Bartender’s Sale to Applause

Bartender has been sold to Applause.

See coverage from TidBITS and Michale Tsai,

I know there are Bartender users here. You may want to consider how much you trust Applause when deciding whether to continue using it.

Note that I do not know anything at all about Applause or the people behind it. They may be completely awesome, they may not, I have no idea.

There are many indie companies I trust, companies like Bare Bones, Panic, Omni, Flying Meat, and lots more. But the trust comes from knowing the people behind the curtain.

And for clarity on my position, see my post on Mastodon:

If someone offered me millions, I'd certainly consider selling Keyboard Maestro, but not to someone who I didn't trust to look after my customers, and certainly not without a very clear transition plan. [It is] a sacred trust to run code on someone’s Mac, especially with the kind of permissions that are required for this sort of software.


Yikes, he sold it three months ago, and no mention? Thanks for the heads up. Peter.

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Discouraging to see an unexplained code-signature change on something so permission-hungry..

Glad now that I was sufficiently puzzled not to re-grant the permissions. I had just put it aside.

Thank you for posting about it.

Have uninstalled the application too . Moved to Vanilla for my menubar

That statement did not come up to the standards we have come to expect from the software industry. It only used the word "journey" twice.

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I also uninstalled it. Problem: Bartender was the Rolls Royce of menu bar customisers. None of the others mentioned here and there (Hidden, Vanilla, Ice...) are as powerful as Bartender. I'm extremely disappointed.

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#2c #rant

We wouldn't need utilities such as Bartender if developers stopped bragging that their new application "lives in the menu bar" and instead chose to use UI that doesn't require squinting at cryptic icons and then mousing/trackpadding around.

Apple too should wake up to the fact that menu bar apps are archaic and an accessibility nightmare.


If Apple does that, they'll kill an entire class of utility applications. Our own Moom, as an example, is used by probably 95% of its users in menu bar mode, despite the ability to choose either normal app mode or faceless (invisible) mode.

Why? Because it's incredibly convenient to be able to see your list of defined actions by clicking a single menu bar item, instead of having to remember a keyboard shortcut, then wait for some UI to appear.

I do agree that there are too many apps that put themselves there that have no need to be there—but that's not something that Apple could legislate away without simply banning menu bar apps. Sure, they could enforce rules in the App Store, but we can still (thankfully) distribute apps directly, and the only way to enforce a rule there would be to make it impossible for any third-party app to reside in the menu bar.

The answer isn't banning menu bar apps. The answer—to me, anyway—is that as long as Apple allows menu bar apps, they should provide the user the tools they need to manage those menu bar apps. Apple could "Sherlock" Bartender with incredible ease, and offer even more features, but they've shown no desire to do so.



As a developer at the mercy of Apple's whims, you think in terms of banning. As a user, I was thinking of innovation. Apple could build in backwards compatibility... Yes of course I'm just having a laugh now. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I disagree completely, but I accept that personal preference and experience come into it.

Yes, but this is what I meant about Apple waking up. Menu bar apps are from a different era. We are not all excitedly pushing around a one-button Apple mouse any more. Perhaps many kinds of apps could be allowed to appear in the menu bar... I am talking about opening up options, not limiting them.

They could innovate, and provide a new system that allows for more flexibility and ease of use. Sorry, there I go again... You have to keep a sense of humour, right?


I should actually be thankful for this in some ways, as they could easily Sherlock Moom, too :).


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They've tried with Keyboard Maestro. They aren't always that good at it, though even then sometimes they are good enough to kill the product without actually being a good replacement, and that's even worse.


Are you alluding to "Shortcuts" there?

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And Automator before that...

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I just googled it, KM first came out in 2002 and Automator came out in 2005. I'm not sure if I was using KM in 2005.

But neither Automator nor Shortcuts hold a candle to KM. There are a few things I use Shortcuts for, mostly because KM isn't available on mobile platforms.

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Indeed I've now dropped Bartender here and move on to using HiddenBar.

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Do you have any thoughts about each of those alternatives that might be a 'close' second?

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People comment that the Ice developer is active attempting to replicate some missing features.

Unfortunately not. For the moment, I'm using Ice but all these alternatives are too simple compared to Bartender. They allow you to show or hide icons in the menu bar but they don't have any of Bartender's advanced functions: triggers, presets, search palette, icon groups, reduced spacing between icons, custom style menu, etc.

I tried Ice and then learnt that I actually love bartender making my corners rounded. Is it silly? Yes. But I LIKE my rounded corners.


So is it not safe anymore to use Bartender?