There are times, not many, mind you, but times when you’d prefer that your Mac stay awake when the Mac seems intent on going to sleep. If only there was a simple Mac app that would keep a Mac’s screen awake. In fact, there are a few that do just that.
Caffeine Or Night Owl
This is the tail of two Mac apps which have one thing in common and plenty of differences considering the limited, and I mean that in a nice way, feature sets.
Here’s the problem. Controlling when a Mac goes to sleep requires a little monkeying around in System Preferences > Energy Saver.
Unless you turn off the sleep functions altogether, it always seems as if the Mac wants to sleep when you least want it to sleep.
When? While watching a movie, or a long video, is a good example. If money is an object and all you need to a one-click toggle to keep the Mac’s screen from going to sleep, Caffeine is your friend.
No, not the ingredient in coffee or energy drinks. Caffeine the app that keeps the Mac awake.
Setup Caffeine and then click the icon in the Menubar to toggle on and off. That’s it. Not bad for free, right?
Not free, and not inexpensive, is Stay Awake, another Mac app that keeps the Mac awake.
Stay Awake claims to prevent your Mac from sleeping.
Sometimes it does, and sometimes not so much. One of the more attractive features in Stay Awake is the option to keep a MacBook awake even when the lid is closed.
That only works when the MacBook is connected to AC power (running it on battery power would be a quick way to completely discharge the battery).
Use the slider bar to set the stay awake time. Then click the options for display sleep or system sleep.
Stay Awake worked fine on my recently new MacBook Air, but not on an older MacBook Pro model (not upgraded to Mountain Lion), so your mileage may vary. Unfortunately, Stay Awake is Mac App Store only, and there’s no try-before-you-buy option.
Note to Mac app developers. If your app costs more than $1.99, it’s best to have a trial version available for download, too. Trying an app with a hefty price tag and no recourse after purchase grates on the nerves if the app doesn’t live up to the promise.