One of the more memorable surprises about switching from Windows and becoming a Mac user is all the little secret features hidden in OS X.
For whatever reason, Apple chooses to make dozens and dozens of useful, functional features for OS X and then not let customers know they exist. Fortunately, Mac users have been around a long time. Finding those tweaks, secret features, and hidden functions is just a click or two away.
iEverything, iApps, iTweaX
If you’ve been a Mac user for a long time, then you’re probably immune to the iApp naming scheme. Some of us find iEverything to be annoying.
It all started with the iMac back in 1998. Then iBook, iTunes, iPod, iLife, iWork, iPhone.
Apple has created an iApps world that seems to have no end. Likewise, iTweaX is one of many, many Mac utilities that unlock all those iSecrets on your iComputer from iApple.
iTweaX is decent and priced right. Don’t even bother checking the iTweaX web site to find out what iTweaX is doing to your Mac. A simple features list would be too much to ask of a utility with no price tag.
iTweaX Tweaks The Mac OS X Tweakable
For the most part, iTweaX is self explanatory. Mac OS X has loads of little features which add functions to your Mac, the Finder, and other utilities.
iTweaX is a simple window with four basic tools in the Toolbar. Maintenance, Tweaks, Cleaning, and Restore. The latter implies that whatever you let iTweaX do can be undone.
Maintenance is easy. Mac OS X runs cache cleaning and maintenance scripts everyday, week, month, but usually when you and your Mac are asleep. iTweaX can do them when you want them done.
Other maintenance functions include checking preference files for corruption, checking the SMART status on your hard drive, verifying permissions and so on.
Tweaks is more complicated. To unlock a few dozen hidden features, you’re presented with tabs for the Finder, Dock, Safari and Mail, QuickTime, Spotlight, Login, System, and Miscellaneous.
For example, in Finder you can disable or enable window zooming, show the path in the Finder windows title, and place a Quit item in the Finder menu. And many more.
For the Dock you can change the appearance to 2D instead of 3D, lock the Dock size, enable mouseover highlights in Stacks, and, here it comes—many more.
Safari and Mail get extra functions, too. Disable the Safari cache. Print headers and footers or background. Remove the annoying confirmation when closing a Safari window with many open tabs.
QuickTime movies can be set to auto play, disable the rounded corners, or force showing of the controller (it hides in Snow Leopard). Even your Mac’s login window has customization options ranging from hiding admin users to hiding local users to disabling the shutdown button, and, again, many more.
The System tab has features which are less useful. In Miscellaneous you’ll find options to disable the Dashboard, add an Eject button to the Menubar, and so on.
The Restore button in the toolbar is self explanatory, too. It returns your Mac to wherever it was before you started dinking around with those hidden features. The Cleaning button also does what it says, and removes various and sundry caches in an effort to clean up your Mac and satisfy your OCD.
There are other Mac unlocking utilities which perform similar functions on OS X. Some are free, others do exactly the same thing but come with a price tag. iTweaX is one of the free group, easy to use and understand, but doesn’t do much that’s different from the pack of other Unlocking Hidden Secrets™ apps for the Mac.