Bartender Developer Explains and Apologizes for Quiet Acquisition

That is not a comment which suggests much experience or knowledge of the difficulties of writing this kind of application. Size is irrelevant. Maintaining software which has hooks deep in the OS is a distinctly non-trivial task and requires constant vigilance for, and rapid attention to, problems caused by application conflicts and OS updates. I found maintaining Apollo in the 1990s difficult enough. I expect it would be a great deal trickier now.

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Agree… sounds BS to me as not only was Ben maintaining the app, he was promising even more functionality, such as Menu Bar Widgets!

Thankfully, MacUpdater saved my bacon and I’m still at 5.0.49 — :+1: for MacUpdater.

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I am going to try this on my MacBook Pro. There is only one item that hides behind the notch. I have lived with a workaround which is to cmd drag another item to the left. This makes the one hidden appear. The other one disappears.

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I agree…going to try the alternatives and see if something without the tracking works…and also the spacing thing. As another longtime user…I’m pretty unhappy about this as well…but it’s Ben’s app to do what he wants with and given I saw he made a million bucks or so in 2023 with it I’m sure he got a nice price and can move on to something else he wants to do.

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It would be nice to have a strategy of some kind to monitor those apps where unusual permissions and accessibility are granted to apps such as bartender

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Outcome for me from all has been:

  • deleted Bartender and easily learned to live without it
  • installed and purchased MacUpdater
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For anyone who still may be interested, Applause issued a new version 5.0.53, explaining (and apologizing) for the bad way they released it. The new version removes the Amplitude digital analytics framework entirely, explaining that they initially included it (as Adam said in his note) to get an idea of the user base.

I have installed it (after having to reset the permissions) and it seems to be working fine. I am going to keep using it for now – it meets my needs. I thinks they did a terrible job of managing the transition, but I don’t think they have bad intent.

I don’t see the new version on their website yet – I got it as an autoupdate from the older version.

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Please post a link to this announcement.

In the meantime, here’s how Reddit users are reacting to the announcement:

https://www.reddit.com/r/macapps/comments/1d9tbm9/bartender_5053_released/

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The announcement is included in the update itself and is as described in the Reddit link you posted. I looked for a separate link but did not find one.

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It took me a little while to find it… They have a test builds tab on the release notes page:

https://www.macbartender.com/Bartender5/release_notes/
I also noticed in Bartender settings, under Advanced, you can check for Test Builds, which I guess should also work but I’d already downloaded.

and also found while searching, a BTT post about how to use BetterTouchTool for menu bar manipulation:

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I’m using Bartender for some time as part of my Setapp subscription. It’s still on version 5.0.48. I’m not sure whether I can prevent Setapp from updating it to the latest version.
The application bundle was created Dec 18 2023 and it’s size is reported as 19.1MB (23.7MB physical).

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Depending on what one wants to accomplish, here is another utility that may work:

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I did the following:

  1. Quit the app
  2. Moved the app to the trash and deleted it.
  3. Did a Spotlight search for Bartender and clicked show in Finder
  4. Selected all the relevant items in batches, moved them to Trash, and then Emptied the Trash.
  5. Repeated Step 4 until all were gone. This took care of both the drive on my iMac and the CCC clones.
  6. Reran a Spotlight search with nothing found.

Now I was limited to version 3 because I’m maxed out at High Sierra, so these steps may or may not work for you.

On a slightly related note, if you downloaded an app from the Mac AppStore and the first thing it did was try to connect to a crypto website api, how would I investigate if there’s any issue with it?

I don’t have the expertise to run it in a sandbox but I’m very curious as to why a Mac desktop widget app would be getting crypto data… I’m guessing that perhaps one of the widgets could be a “get my wallet value” widget, but it shouldn’t need to connect to the API before even loading any of the app windows.

I did report it, but haven’t got the response yet. Happy to send the app detail to someone, I don’t want to disparage it publicly yet if I’m wrong.

Cheers,
Nick

A common technique (scam?) for shady app developers to make some extra money is to use your computer for crypto-mining. So you pay the electricity, your CPU gets overloaded, and they get the money.

If you see such a thing, uninstall it and report it to Apple.

This particular case may have been merely a matter of bungling, but there are cases when the owners of a small business may have no control over its sale. Examples include bankruptcy sales, a will that directs the executor to sell the business for the optimum return, or an owner who dies intestate.

Applause has another post on the topic:

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I’m gonna stick with it… let’s see how it goes.

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Setapp have been asked for comment; I get it via them. But none yet, while their version is on an older .48 version (not the last .52 version). Why that is… who knows - perhaps they added then removed the tracking crap? :man_shrugging:

Yeah, I’m with you. I have come to rely on Bartender’s triggers to temporarily show items, something I’ve not seen in any of the alternatives. But even aside from that, when this thing first blew up I decided I’d just stick with my last pre-acquisition version (I save downloads for utilities like this that I rely on) and see how things settled down before making a decision.

At the moment I’m cautiously optimistic. People make mistakes. I’m willing to be understanding as long as I can be confident my data’s not being stolen. Their latest blog post seems honest and reasonable. Given the spotlight on Bartender I am confident that any nefarious activity will quickly be detected, so will take a wait-and-see approach as new versions are released. I certainly don’t see the point in deleting my existing copy which is pre-acquisition and working. And I look forward to the features they have planned. :crossed_fingers:

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