OS X Mavericks is bringing a number of features power users have wanted for year: better multiple display support, tabs and tags in Finder, all while using less system resources than before. The menubar itself, however, has mostly gone untouched.
That’s still Bartender’s domain. And with the just-released v1.2, Bartender remains the app anyone with a packed menubar needs in any version of OS X.
The Smartest Menubar Assistant Yet
Bartender has geeky tool of choice for keeping the Mac menubar clean ever since its beta launched last year, since OS X has never shipped with a utility to clean it up. It adds yet another icon to your menubar, but it’ll actually save space by storing the menubar icons you don’t want to see all the time. CMD+drag anything into it, and it’ll stay hidden but just one tap away whenever you need it. It’s especially great for those apps — say, Dropbox or Creative Cloud — that you really never need to use from the menubar.
And now it’s better than ever. First off, it’s been updated for Mavericks, so it’ll be ready to keep your menubar clean as soon as Apple gets the next version of OS X released. Then, Bartender now uses image recognition to figure out when icons have changes so it can show them in the menubar to alert you, while using less system resources at the same time. It also now works with drag-and-drop, so you can hide your Droplr or CloudApp icon and still easily upload images to your favorite file sharing service.
But the biggest changes is for system icons. Bartender can now hide system icons in your menubar — everything from volume to the Notifications Center icon — and show them only when there’s changes to the icon. That way, you can (say) hide your Time Machine or language icon, but still have it show up whenever the icon changes to notify you. That’s a handy feature I’ve already come to rely on, since I use multiple languages on my Mac but don’t really need a flag in the menubar all the time — but do like to see it when I change the keyboard layout.
Put that all together, and you’ve got a Bartender that feels almost just like it’s a built-in part of OS X. I personally wish the Bartender menu itself used a less noticeable transparent background to blend in with today’s transparent menubar, but that’s not the worst problem. In fact, Bartender’s now smart enough that it’ll do its job without you having to open its menu often while still making sure you’re informed when needed.
If you’ve already got Bartender, v1.2 is a free update that you’ll be sure to enjoy. For everyone else, Bartender is 30% off this week — just $10 — to celebrate the launch of the latest version. It’s a tiny essential tool for Mac power users that you’ll be glad you picked up, especially at that price.
The best app to keep your menubar clean, while still making menubar apps simple to use.9
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