Hook 3.6.1 beta: improves hooked status indicator in menu bar icon

Hook Version 3.6.1 beta (4801; Integration v. 221) BETA is now available for download.

In sum, this build improves the “hooked” status indicator, which is displayed in the menu bar icon. You’ll see numbers or ? in badge, not just a binary indicator of hooked vs. not-hooked. You’ll also get far fewer dialog boxes from macOS about “Hook.app wants access to control <App>.”

We are investigating a possible issue in which disabling the new Show current item's number of hooks in menu bar icon might not stick without toggling it. (It may just be a sampling interval issue, as that is configurable with advanced preferences.) Apart from that, the build may be considered a release candidate. If you could please test that aspect we’d appreciate it.

Note this build does not have a “beta” label in about box, and it is not yet available as an in-app update.

See Hook 3.6.1 Release Notes, which also has a link to the direct download.

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Seeing numbers feels great:

After closing/hiding some apps, I was surprised to see the question mark in this situation:

Hook says “no linkable item found in Finder”, not because Finder is incompatible with Hook’s probing, but because I have no hookable item currently selected.

My personal impression is that this doesn’t feel tidy.

In fact, this launches me into some psychological considerations. It feels like with this current implementation, whatever I’m doing on the computer, Hook judges. :slight_smile: Is it good enough, or not.

(I know it’s not like that, but still, these kinds of thoughts can pop up.)

Some of my favorite apps might never evolve to be hookable:

And for those apps, I’ll always see the nagging question mark. (It’s not a total bother with this particular one, because I’m used to running it full screen, no menubar in view.)

Personally I like how it’s easy with Hook to check if the apps I use are link-worthy or not. It helps me try to learn and strive to make good decisions. But I could do that with Hook since v1, by summoning it and looking at its status bar.

One could say: OK, turn off the new menubar status indicator, then, because it’s clearly not good for your psyche, man! :slight_smile: But I totally feel the need for the positive indicators!

In closing, thanks Team Hook! I’m really grateful for your efforts and I’m happy to try things with you and see to which final solutions this will eventually lead us. As a software developer who knows by experience how much efforts are involved in making such decisions, I’m happy to be able to simply raise some (valid or lacking) concerns, and let you come up with your own conclusions.

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Thank you for your opinion and kind words, @danieljomphe . I agree the (?) may be overly salient. But one customer wrote to us saying the Hook 3.6.1 ‘unknown state’ (greyscale) icon for unknown state was not sufficiently distinct from the default icon. Another option we discussed in house is to use the same color for both (#) and (?). We stayed away from that because the extra color cue could be enough for people to distinguish the state without needing to read the label, and color perception is much faster than reading even for a single character. Perhaps the greyscale option is the optimal choice ?

having said that, for apps like Finder, the menu bar icon won’t show this state even if you don’t select anything. it will just show the default icon.

Hook Version 3.6.1 (4805; Integration v. 221) has been released. This fixes the checkbox issue that was inHook version 3.6.1 beta (4801; Integration v. 221).

Closing this topic in favor of the upcoming 3.6.1 official release announcement.