Mac batteries are good, but it doesn’t take much Wi-Fi, email, browsing, and a Menubar full of little app tools to make the Mac go from 5 hours of life to a warning to recharge.
So, I was skeptical when I tried App Tamer, which claims to tame those apps that chew into your Mac’s battery life.
Taming Really Means Better Management
There are plenty of advantages to managing apps that overwork the CPU for no good reason. Many of these apps use CPU cycles even when they’re not in use or you’re not using them.
The more apps that sidle up to the trough of CPU power, means less batter power for things you really need to do.
It’s math. If the apps are not using the CPU, then the CPU isn’t running as hard. If the CPU isn’t running as hard it uses less battery, which means it has more time to do things you really need to do (browsing, email, Skype, et al).
App Tamer checks all the apps running on your Mac and gives you options, such as pausing some apps so they’re not using the CPU. Think of it as a built-in Auto Stop for wayward Mac apps.
There’s plenty of eye candy to impress you, but App Tamer is mostly on auto pilot.
When you click App Tamer on, it checks all the Mac’s running processes. Then, it prioritizes those that are not being used but still sucking up the juice.
You can decide which apps can be made to Auto Stop from the list. The Mac’s Menubar has an App Tamer visual which tells you how much CPU you’ve saved so far, and how much currently running apps are using.
As it works, App Tamer lists all the apps that have been stopped. Then, it delivers a bit more eye candy with a Total CPU Usage graph and estimated battery juice savings.
Did I mention that this is all math? Yes, I did. And that’s what it is.
By stopping a power hungry app that you’re not using at the moment, say one that’s draining 5-percent of your Mac’s CPU, you can save over 20-minutes of battery time.
Mac batteries actually lose power over time, so using App Tamer is like helping your battery live longer. On my last plane flight I got an extra hour of usage just by letting App Tamer do that thing it does. It’s not cheap, but it’s less money than a new battery.