The App Menu displays the name and icon for the active application. It is currently positioned directly to the right of the Activities item on the Top Menubar. This item has a few purposes.
It allows the user to unambiguously identify the active (ie. focused) application without having to rely on subtle and idiomatic visual style hints on the application windows that may not be easily seen due to impairments or environmental factors, such as direct sunlight.
It offers functionality that is relevant to the application as a whole. This is in contrast to the menus offered in individual windows which should only show operations that affect the contents of the window itself. For example, a window menu should offer the option to "Close" the instance but the application menu should offer the option to "Quit" (ie. close all related windows).
It also provides a form of application launch feedback (also known as start-up notification). When an application is launched, the Active Application item should appear immediately. Since the menu itself may only be populated with actions after the application has fully loaded a placeholder or option to forcefully quit the application may be presented.
Typical actions available in this menu may include:
- (maybe) Show/hide windows
- (maybe) New window/doc etc
- Just a little idea
Since this seems to require applications exposing actions in some way it has been suggested that this depends on some kind of representation of the application itself in the toolkit - an application class.