I’m a sucker for gimmicks. Yes, I know that all that glitters is not gold, but I like glitter anyway, especially on my Mac.
That means I’m on the lookout for cute little Mac utilities; digital one trick ponies that make me smile. In the case of my most recent addition, the opposite holds true. I finally found the most dangerous Mac menu bar application. It’s scary.
If you’re like me then your Mac’s Menu Bar is full. Right now I count 20 different apps sitting in my Menu Bar, including the date, user name, and Spotlight. I love these things.
They’re handy, visual cues which tell me something is going on inside my Mac, like iStatMenus or Spaces. Tweetie is in the Menu Bar and lets me know with a glance when someone has updated on Twitter.
Wouldn’t it be nice if your Mac’s Menu Bar could tell you, at a glance again, how much money is left on your credit card? Hmmmm. That’s different than knowing the temperature of your Mac, or how much hard drive space you have left.
How about if your Mac’s Menu Bar could tell you how much money is in your checking account? Or, how much your stock portfolio has lost or gained for the day? It could be good news. It could be bad.
So, imagine my initial delight with the App Store Expense Monitor. Think of this little utility as the one that provides you with shock treatment for all your iPhone or iPod touch App Store purchases.
Shock treatment? Yes. I installed App Store Expense Monitor in my Mac’s Menu Bar. I was hoping for one of those little warm and fuzzy moments that comes when you find something that’s free, install it, and go, “Oh, this is sooooo cool.”
My personal pride in finding a utility that our dearly beloved Value Vixen™ and fellow Mac360er Alexis Kayhill did not find first overshadowed my ability to think clearly. After all, without thinking it, did I really, really want to know how much money I’ve spent already in the App Store?
App Store Expense Monitor is pretty much what it says it is. It’s a Menu Bar app that monitors how much money you’ve spent in Apple’s App Store. You know the place, right? That’s where all those free games and 99-cent apps and utilities grow.
My iTunes has so many apps, games, and utilities from the App Store that I have to scroll down to see them all. I have so many they won’t fit on my iPhone, even expanded to 11 pages of 16 apps each.
Still, at about 99-cents, that’s not too much money, right? Wrong.
The installation process for App Store Expense Monitor is simple. Double click. That starts the little progress wheel humming along on the far left side of the Menu Bar apps (not the menu selections for whatever application is front and center).
The progress wheel whirred and hummed along so long that I got busy with other things. A few minutes later I looked up and saw the result. $366.73. What? Yep. Almost $370 worth of App Store apps.
See? I told you this was a dangerous Menu Bar app. Reality bytes. The truth hurts. All this time I thought I was doing my best to help the economy along; putting a dent in the recession by spending a little here and there. Those little expenditures add up.
App Store Expense Monitor checks your iTunes for App Store apps, then checks online to match the current price, then displays the price in the Menu Bar. I was shocked. Had anyone asked, I would have thought $150 or so. Nope. Not even close.
$366.73 is a lot of iPhone applications, especially so since I can’t use all of them at one time anyway. Frankly, I’m glad I didn’t install an application that tells me how much total I’ve spent in Apple’s iTunes Store.
There’s a few thousand songs; TV shows, music videos, movies. I’m scared enough as it is with just my App Store expenditures. Caveat Emptor, fellow Macophiles. Knowledge is power. Knowing how much I’ve spent, and feeling a little bad about it, means I may be more cautious with those future 99-cent purchases.
Is App Store Expense Monitor a dangerous Mac Menu Bar app? Sure. Installed on Macs all over the country, it’s sure to have a dampening effect on the economic recovery.