Why persons are fearful about way forward for this beloved Mac app

The Bartender app being shown in use in macOS.

Bartender, a preferred menu bar customization app for macOS with a protracted historical past, was quietly acquired by new builders someday prior to now few months. With no phrase from the app’s authentic creator or the brand new homeowners concerning the transition, MacUpdater despatched out the next alert warning customers of the state of affairs.

“The corporate and developer behind Bartender was changed in a silent and doubtful method — updates to model 5.0.52 and newer are your personal threat and duty.”

This sparked a protracted Reddit thread the place the corporate behind MacUpdater shared extra details about its resolution to place out the alert. The primary warning signal was weblog entries on the Bartender web site altering from developer-written posts to search engine marketing articles probably written by ChatGPT. Subsequent, the code signatures on new releases of the app modified — first to “App Sub 1 LLC,” an organization with just some random iOS apps and a extremely suspicious web site to its title, after which to a newly fashioned “Bartender App LLC.” Emails to the unique proprietor had been returned as undeliverable, and the Bartender web site and help channel didn’t present any details about the acquisition.

As if this weren’t suspicious sufficient, the primary response from the brand new homeowners got here within the type of a touch upon this very Reddit thread — below the not-so-professional username “Ordinary_Delivery_79.” Within the remark, they declare to have talked about the acquisition on their weblog and in help emails to clients — however as different Redditors are fast to level out, nobody is aware of who they’re or what “their weblog” is. One person additionally posts a screenshot of their very own help e-mail, which doesn’t point out the brand new homeowners in any respect.

As reported by MacRumors, MacUpdater additionally talked about that it has been wanting into the app to verify for malicious code and has but to search out any. However customers stay fearful as a result of the app has permission for display screen recording, which could be a large safety threat if the builders aren’t reliable.

Newer feedback within the thread establish Applause Group, Inc. as attainable new homeowners, an organization devoted to purchasing apps and increasing their distribution. Based on data on its FAQ web page, it seems the corporate doesn’t deal with continued improvement of the apps it buys, believing that “customers don’t need (or want) large overhauls on the merchandise that they already love.”

Till the brand new homeowners put out a extra official clarification, although, the state of affairs remains to be up within the air. Many commenters on the Reddit thread have determined to delete the app in the interim, whereas others are refusing the replace and staying with the older model. There are additionally individuals who simply wish to see these sorts of options built-in within the subsequent model of macOS. Hopefully we’ll hear one thing official quickly.

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