When writing a desktop application for macOS, in which cases it is useful or advisable to add a menu bar icon? Are there any UI guidelines? And what should happen with the dock icon?

Example Evernote:

Evernote screenshot


Refer the below MacOS X Human Interface Guidelines.


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  • Thanks, I saw that too earlier, specifically 'Menu Bar Extras' is what I was looking for, but it didn't give the right guidance when to use it. For example Evernote or Droplr use it and show a useful popover (though this guideline says not to use popovers), here screenshot. Other apps use it to show a status (such as whatsapp desktop apps). Then there are some, which popup something similar as spotlight. I would like to know more about these kind of menubar icon usages. – Eduard Sep 6 '16 at 12:42

See the "Menu Bar Extras" section of the "Human Interface Guidelines macOS" documentation enter link description here

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  • 1
    Could you copy and paste the relevant information into your answer? – Mayo Jul 6 '17 at 17:48

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