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Thread: Five Free and Useful Utility Apps for Mac OS X

  1. #1
    Default Five Free and Useful Utility Apps for Mac OS X

    If you've got a Mac and you're wondering what kinds of applications you could be installing right now to boost your machine's performance and features, as well as show important information regarding your Mac, then stick around because we'll be showing you five free and useful utility applications for Mac OS X in this post.

    They're not all new applications, but they are all great utility applications to add to your Mac and become familiar with.

    1. Battery Health

    First up, we're going to introduce you to an application called Battery Health. This is a battery information application, and it adds a new icon to your Menu Bar that looks like a thunderbolt. When you click on it, you will be presented with a pop-up menu like the one shown above that shows you all kinds of information about the battery inside of your machine, such as:

    • The current charge
    • The health of your battery
    • The current and original maximum capacity of your battery
    • The current usage of your battery
    • Time spent surfing the Internet
    • Time spent listening to music
    • Time spent watching movies
    • Time spent in standby
    • Number of total charge cycles
    • Age of your battery
    • Date your battery was manufactured
    • The operating temperature of your battery
    • The power usage of your battery
    • The mAh usage of your battery

    The "i" button at the top of the window takes you through 10 tips for keeping your battery in good shape shape, which can be useful information for most of us.

    Since our battery is an important part of our lives with all of our mobile devices (including our laptops), Battery Health is a great application to check out. Desktop users won't need this application since they are always plugged into a power outlet.

    To download Battery Health for free, you can follow this Mac App Store link.

    2. Caffeine

    Another application you might find useful on your Mac is one called Caffeine. It's a really simple application that tries to keep your Mac from falling asleep on you, which could be very helpful if you want to prevent your Mac from locking you out and making you enter your password when you know no one else is going to be near your machine (since we know how annoying it can be to enter your password every few minutes).

    The application adds a new icon to your Menu Bar that you can click on to toggle the feature. When toggled, your Mac will not fall asleep. You can click on the icon again to toggle to the application off so that your Mac can fall asleep at its user-set times as usual. When toggled on, the Menu Bar icon will appear darker; when toggled off, the Menu Bar icon will appear dimmer.

    You can configure Caffeine to start up when your Mac does, or you can open it manually. You can also choose to toggle Caffeine on as soon as you open the application, or you can toggle it manually. Caffeine can be handy for all Mac users, whether you're using a laptop or a desktop.

    To download Caffeine for free, you can follow this Mac App Store link.

    3. Memory Clean

    Next in line is an application called Memory Clean. The memory in our Macs is a very critical component; that allows the machine to store information temporarily as it processes information. Because of that, it's important to give the system as much memory as you can. For those with less system memory than the fortunate few, a little manual control can always help out a little when your system starts bogging up.

    Memory Clean will add an icon to your Menu Bar that looks like a speedometer that you can click on to bring up a pop-up window, like the one shown above. The application is very informative and shows you memory information, such as:

    • App Memory
    • File Cache
    • Wired Memory
    • Compressed Memory (OS X Mavericks only)
    • Used Memory
    • Total Memory

    At the bottom of the window, you will see a "Clean Memory" button that you can use to free up some of the memory that is being used by your system. This will allow you see a temporary speed boost by letting your system use more of your memory for the next process that you plan on doing (such as opening a new application). It's temporary, because as soon as you start using your machine again after using this feature, it will begin using more of the memory again.

    The application comes with some options, such as the ability to start the application up with your Mac, using percentages instead of "byte" units of measure, and configuring the text size.

    To download Memory Clean for free, you can follow this Mac App Store link.

    4. Stats

    Another application you might be interested in trying out is one called Stats. This is a really neat application that can keep track of a number of interesting statistics about your Mac, such as the following:

    • The amount of mouse clicks
    • The amount of key presses
    • Log the system's CPU usage
    • Log the system's memory usage

    Stats adds an icon to your Menu Bar where you can enable or disable the application on demand. When you enable the application, it will begin recording information about how you use your Mac. Whenever you're ready, you can go to the application's Menu Bar icon again and click on "View Stats" to bring up a Web browser with all of the information that the application has logged. It will show up in separate graphs, showing you all of the features you enabled since the time of enabling the application.

    The application is mostly for fun, but it can also be a good way to see if someone has used your computer while you weren't looking. You'll be able to tell after enabling the application if anyone clicked on anything, typed anything, or opened anything.

    To download Stats for free, you can follow this Mac App Store link.

    5. ZoomZoom

    Last but not least, we think that an application called ZoomZoom is pretty neat and worth taking a look at. ZoomZoom allows you to instantaneously zoom into any part of your screen pixel-by-pixel. You can zoom in anywhere from 100% to 2400% (an in-app purchase will let you zoom in as far as 10,000%). It's a separate window on your screen, so it feels almost like a virtual magnifying glass. It's a great way to look at something specific very closely without having to zoom into your whole screen and without straining your eyes.

    The application adds an icon to your Menu Bar for quick access, but it is a separate window that you can work in. From the window, you will have a viewing area for whatever you might be zooming into, as well as a zoom slider, a zoom lock, and the ability to choose whether you want the application to start up with your Mac or not.

    ZoomZoom is great for designers trying to get a closer look at their digital masterpieces pixel-by-pixel, but if you have trouble seeing and don't want to mess with the resolution of your computer, it makes a great digital magnifying glass too.

    To download ZoomZoom for free, you can follow this Mac App Store link.

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    Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 2014-06-23 at 07:49 PM.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Another very useful app to keep you Mac alive: CaffeinateMe CaffeinateMe - René Rosendahl Software

  4. #4
    Stats is $.99

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tdawg3000 View Post
    Stats is $.99
    It was raised last night after we posted


  6. #6
    Caffeine was the only tweak I cared about on this list.

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