One of my must-have Mac apps, Bartender is a fantastic utility that helps you reduce clutter in the OS X menubar by grouping menubar icons into a single Bartender icon that can be viewed and closed at any time. From my previous coverage:
Providing its own custom bar to collect other icons from third-party apps, Bartender lets you organize your menubar apps while retaining the functionalities they come with. The app automatically finds third-party apps running in the menubar; it allows you to completely hide them, or show them in the Bartender bar. If you choose the latter option, your menubar apps will stil remain fully working with popover windows and keyboard shortcuts.
I rely on Bartender to keep a clean menubar that doesn’t show dozens of icons at once but that, at the same time, has running applications hidden out of view. There are some apps that I don’t need to be constantly looking at — such as Dropbox or Hazel — and with Bartender I can leave them running, but in an optional menubar that it’s there only when I need it. In this way, I can keep utilities that I use all the time (such as Evernote’s quick entry popup or Fantastical) in the main OS X menubar.
Bartender 1.2, released this week, adds full OS X Mavericks support and a number of minor improvements that, however, are welcome additions for daily Bartender users. For the upcoming Mavericks — set to be released this Fall — Surtees Studios added support for multiple displays and menubars, as well as reduced power usage to take advantage of Mavericks’ new power-saving technologies. I haven’t been able to test Bartender on Mavericks yet, but the app has never been a problem, in terms of performance and usage, on my mid-2011 MacBook Air running Mountain Lion, so I’m looking forward to seeing if differences will be notable on OS X 10.9.
Alongside bug fixes and improvements to the list of apps supported by Bartender, a feature that stood out to me is the possibility to correctly drag & drop files onto icons hidden by Bartender. In version 1.2, keeping apps like Droplr or CloudApp in the Bartender bar and dragging files from the Finder onto the Bartender icon will automatically reveal the hidden menubar, allowing you to keep dragging files onto the app you want. I have tested this with Droplr, and it works reliably.
I recommend Bartender to anyone who uses menubar apps and utilities on a daily basis. Keeping a clean menubar isn’t a beauty contest — I think it’s simply best to have the primary tools you’ll always need readily available, keeping those that are only seldom used out of sight, but still managed by a smart app. Bartender is smart, reliable, and on sale at $10 until September 30th. A free trial is also available from the developers’ website.