Ice, intelligent management of the macOS menu bar

Ice, intelligent management of the macOS menu bar

The menu bar it’s a core feature of the macOS user interface: it resides at the top of the screen. It contains several drop-down menus with commands and options to control open applications and the operating system itself.

Il menu Apple, located in the top left corner, offers access to system preferences, commands to restart and shut down the machine, create a user account or log out. The next menu refers to the active application, with options and commands specific to that app.

On the right of the menu bar, the Apple developers have placed the status menu. This area houses controls for adjusting settings like volume, brightness, WiFi connections, and more. By clicking on the battery icon you can view information on the remaining battery life. Clicking on any item in the menu bar opens the list of related options. Many commands have associated keyboard shortcuts for quick access.

The menu bar simplifies navigation by centralizing key features in one area, ensuring a consistent user experience across different running applications.

macOS menu bar

The image is taken from “What does the menu bar on your Mac contain?” (Apple).

How to manage the macOS menu bar intelligently

Ice is a powerful and versatile macOS menu bar management tool, designed to optimize and personalize the user experience. Although its main function is to hide and show menu bar items, Ice offers a wide range of additional features that make it one of the most complete tools available today.

To use Ice, it is essential to use macOS 14 or later versions. This limitation is due to the use of specifications API (Application Programming Interface) system available only in the latest versions of the Apple operating system.

Using Ice is extremely simple: just hold down the button Command then perform a drag-and-drop operation to reorder the elements of the menu bar. This way, every user has the opportunity to organize the bar based on your preferences, ensuring quick access to the most useful tools.

Customizable macOS menu bar with Ice

How to install Ice on macOS

Installing Ice can be done manually or via the Homebrew package manager. In the case of manual installation, simply download the compressed archive then extract its contents to the folder Applications.

If you prefer to use Homebrewyou can install Ice with the following simple command:

brew install jordanbaird-ice

The functionality of Ice are numerous and are destined to increase in the near future.

Already today, macOS users can hide items from the macOS menu bar, so as to keep it “clean” and organized. You can designate a section for items that you prefer to keep hidden at all times and make them appear by hovering over the menu bar, clicking on an empty area of ​​the bar, or using the swipe or swipe.

Dragging macOS menu bar icons

Hidden items can automatically return to their state, so you avoid unnecessary overcrowding of icons and tools at the top of the screen.

Ice integrates an interface to facilitate the organization of the various elements, a search function to quickly find what you need and the possibility of viewing hidden elements in a separate bar, especially useful for MacBooks with notches. You can also customize the spacing between items and save several layout of the menu bar using profiles.

Customize the appearance of the menu bar

In addition to managing the elements itself, Ice allows you to customize the appearance of the menu bar. You can choose between different color options, both solid and gradient, add shadows, customize the edges and opt for rounded shapes or layouts useful for representing the elements divided between them.

Customize the graphic appearance of the macOS menu bar

These aesthetic options they allow you to adapt the menu bar to your personal taste, making it not only functional but also visually appealing.

Ice also integrates the possibility of defining keyboard shortcuts, which allow you to activate or deactivate individual sections of the menu bar, application menus, section dividers, and temporarily show all elements of the bar. You can also enable or disable the behavior that automatically hides certain items.

The name “Ice” was chosen because the menu bar becomes like ice, allowing items to slide away when they are not needed, keeping the upper display area always tidy and functional.

Finally, the program can be set to start automatically when you log in to macOS. The update mechanism allows you to receive and install the most recent releases.

Ice is software open sourcedistributed under the MIT license.

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