There are Mac geeks who love to tinker and tweak their Macs. And, there’s the rest of us who simply use the Mac and don’t worry much about what goes on inside. If there’s nothing to worry about then why so many apps to check, clean, fix, monitor a Mac?
What? Me? Worry About My Mac?
One of my favorite advertisements to hate is also home to a popular Mac app that catches my hair on fire.
I’m talking about Mac Keeper. If you haven’t seen their ads on the web then you have a need for a seeing eye dog. Many Mac users wonder about the value of such apps.
Many of them are more eye candy than substance (which seems to be a general trend since Apple opened the Mac App Store.
The latest find is called xScan, which is an attractive and simple app that’s designed to monitor your Mac. Monitor what? Do what? Those are good questions.
xScan claims to have a minimal interface. That’s true. An app that doesn’t do much should be cluttered with controls.
The app scans your Mac’s storage and gives you details about apps, fonts, plugins, Dashboard Widgets, storage space available, and performs a few tests.
Tests? xScan claims to use the Mac’s built-in hardware sensors and is “able to detect any hardware failures on your Mac.”
Uh, no. Some, maybe. Any? Probably not, though xScan can monitor connected storage devices, too.
The list of what xScan does is lengthy, though a bit dubious. It displays information already found in System Information in your Applications Utility folder.
It can monitor your network bandwidth usage, in and out, though other apps do the same. Use xScan to view crash reports from apps or OS X (Console is built-in and does the same thing).
xScan can detect available Wi-Fi networks (which OS X already does), and check storage space, used memory, CPU processes (all of which OS X already does). What OS X doesn’t do is display all that information with as much clever eye candy.
xScan is pretty. And cheap. For awhile it’s 99-cents on the Mac App Store (vs. the regular $29.99 price tag). What xScan doesn’t do is actually fix anything that might be broken.