Better Touch Tool with Touch Bar Support

If you have a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, then Better Touch Tool is a must have. You can customize the Touch Bar with a ton of shortcuts that you can't customize it with by default in macOS.

As an example, I can open Motion 5 with shortcut of instructions to open Motion with a 1920x1080 project with 24FPS with a 7 second duration all with one tap. It will open up my empty template and is ready to go.

Also, if you have purchased Better Touch Tool in the past you can update for free, if you have purchased Better Snap Tool (which I own) then you can download Better Touch Tool for free also. The developer has a "pay what you want model" with the minimum being $4.50. Personally, I would give this dev at least $10 as this is an extremely powerful Mac app and he deserves as much.

Download the 45 day trial here;
how to;


The huge trackpad on the MacBook Pro

I have been using my new MacBook Pro for exactly 2 weeks as of today; I wanted to discuss this new huge trackpad. Let me just get this out of the way: I am not in love with it!

I have noticed the palm rejection sometimes causes issues when I am typing. It seems like it will select entire paragraphs and move them around, or completely select and delete entire paragraphs. I am not even sure how in the hell it is deleting things? It doesn’t cause issues all of the time; but, it has caused enough issues for me to take notice. The problem lies with my palms resting on top of the trackpad. I believe that when I go to use something in the Touch Bar that my palms are sliding on the trackpad and it thinks that I am swiping on it; or at least that is what I assume is happening?

The funny thing about the trackpad, I can put my palms on the trackpad and move them around and the cursor never moves! But when I start typing all of sudden it magically activates at certain times. Then other times I can place my palms on the trackpad and it activates the cursor causing it to jump all over the screen. Weird!

A friend suggested I turn off Tap to Click and see it that helps. So far it does seem to be doing much better with Tap to Click disabled, although I am used to using Tap to Click as I used it on my MacBook Air as well as my iMac when I use the Magic Trackpad.

I am also am having to learn to adjust to Force Touch on the new trackpad. A lot of times I will press too hard on a folder and it will open a quick-view window showing me the contents inside the folder that I am clicking on. I have noticed this happening when I am trying to move a folder to the trash or just relocate it on my Home screen. The problem is not with Force Touch on the trackpad, it is just me not being used to using it. It works exactly the same on the iPhone (3D Touch); on the trackpad you need to do a light ‘half’ click to move the item you are clicking on. I do feel the Force Touch on the trackpad is something I will adjust to as I use it more.

The gestures are much easier to use with the huge trackpad but I honestly don’t think I had an issue with gestures on the much smaller trackpad on my 11” MacBook Air. I do know one thing, I never had an issue with palm rejection on my 11” MacBook Air!

Hopefully the issues I am having are just software based and Apple can release an update to tweak the trackpad so as to give it better palm rejection detection. The palm detection works okay most of the time, the times it doesn’t though are very frustrating.

One thing I have noticed is even though the trackpad has issues sometimes, I have found myself using the trackpad more than my Magic Mouse 2. I find that odd as I always used a mouse with my MacBook Air and my iMac. I do use the Magic Trackpad with my iMac but not to move the cursor or navigate within macOS. Most of my uses with the Magic Trackpad were for using the gestures; such as opening Mission Control, swiping between open apps, launching Launchpad, swiping between desktops, or to show all of the open apps that I was running. Now I am using the trackpad more to just navigate on the machine.

Lastly, I just wanted to mention that I do really like this new MacBook Pro. I have thoroughly enjoyed using it and it is hands down the best laptop I have ever owned. With that said, it does have a learning curve; the trackpad, keyboard, and Touch Bar are all things that I am having to adjust to using. I would have no problem recommending the new MacBook Pro to anyone looking at buying a new Mac!

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Battery Life

I have been using the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for over a week now and the battery life has been really good. This was one of the things I was worried about when deciding to buy the new MacBook Pro, as I read so many articles stating the opposite. There was the whole Consumer Report debacle, in which CR did some crazy testing which caused the battery life to be very sporadic in their testing.
Marco Arment claims he was not getting the 10-hours of battery life that Apple was claiming users should get:
“Apple claims it lasts 10 hours, but I’ve never gotten that — in a fairly light web-productivity workload, I average around 5–7 hours, and if I’m using Xcode, I’m lucky to get 4–5 hours. This seems common — many other customers and reviewers have noted similarly disappointing battery life in the 5-hour range.”
Of course everybody users their machines in different ways with different applications running which would cause battery life to greatly differ from user to user. I have noticed a couple of applications that cause my battery to drain at a much quicker rate than normal — Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 being the two biggest culprits. Even those two applications are only causing the battery to drain faster depending on what I am doing inside the applications. Just having them open isn’t causing battery life to drop drastically, mostly when I am exporting large files or I am creating complex animations in Motion will I see the battery life start to act up.

Other users have also seen the great results that I am seeing, such as John Gruber:
“Speaking of battery life, it has been amazing. I watched Game 7 of the World Series with the 13-inch Touch Bar-equipped model open on my lap, for following Twitter and messaging a few friends about the game. It was a long game, over four hours, and I had the brightness on the display set as high as I wanted. (Maximum brightness would have been way too bright.) When the game ended the MacBook Pro still had 70 percent of its battery remaining. That’s probably the definition of “light use”, but my two-year-old MacBook Pro never got that much battery life under similar conditions.”
I am getting the same sort of battery life experience that Gruber is getting on the new MacBook Pro. I launch Safari, view Twitter in 1 tab, I have YouTube open in another, a few tech sites that I read daily open in others, I have iTunes opened on another desktop playing music, I have Chess open in another desktop, I have iA Writer open in another desktop, maybe Day One opened as well, this is my typical day-to-day use on my MacBook Pro. For me, battery life has been phenomenal, probably about as good as one would get on an iPad, maybe even better? All I know is I am able to go all day without the need of plugging my MBP into an power source, which is all I could ask for.

Here is some food for thought, you can do the dishes. If you’re thinking about buying a new MacBook Pro; but, if you’re concerned about battery life then remember this; you have 2 weeks to decide if you want to keep the MacBook Pro or not. If you are not getting the battery life you need out of the machine, take it back to Apple and get a refund. You will know after a few days what you can expect to get out of the machine. As for me, I am getting a better experience than what I thought I would, battery life has been fantastic!

How to View Your Backgound Tasks in FCPX (10.3.2)

Ever since Apple updated Final Cut Pro X to 10.3 back in October, a lot of casual FCPX users have found the new interface a tad confusing. Keep in mind, everything still functions the same, things are just in different places. One such change is the Background Task button, which has been moved to the upper left toolbar, it used to reside above the timeline, next to the timestamp.

Here are 3 ways to open up the background tasks dialog box:

  1. Click the circle with the checkmark, which is located in the upper left toolbar. (Fast-forward the above video to the 0:11 mark).

  2. In your Apple menu bar (with FCPX selected) click on Window, then scroll down to Background Tasks. (Fast-forward the above video to the 0:24 mark).

  3. My preferred method, use the keyboard shortcut Command (⌘) + 9. You can also use Command + 9 to close the Background Tasks dialog box. (Fast-forward the above video to 0:33 mark).

For more information about Background Tasks, please check this Apple Support page.

How to Unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch

If you want to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch this work terrifically. My one caveat is that it is a tad slower than when I use the Touch ID sensor on my 2016 MacBook Pro, but it is still a nice feature to have activated either way. If you don't have the new MacBook Pro with the Touch ID sensor then it is a no-brainer to activate. Not only is your Apple ID better secured with 2-factor authentication; but, you are also able to access your Mac easier without the hassle of needing to type in your password each time.

I one thing I should mention, this does not work when you power your Mac on, you will still need to enter your password in that situation. If you are waking your Mac from sleeping though, it works every single time.

Once you set-up your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac, when the Watch is used to unlock your Mac you will get a tap on the wrist and hear a jingle on the Watch letting you know it just unlocked your Mac. You will also see a notification on your Watch as well. I have noticed that it doesn't unlock my Mac unless I am sitting right in front of it, which is a good thing for security reasons. I do not want it unlocking my MacBook when I am not at my desk but I am in the same room as my MacBook. It works perfectly!

You do need to have a mid-2013 Mac, running macOS Sierra 10.12 or later, and your Apple Watch needs to be updated to watchOS 3.

Below you will find a few links to the Apple Support sections for each aspect of using your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.

Supported Devices:

2-factor Authentication information:

Unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch information:

How to fix a frozen Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro

A quick tip for anyone who has experienced the Touch Bar freezing up on the MacBook Pro. If this happens to you, follow the instructions below and it will relaunch the Touch Bar.

Open Terminal > type: pkill "Touch Bar agent" > press Return

If you do not know where to find the Terminal, it is located in Applications folder > Utilities Folder > Terminal

Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter

This adapter works perfectly with my older Thunderbolt external drive. I have not had a single issue with it.

Hopefully I can get a new SSD Thunderbolt 3 drive to replace my current external drive so I won't need to use these adapters, but for the time being, this works fine!

The adapter is $29, you can purchase it from the Apple Store:

How to Customize the Touch Bar

A quick tip on how to customize the Touch Bar on a MacBook Pro.

For more information regarding the Touch Bar, please check the Apple support page;

SanDisk Extreme Pro USB-C Reader / Adapter

I purchased this to use with my MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. I needed an easy way to get my drone footage off of my Phantom 4 and onto my MacBook Pro for editing, this is the perfect solution for my needs.

I have used this quite a few times and I have not had any issues. Transfer speeds seem to be super quick. I am mostly transferring from the SanDisk to my Thunderbolt external drive for editing, but even transferring directly to the MBP is super fast as well. Great product, highly recommended!

$29 from Apple;

Apparently Amazon doesn't carry this yet, so no link. :/