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How to customize your Macbook touch bar and make it useful again

Submitted by abhaisasidharan on Sat, 09/19/2020 - 15:26
Macbook Touch Bar
Macbook Touch Bar

When I got my new Macbook Pro 16, I was quite excited about the Touch Bar. I had never owned a Macbook with a touch bar before. So when I started using the new Macbook, I tinkered around with the touch bar for quite a bit. If you have read my review of Macbook pro 16, you'll probably know that I was immensely disappointed with the touch bar because it was near useless and not at all customizable.

Even default Apple applications like Safari, provide very few useful actions from the touch bar. Even then, I mean c'mon, who uses Safari. So Apple should really re-think how to provide a more useful touch bar.

Meanwhile, smart developers have provided a solution to make your Macbook touch bar more useful. The best such solution is My Touchbar My Rules (MTMR). They have provided an easy solution to customize and add useful widgets, buttons and actions to the touch bar. I customized my touch bar for my personal needs, like screenshot, date, play/pause, dock, cpu, ram monitor etc. It looks like this:

MTMR touchbar

MTMR touch bar

I also added a stats button so that it doesn't take too much cpu time monitoring the stats. It will only start checking cpu, network etc when I click the stats button. You define widgets in an items.json file. You'll also learn some shell scripting on the way. I used a mixture of preset customisations from here:

Hopefully this article will make some more dissapointed Macbook users find some peace with the useless abomination they call a touchbar.