What Is a Menu Bar App?

Help topics

Location

CashNotify is a menu bar app. Its icon is located on the right of your Mac’s menu bar. This area is like the system tray in Windows/Linux.

Contents of the Mac menu bar

Reordering apps

Apps in your menu bar can be moved around with Command+Drag. Hold down the Command ⌘ key while clicking on an icon, and you can drag it anywhere else on the menu bar.

This also works if you want to move macOS system icons like the wifi, battery or date/time indicators.

Dragging a menu bar icon on macOS

CashNotify

App icon

CashNotify’s icon color indicates when something new happened in your Stripe account(s).

It alerts you in a way that’s more subtle than with a notification. It also remains visible after the notification has disappeared.

CashNotify menu bar app closed
Icon Signification
Default icon
Default icon, nothing new happened since you last opened the app
New captured payment(s) icon
New captured Stripe payment
New failed payment(s) icon
New failed Stripe payment
New payout(s) icon
New Stripe payout
Trial expired icon
Expired CashNotify trial period
No Internet connection icon
No Internet connection

App window

Clicking the menu bar icon opens the CashNotify app below it. It’s a compact window which you can resize, but not move around.

CashNotify menu bar app opened

You can also open the app by clicking a notification triggered by CashNotify.

A CashNotify notification

Mac users can activate 2 settings impacting the appearance of their menu bar. They are located in Apple > System Preferences > General.

Menu bar settings on macOS Sierra

Dark menu bar

This setting inverts the colors of the menu bar, with white icons on a dark bar.

Successful Stripe charge icon on a Mac with a dark menu bar
Failed Stripe charge icon on a Mac with a dark menu bar
CashNotify on a Mac with a dark menu bar

Hidden menu bar

This setting hides the menu bar and only shows it when the user moves their pointer to the top of the screen.

This means that users won’t notice a change in the icon’s color until they use the menu bar.

Hide/show the menu bar on Mac

If you hide your menu bar, you can still rely on alerts displayed within your Mac’s Notification Center. CashNotify’s notifications are shown even when the menu bar is hidden.

Successful Stripe charge notification on a Mac

What if you have many menu bar apps?

If you have more than a few menu bar apps installed on your Mac, your menu bar can become cluttered.

Bartender for Mac is an app that lets you organize your menu bar apps.

You can hide them completely, or move them out of your view while still keeping them accessible.

Conclusion

A menu bar app is ideal for apps dedicated to monitoring like CashNotify.

Advantages

  • App icon is displayed in a prominent location
  • App icon’s color can attract the user’s attention
  • Great for apps with a compact window
  • App opens on top of other windows
  • Does not take space in the macOS Dock

Inconvenients

  • Takes space in the menu bar
  • Does not have a top-left app menu
  • Is absent from the ALT + TAB apps list

More about the menu bar on Mac: