Ice - Bartender Replacement offering secondary bar!

Reddit post

Beta link [Feature Request] notch macbook support. · Issue #1 · jordanbaird/Ice · GitHub


Macsparky hinted at some saga or disaster with Bartender? Haven’t kept up - should I be worried?

SpivR, very long story short, the original developer was quietly bought out by a company that may be more about low-involvement app maintenance than active development. And they also introduced some analytics software into the app, though they say it’s removed in the newest version. So a lot of us have been looking at the alternative options (I made a table here), both out of concern with the situation, and to just to see what the competition looks like now that alternatives have sprung up.

If you want the big long discussion, see here: Bartender change of ownership—potential security issue? - #229 by Glimfeather

And on the note of the alternatives getting secondary bars, it sounds like BetterTouchTool may have a version with that out tomorrow.


Here’s Adam Engst take on it:


Then came the Bartender fiasco. The original developer, Ben Surtees, sold the Mac menu bar utility to a development company called Applause, which released an update with a new signing certificate for a company called “App Sub 1 LLC.” The new certificate triggered warnings with MacUpdater, and when Bartender users examined the update, they found it had added a data analytics framework called Amplitude. In short, it looked like Bartender had been sold to a sketchy company that planned to take advantage of its Accessibility and Screen Recording permissions to hack users. Emails to the original developer were returned as undeliverable, and even after Surtees seemingly posted an explanation and apology, many felt that it could have been forged.

When I tracked down Surtees’s personal email address and contacted him, he confirmed that his statement was genuine and speculated that Applause had added the Amplitude framework purely “to get an idea of the user base.” Applause now says it has removed the Amplitude framework from the latest test build. Whether or not Bartender is back to its pre-acquisition state, Applause has destroyed years of goodwill by failing to be transparent about the acquisition and the reasons behind the desire to add analytics. The company has finally published a post admitting its missteps and apologizing, but it may be too late for many.

Wait BTT is getting a second bar? Wow. Then I’m good without Ice lol

Source of BTT adding that feature?

It’s remarkable how responsive and quick Andreas is:

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And now the BetterTouchTool alpha version + preset is out: Bartender controversy, tutorial on how to manage menubar status items via BTT - #146 by Andreas_Hegenberg - Tutorials - BetterTouchTool Community


:tada: It’s out of beta now and it’s a pretty nice update (0.10.0):

  • Menu bar items can now be shown in a secondary bar below the menu bar! (look for “Use Ice Bar” in the “General” settings pane)
  • Added ability to move menu bar items individually in a new “Menu Bar Items” settings pane
  • Menu bar appearance can now be inset on screens with a notch
  • Ice now ensures that the always-hidden section stays to the left of the hidden section
  • Added the ability to disable the always-hidden section
  • Ice now launches in the background by default
  • Ice now uses the GPL-3.0 license

Love this progress. I’m waiting on “show menu bar items when conditions are met,” because I like my menu bar being fully available on desktop. If that happens before, say, next year’s macOS release, I think I’ll be happy.

I’m still using Bartender. I haven’t switched yet. But I’m looking for alternatives. Here’s an article that might interest you

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You buried the lead - terminal commands to reduce spacing so more menu bar icons fit in the regular menu bar.

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That caught my eye, too. It could also be useful to someone using a Bartender alternative that doesn’t include that feature.

To be honest since the Bartender change of ownership, I’ve disabled the menu bar icon for most utilities (wasn’t really needed anyway) and have reduced the spacing between the icons. I’ve come to a point where I don’t need such an app anymore.

same for me. I just pruned it some more this morning and finding that I rarely use the menu bar for things. So for now, I am happy to have less things running.

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