Wednesday, June 12, 2024

PSA: Bartender Mac App Under New Ownership, But Lack of Transparency Raises Concerns

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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.

Bartender’s new owners replied to the Reddit thread and confirmed that Bartender had been acquired, but did not explain why customers had not been notified nor why there had been a certificate change without said explanation.

Hey everyone, new owners of Bartender here! Our team acquired Bartender from Ben S, the original developer, two months ago. As we prepare to roll out updates for Bartender, we needed to re-sign the app with Apple using our company’s information, replacing Ben’s. This led to a one-time certificate change.

Truth be told, we should have notated it on the release notes but, since we could not update them retroactively, we included this fact on our blog & shared it with users as they emailed us. We’ve collaborated closely with Ben to understand his vision for Bartender. Our goal is to implement many of the improvements he had planned and address any reported bugs from the past few months to enhance Bartender’s performance.

Reddit users asked Bartender’s owners for more information on their identity, but there was no response. The Bartender website was updated with information about the certificate change after users began seeing popups asking for new permissions, and while the blog post calls the new certificate request “expected and valid,” no background information is provided on the purchase. In the Reddit thread, the owners claim to have posted information about the sale on the website, but that has turned out to be untrue.

At this point, it does not appear that Bartender’s new owners plan to inform customers about the change in ownership, but users should be aware that the app has been sold and is no longer being updated by the original developer. The new owner’s intentions are not clear, but as Reddit users have pointed out, the situation raises some red flags.
This article, “PSA: Bartender Mac App Under New Ownership, But Lack of Transparency Raises Concerns” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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