I’m not a poster girl for Dashboard Widgets. Some are handy, some are fun, most are priced right (you get what you pay for), but the vast majority of Widgets are nothing to write home about.
This week I was browsing around Apple’s downloads section where they list all the latest Widgets and came across iStat Pro. It’s called ‘The Most Advanced System Monitoring Widget’ for the Mac. And the iPhone. That caught my eye.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that Apple’s real entry into the so-called netbook arena is the iPhone and iPod touch. Browser, email, calendar, contacts, games, utilities, reference applications.
Come on. Isn’t that a Mac in your pocket? If not, it’s sure close. What got me to look at iStat Pro was the iPhone version. Why? A trend is developing between iPhone and Mac.
What I see is a natural evolution, though it seems to be picking up speed. Familiarity and synchronization between iPhone and Mac. Alright, iStat Pro is a Dashboard Widget so it already looks like something you’d see on an iPhone.
The similarities between the Mac version and iPhone version are notable, but there is no synchronization going on between the two. Yet.
iStat Pro is simply a Widget that lets you monitor what’s going on inside your Mac. It checks and displays your network connection information, temperatures, fans, CPU, RAM, uptime, background processes, and much more.
Besides that, iStat Pro is very cool looking. Mouse to a screen corner, invoke the Dashboard, and right in front of your lonely eyes you get the latest information on disk size, RAM usage, and so on. Yes, it’s eye candy. But it’s cool eye candy. Visually tasty.
Digging around I found that the same folks who make iStat Pro for the Dashboard Widget crowd, and the iPhone crowd, also make iStat menus for Mac users. Think of it as the Widget version crammed into your Mac’s already crowded Menu Bar.
Without the effort of checking on the Widget’s display of vital statistics, iStat menu displays it all the time. Instant eye candy. If Safari slows to a crawl because of an errant Flash video, and CPU usage spikes red to the roof, you’ll know it with a quick glance to the Menu Bar.