I recently released a menu bar Mac app called Red Eye. It’s free and you can download it here. It prevents your Mac from going to sleep. Yes, it is a clone of the beloved Caffeine. And yes, it is the second menu bar app that I’ve made recently. It is notarized by Apple, so you shouldn’t have any problems installing it. I hope you enjoy it!

Red Eye

These menu bar app projects are relatively quick to execute. I love designing and writing a good app with a personality. I enjoy the whole process of refining the app itself, designing its icon, building its website, and releasing it. This and Lucifer were small weekend projects, but they taught me a lot about Mac development. More importantly, they were fun.

Caffeine came first and I’ve used it for years, but it hasn’t been updated since macOS 10.4 Tiger. I know there are a dozen other similar Mac apps out there. Aside from wanting to do this on my own, I thought I could do it better. I think most of these other apps are over-engineered. They have complicated menus, too many settings, and unnecessary scheduling options. I don’t want any of that — only a simple on/off toggle, so that’s what Red Eye does. I also think most of these other apps have boring or bad names and ugly icons.

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Unfortunately, Red Eye was rejected from the Mac App Store. I wanted to distribute there, as well as independently. The first reason was a Human Interface Guidelines violation, because you have to right-click Red Eye in the menu bar to open the menu to quit the app, which reviewers said is “confusing to users”. I think that’s debatable. The second reason for rejection was for “duplicate functionality that already exists in the Mac App Store”, which I think is bullshit and arbitrary. I counted three dozen Markdown editors in the Mac App Store before I got tired of scrolling through the search results. It is especially frustrating when the Mac App Store is still full of fucking scams.