- Apple Shortcuts App
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Jul 13, 2020 From the app’s preferences, you can also create a global shortcut to connect to a specific pair of AirPods. The ToothFairy app also remembers the AirPods pairing. Say you put your AirPods back in the case, and after a while, you put them back in the ears. Bartender is a popular application for doing this on a Mac. There’s a four-week free trial, but a full license will cost you $15 for use on all your Macs. It’s up to you whether this is worth it, but Bartender allows you to both rearrange the app icons (on pre-Sierra versions of OS X) and hide them as many as you like in an overflow menu.
Menu Bar apps sit in your Mac’s menu bar and provide access to an array of features and services, all with just a simple click or tap of the app’s menu bar icon. They can bring additional productivity, utility, or security, or add useful information to your Mac’s menu bar.The basic menu bar with Apple-supplied menu items shown.
Our list of 15 menu bar apps is by no means all-inclusive; there are so many apps available that it would take quite a while to combine them into a single list. Instead, I’ve gathered a list of menu bar apps that I’ve either used or are popular in the Mac community, and are worth trying out.
Let’s start our list of favorite menu bar apps with ones that enhance your productivity.
Yes, your Mac comes with its own Calendar app, which does a pretty good job of keeping track of dates and notifying you of upcoming events. But to add, edit, and view the calendars, the app needs to be running. That’s where menu bar-based calendar apps shine, letting you work with your calendars directly from the menu bar.
Currently at version 2, Fantastical started life as strictly a menu bar app but has grown into a full-fledged Mac app. Thankfully, the folks who make Fantastical didn’t abandon the menu bar; version 2 has all the original benefits of a lightweight menu bar app, as well as the power of a full app when you need it.
Fantastical supports multiple calendars, and calendar sets, which can automatically switch their active/inactive states depending on your location. This lets you set up calendars for work as well as home, and automatically switch between them.
• Fantastical 2 is $49.99, with a 21-day free trial.
If the Mac’s Calendar app is performing well for you, and the feature you’re really missing is access to Calendar from the menu bar, Itsycal is the menu bar app for you. Itsycal can display a monthly view of your Calendar app’s information, including showing events that are scheduled. If you need additional information, you can open the Calendar app directly from Itsycal.
• Itsycal is free.
There are a number of contact managers for the Mac but most are full-fledged apps, with only minimal, if any, menu bar support. One of the exceptions is the app below.
Cardhop is the preferred way to access, edit, add to, and just work with the Mac’s Contacts app. For many Mac and iOS device users, Cardhop is the only method they use to manage their contacts; that’s how powerful this menu bar app is.Cardhop can show upcoming events and recent contacts, as well as all of the cards in the Mac’s Contacts app.
Cardhop makes use of a powerful search capability that allows you to find contact information based on just about any detail that may be present in a contacts card. Search by name, address, birth date, or any criteria; it’s as easy as clicking or tapping the Cardhop menu bar item and starting to type. Cardhop will display any matching cards it finds.
Adding or editing contacts is just as easy; just enter the name and details and Cardhop takes care of the rest. Cardhop also includes the ability to add note fields, to enter personal details about your contact, and a timestamp field to create a history of your contacts.
One of the best features of Cardhop is its ability to act on a contact you select. If you need to send an email or make a phone call, Cardhop can launch the appropriate app to send an email or connect to your Bluetooth phone, use Wi-Fi calling, or get the macOS Continuity feature to make calls for you.
• Cardhop is $19.99 and is available with a 21-day free trial.
Menu bar-based system utilities have a tendency to overpopulate my menu bar. It seems the techie in me wants to know how my Mac’s resources are being used any time I’m using it. There are a number of system menu bar apps, but here are a few of my favorites.
This system utility will place a number of items in your menu bar to monitor the performance of your Mac. You can keep track of CPU and GPU performance, memory usage, disk access, and network usage; there’s also a large array of built-in system sensors, including various temperature, voltage, current, and wattage readings, You can even measure ambient light levels, if your Mac is properly equipped.The compact menu bar menus in iStat Menus can reveal details about how your Mac is performing.
iStat Menus can monitor just about every aspect of your Mac’s performance and do it without taking up too much of your menu bar’s real estate.
• iStat Menus is available for $11.99 for a single Mac, or $14.99 for a 5-user family pack. A 14-day free trial is available.
The original MenuMeters was a handy menu bar system monitor by Alex Harper that stopped working when OS X El Capitan was introduced. Since then, the original open source app has been forked by various developers, to accommodate the newer versions of the Mac OS. This version works with OS X El Capitan through macOS Mojave.
MenuMeters installs as a preference pane that allows you to specify how each item (CPU, Disk, Memory, and Network) should be displayed in the menu bar. You can control the type of information displayed, update intervals, and in some cases, the colors to be used.
• MenuMeters is free.
Unlike the other system monitor utilities in this group, Memory Clean is dedicated to monitoring a Mac’s memory. It can keep track of memory usage, how memory is being used, which apps are memory hogs, and which apps are inactive but still tying up memory.Keeping track of how your memory is being used is one of the many tasks Memory Clean can perform for you.
Additionally, Memory Clean can also purge inactive memory, freeing up RAM that was set aside for apps that are no longer running.
• Memory Clean, currently at version 3, is $9.99. A free trial is available.
Mac Fan Control
This menu bar app can monitor the temperature sensors built into your Mac. But it doesn’t stop there; Mac Fan Control can use the temperature information to control the speed of your Mac’s fans.
You can set a constant fan speed, or assign one of the temperature sensors to be used to regulate a fan’s speed.
Mac Fan Control is a great way to silence a noisy fan momentarily while you perform a critical task, such as recording from a microphone that is located near your Mac. It’s also commonly used to set a fan’s speed when a temperature sensor was broken during an upgrade or tear down that went awry.
• Mac Fan Control is $14.95; a free trial period is available.
One of the new features of the macOS was Night Shift, a system that reduces blue light from the display as the evening approaches. The idea is to enhance your sleep cycle by reducing blue light output from a digital display that can interfere with your natural circadian rhythm.
The f.lux app has been providing the same type of capabilities for a lot longer and may be in a better position to provide a better implementation. The f.lux system provides more control to the user and does a better job of reducing blue spectrum output of a display in the evening.
If you need a better night’s sleep after working on your Mac all day, give f.lux a look-see.
• f.lux is free.
Mac laptop users need a reliable way to monitor their Mac’s battery to help them stay informed about the current state of the battery, how much run-time is left, and the overall health of the battery.
This battery monitor has been a Mac staple since 2005. Since then, coconutBattery has branched out to provide battery-monitoring services to the iPhone and iPad, as well as the Mac.
coconutBattery displays your current battery health, how often the battery was charged, the age of the battery, current charge, original and current capacity, battery temperature, and much more.
• coconutBattery is available in a free basic version and a Plus version for $9.95.
Understanding how well your battery is performing is one of the goals of the Battery Health app, but it can also help you prolong the battery’s runtime and longevity.
Battery Health displays the usual battery details: current battery health, capacity, charging cycles, battery temperature, age, manufacture date, the remaining charge on the battery, and how long it will take to fully charge the battery. It can also help you increase the battery runtime by showing you which apps are using the most energy.
Battery Health can also display the battery levels of connected Bluetooth devices, such as your Magic Mouse, Magic Keyboard, or AirPod.
Battery Health also works for iPhone and iPad devices.
• Battery Health is $9.99; a 3-day free trial is available.
There are quite a few apps for detecting malware that utilize the menu bar. But in many cases, the menu bar is used to launch the associated app. So, instead of listing those security apps, I went with a favorite password manager.
This password manager has long been a popular Mac app for creating and managing all of a user’s passwords. It provides access via the included full-featured app as well as from the menu bar, and from most Mac web browsers.Let 1Password manage your logins and passwords, freeing you to use complex passwords for increased security.
Apple Shortcuts App
The 1Password web extension can handle most of your web-based login and password needs, but with the addition of the menu bar interface, 1Password can be used with any app as well as any web page, even when a web page hinders the use of a password manager.
1Password can generate complex passwords for you and make sure you’re not using duplicate passwords. Since 1Password is storing the passwords and login information for you in an encrypted database, you don’t need to worry about remembering every password, 1Password takes care of that for you.
• 1Password is available for single users and a 5-user family license, as well as business licenses. A free 30-day trial is available.
If your Mac is getting a little weighed down with apps and files, either of these file access apps can help you find everything faster.
This simple little app adds one or more menu items to the menu bar; each menu bar item can be populated with apps, folders, documents, or text snippets.
• XMenu is free and available from the Mac App Store.
Another menu bar app designed to give you quick access to your favorite items, including apps, documents, folders, bookmarks, text snippets, and color swatches.Shortcut Bar lets you create your own list of important locations and documents that you want to have quick access to.
Items can be organized into groups that can be expanded or hidden as needed – a helpful feature when your Shortcut Bar gets a bit overpopulated.
• Shortcut Bar is $8.99; a free trial is available.
In the Weather and Menu Bar Utility categories, I only found one app for each that’s worthy of mention.
There have been quite a few weather widgets for the menu bar, but for me, Meteorologist stands out because of the details it can provide and the community of developers/supporters that keep the app up to date. Meteorologist supports up to eight different locations that can use one of nine different weather services, letting you pick the best service for your location.
Menu Bar Utility
Create A Shortcut On Mac
Now that you’ve likely overpopulated your Mac’s menu bar, you may find yourself needing a bartender; by that I mean an app named Bartender that can manage all those menu bar icons.
Bartender can organize, rearrange, and hide or show items. It can also automatically highlight menu bar icons when they update, such as battery alerts, memory filling up, or other notifications a menu bar app may support.
• Bartender is $15.00; a free 4-week trial is available.
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What’s Your Favorite Menu Bar App?
Let us know which menu bar apps you use, or which ones you don’t like, by using the comments section below.
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Every Mac user knows the Dock—it sits at the bottom of the screen, giving you quick access to your favorite and currently open apps and folders. Using the Mac Dock shortcuts, you can launch Finder and Launchpad, throw files into the Trash folder, as well as access your Downloads folder directly.
To keep your Dock icons tidy, you can begin to categorize the apps onto your Dock into shortcut folders. This will let you organize the Dock better, reducing clutter and letting you focus on your most important apps. Here’s how you can create Mac Dock shortcuts quickly, as well as some tips on how to use the Dock more effectively.
Customizing Mac Dock Shortcuts
Before you begin adding Mac Dock shortcuts, you should customize it to suit your needs. You can change the size of the Dock, including the size of the icons, as well as reposition the Dock from the bottom to the left or right side of your screen. You can also set the Dock to automatically hide when you’re not using it.
- To access the settings for the Dock, right-click the Dock area and click Dock Preferences. Alternatively, click the Apple menu in the top-right, then click System Preferences > Dock or launch System Preferences from the Launchpad.
- Modify the sliders to increase the size of your Dock app icons, or use the radio buttons to change the position of the Dock. Click the Automatically hide and show the Dock checkbox if you want the Dock to disappear when it isn’t being used.
Once you’ve made your changes, close the Dock settings window. The changes you make will be applied automatically.
Put App On Shortcut Menu Mac Youtube
Adding New Mac Dock Shortcuts
When you first set up a Mac, a few default apps are already in place as Dock shortcuts. These include Launchpad, Finder, and various Apple apps like FaceTime and Photos. Any software that is currently running will appear next to these icons in the Dock.
- To add running apps to your Dock permanently, right-click on an app icon in the Dock, hover over Options, then click Keep in Dock.
- You can also remove surplus apps from your Dock using the same menu. For system apps, right-click the app icon, then click Options > Remove from Dock. For non-system apps, simply uncheck the Keep in Dock icon to remove it.
Once your app icons are in place, you can move them around using your mouse or touchpad to suit your needs by dragging the icon and moving it to a new position.
Adding New Mac Dock Shortcut Folders
Shortcut folders help you categorize your Mac Dock shortcuts into categories. Work apps, for instance, could be placed in a single folder, while games could be separated into another.
While Dock shortcut folders won’t hide running apps, they can give you easy access to launch any software you run often without cluttering the Dock or having to launch the app from Finder or Launchpad instead.
- To start, open Finder by clicking the Finder icon in the Dock. Head to your Desktop folder, then right-click and press New Folder to create a new folder. Give this a name like Dock Folders. Inside this folder, create another folder (or several new folders) to match the app groupings you want to create on your Dock, giving them a suitable name as you do.
- With your folders created, open a second Finder window by right-clicking the Finder icon, pressing New Finder Window, then open the Applications folder in the left-hand menu. Right-click (or press Control + click) on any app you wish to create a shortcut of, then click Make Alias.
- A new listing for your chosen app will appear in the Applications folder, with the word alias attached to the name. With both Finder windows visible on your screen, drag the alias app from your Applications folder to the shortcut folder you’ve created on your Desktop.
- Repeat the step until you’ve created shortcuts for all of your chosen Dock apps and placed them in suitable folders. Once the Dock shortcut folders are ready, drag the shortcut folders using your mouse onto the Folders area of the Dock, next to your Trash icon.
- With the shortcut folder in place, you can access your apps by clicking on the shortcut folder icon and pressing one of the app shortcuts within.
As the Dock shortcut folder is itself a shortcut to a folder, you can open it in Finder to add or remove apps by retracing the steps above. Right-click any app in your Dock shortcuts folder in Finder and press Move to Trash to remove it.
Using Keyboard Dock Shortcuts
If you want to start using your Dock better, then consider using keyboard shortcuts. These time-saving shortcuts will help you interact with the Dock using only your keyboard, saving you the extra time it would take you to use your mouse or trackpad.
- Option + Command + D: Hides the Dock or makes it reappear if it’s already hidden.
- Command + M: Minimizes an open window to the Dock.
- Control + Shift + Command + T: Adds an item in Finder as a Dock shortcut quickly.
- Control + F3 (or Control + Function + F3): Assume keyboard control of the Dock, allowing you to move around it with your keyboard keys.
- With the Dock keyboard control shortcut above used, press the Up arrow to access the Dock menu, or Return to open an app or shortcut folder. With an app icon selected, press Command + Return to open the location of that app or shortcut in a new Finder window.
- To hide all open windows except for the app icon selected, use the arrow keys to select an app icon, then press Command + Option + Return. This will minimize other apps, leaving only your chosen app in view.
How to Use the Dock More Effectively
Adding Mac Dock shortcuts and organizing them into folders is just one way you can use the Dock more effectively on macOS. As we’ve mentioned, you could decide to use macOS keyboard shortcuts to quickly launch apps from your Dock, or customize the Dock to list recent apps in their own folder.
If you’re running Windows, you can install your own third-party Windows app docks instead.