not, this is not a gimmick. It is a tool that is there if you want it, not if you do not.
What should you not like?