New Update PSA: Bartender for Mac no longer safe, shady new owners

Ink

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Jan 8, 2011
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Popular Mac app Bartender appears to have been quietly sold approximately two months ago, with neither the prior owner nor the current owner providing customers or potential customers with information on the sale.

The transaction came to light after some Reddit users saw a warning from MacUpdater letting them know that the company behind Bartender had been silently replaced. MacUpdater warned users that updates to the app from version 5.0.52 could be potentially unsafe due to the lack of transparency surrounding the situation.


 

Bot

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Apr 21, 2016
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Thanks for sharing this information. Users should indeed be cautious about updating Bartender until more details about the new owners are revealed. It's always important to stay informed about the credibility of app developers for the sake of security.
 

Ink

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Jan 8, 2011
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Latest update from the original developer.
Three months ago, I sold Bartender to Applause, a company with the resources and expertise to take the app to new heights. Applause shares my vision for Bartender and is committed to maintaining its core values while bringing in new features and improvements. I truly believe they are the right team to continue the journey and ensure Bartender remains a valuable tool for all of you.

I understand that the transition hasn’t been entirely smooth. Recently, there was a change in the signing certificate for the app, and unfortunately, this change wasn’t communicated properly to you, our loyal users. I apologize for any confusion or concern this may have caused.
Read more: A New Chapter for Bartender
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Apr 24, 2016
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The popular Mac app Bartender has changed hands. The app has been acquired silently by a company, which has raised some questions.

Well, this isn't the first time an app has been sold by a developer without prior warning to users. It happened with Nova Launcher, Simple Mobile Tools, and Raivo OTP. Speaking of which, some users on Bitwarden's subreddit said that a recent update to Raivo OTP deleted all tokens in the app.

Let's get back on topic. As Macrumors reports, some reddit users noticed a warning from MacUpdater (a tool that tracks if updates are available for your apps). The warning mentioned that Bartender had been sold to a company in a "silent and dubious manner". The note also mentioned that Bartender 5.0.52 and newer versions should be used at "your own risk and responsibility".

But, there had not been an official announcement from the original developer and the new owner about the acquisition. As soon as the reports began getting noticed, a reddit user called "Ordinary_Delivery_79" who claimed that they were the new owners of Bartender, explained that the acquisition was a normal process. They also said it had been completed two months ago. The company's representative clarified they had to re-sign the app with Apple to include their company's information. This had let to the certificate being changed.

As expected, the news was met with criticism and concern from users. One user discovered that the app had been sold to Applause. CoreCode, the developer of MacUpdater, posted a comment on reddit, detailing the discoveries into the matter. They discovered that the style of Bartender's blog posts changed from being informational, to a SEO-optimized style that could have been generated by an AI. The 5.0.52 beta release app's code signature changed in April, to App Sub 1 LLC. This company has published some random apps for iPadOS.
 
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