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macOS Menu Bar App Intervention

09.10.2018

Menu bars on macOS all around are a fucking mess. Every developer of little helper apps are convinced that they need to put their little icon in my status bar on my Macs even though I set the damn thing up once and may only touch it rarely after. It has completely gotten out of hand and the thing that drove me over the edge is Night Owl. It’s a great little application that should have been part of the Dark Mode functionality on macOS Mojave in the first place and will probably get Sherlocked in macOS 10.15. It’s an application that triggers macOS Dark Mode at certain times throughout the day based on rules like certain hours or sunrise/sunset. This is great, but why am I forced to have this in my menu bar all the time? A way better place to put something like that is in the System Settings.app alongside all the other system wide settings.

This issue has gotten so far out of hand that people make a living writing menu bar app manager for macOS. I’m not trying to throw shade at any of these apps or their developers since I really enjoy using these apps, I just don’t want to have 10 or 15 in my menu bar.

Many of these managers add additional value apart from being able to hide or rearrange menu bar apps but at some point we should reflect on where we came from and check whether or not we want to be where we’re at.

For now, this is all I want in a menu bar.


From left to right

iStat Menu CPU widget
iStat Menu Network traffic widget
  Rocket (I can’t hide it and it has to run all the time in the background)  
   Audio (connecting AirPods to a Mac is not great)   
    VPN    
     WiFi     
      Battery (no percentage or anything else)      
       Time       
        Spotlight        
         Notification Center